Observations on 1 John 1

I was going to write a post about how the Gospel is supposed to be offensive, how it’s purpose is to change us (that’s kinda why Jesus came in the first place), and while I was doing research for that, I stumbled upon 1 John. (I tried not to interpret the text but to just write down the observations I saw.) I admit, it’s not the first book I would have chosen if I were doing devotional reading, but in just reading the first chapter, there are a myriad of gems within that I think are needed to live out the Gospel, both in our individaul lives and collectively within the body of Christ.

1 John 1:1-4

To make this easier for both of us, I’m breaking this chapter into two sections. For reference, the first passage of Scripture says this:

1What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—2and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—3what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.”(NASB)

My Observations on Verses 1-4

The “Word of Life” was:

  • in the beginning
  • heard, seen, touched, and experienced by other people (a public display)
  • also called “the eternal life”
  • with the Father
  • manifested in the flesh (i.e. “with us”)
  • the writer of 1 John is writing so that others “may have fellowship” with him and other believers
  • fellowship is with both the Father and Jesus Christ
  • the writer writes so that his joy may be “complete” (lacking nothing/filled to the top)

1 John 1:5-10

Here’s the rest of the chapter:

5This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

My Observations on Verses 5-10

  •  The writer of 1 John received his message directly from God Himself
  • God is Light
  • God has (possesses) no darkness within Him
    Verses 6 and 7: There seems to be a choice in between them, an active decision to be made on our part
  • We can say one thing but do another
  • Walk, as seen in verses 6 and 7, is an action verb. You have to do something (i.e. move your legs)
  • The truth must be practiced (another action verb)
  • If we lie and do not practice truth, we walk in darkness.
  • If we walk in Light (with God) we have fellowship with one another (outside of church?) and He is faithful to forgive our sins.
  • Our sins, no matter what they are, can be forgiven if we walk in Light
  • There’s a change of direction from verse 6 (walking in darkness) to verse 7 (walking in Light)
  • The blood of Jesus is sufficient to cleanse us “from all sin.”
  • Deceiving ourselves is possible (“I have no sin!”- verse 8)
  • To procleaim sinlessness is to make yourself, and God, a liar and is proof that you do not have truth/the Word in you. You can’t be a true princess/prince of the King and His Word not be in you.
  • Confessing our sin is possible (I know this may seem obvious but for those who would rather run away from the Jesus rather than towards Him, this needed to be said.)
  • If we confess, Jesus is faithful to forgive our sin and cleanse us of our unrighteousness
  • The forgiveness of our sin and cleansing of our unrighteousness isn’t predicated on our asking/confessing of our sin, but on God’s faithfulness and righteousness.
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