The beauty of John’s first epistle is that he precisely lays down the foundation for Christianity (sound doctrine and holy living)- in light of the false claims of his day. This kind of Christianity is called, “walking in the light.”
BASIC INFO ON THE EPISTLE OF 1 JOHN*
- Author: The apostle John
- Audience: Believers in western Asia Minor
- Date: Between 85 and 95 AD
- Theme: John writes to assure believers of the certainty of their faith and to refute heretical doctrines teaching that Jesus was not fully human and fully divine.
*NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
1 JOHN 1:1-2:6
The Word of Life
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.
Light and Darkness & Sin and Forgiveness
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. [John 1:1-4, 3:16-21]
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. [Romans 3:23] 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. [John 3:16]
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. [John 14:15] 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Do you live like Jesus?