INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE OF I JOHN
1 John 1:1-4
Cooper P. Abrams III
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)
God’s instruction found here can resolve many of the doubts that believers struggle with. It can bring full assurance to the doubter and salvation to the one who has made a false profession of faith.
I hope that as we preach these messages each of us will honestly seek God’s truth. I hope each of us would let God shine the light of truth on our hearts and prove our relationship with Him is real.
2. Internal evidences.
b. He claims to have personally known Christ. 1:1-3, 4:14
c. Close remembrances in style, language, thought to the Gospel of John and the 2-3 John.
d. Same words used in the Gospel of John, as life (15 times ), light (6 times),love (33 times), fellowship(4 times), know (38 times), darkness, world.
e. Expressions such as eternal life, a new commandment, abide in Christ, walketh in darkness, that your joy may be full.
John wrote the Epistle in the later part of his life at Ephesus, where he spend most of his old age. There is no mention of the Domitian persecution which was in 95 AD. Internal evidences indicate it was written around 90 AD after the Gospel of John was written.
-These Anti-christs claim superior knowledge.
- They deny Jesus is the Christ. 2:22
-They deny He is the Son of God. 4:15, 5:5
-They deny Jesus came in the flesh. 4:2
e. To bring believers unto full assurance of salvation. 5:13
f. In encourage believers in knowing and having true biblical love, and to not love the world. The word “love” is found 33 times in the Epistle.
To give the believer full assurance of salvation and to bring the believer into a personal fellow- ship with Christ.
It makes things very practical. It is the "How to live" of a Christians life in Christ. How do we deal with sin, fellow Christians, and truly love.
These church had become to a great degree Gentle. The church in Jerusalem had been destroyed with Jerusalem in 70 AD and no longer existed. Now the church at Antioch in Syria, and those in Asia Minor were influential.
- Knowledge is superior virtue.
- The Bible should be interpreted in a non-literal sense, and only a few Gnostic intellectuals could interpret.
- God is not the only the Creator, because the world is material and everything material is evil. God could not have created a sinful world.
- Christ was not God, as deity cannot be united with the material, because material is evil. Christ was a man, thus could not have been God.
-The openly committed gross sin and immorality, saying it did not make any difference as the spirit is not effected by one’s physical actions.
- These are the people who wrote the false so called “gospels” of Jude and dozens of other spurious books claiming to be from God. They were all heretics.
b. To the Gnostic it basically boiled down to a person has two parallel natures and they are completely separate. The evil side does evil, the spiritual side spiritual. One is not responsibility for the other. You can be a wonderful spiritual person and a crook at the same time. John, Peter, and Paul all wrote condemning the heresy of the Gnostics.
2. If one is truly saved how then can I have a close fellowship with Christ. If you fail the test of 1 John the question for you is " How can I be saved."
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1)
1. Dr. J. Vernon McGee said in regard to Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning was God..." If you don't accept that you can go no further. May I add....”If you do not accept God, there is not point of going further.” If you do not accept the Genesis account of Creation then you cannot trust the Bible as God’s infallible inerrant word and you are left with no Savor and no Salvation.
b. If Christ, then John is saying he heard, saw, touched Christ who is the Incarnate Son of God.
c. If the Gospel? Then he is talking about LIFE. One’s real spiritual eternal present and future life in Christ.
1st... the word "Which" is neuter not masculine. If the sentence is referring to Jesus it would be normal to use a masculine word to refer to Christ.
2nd... Verse 2. The first sentence refers back to the previous sentence and explains, "for the life was manifested" It does not say the Word was manifested."
d. I think it clearly is the message of Jesus, the Word, which is the Gospel, that is the source of life.
It is not lessening Christ's position as the incarnate Son of God, but is addressing a specific aspect of what Christ accomplished, that is L I F E! It is stressing LIFE in Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:16-19 Peter also proclaims he was an eyewitness to the glory of Jesus Christ when at the Transfiguration he heard God say, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Those of John's day unto the present are far removed from the physical Jesus, yet can have as deep or closer relationship spiritually with Him as John had who had actually been with Christ.
b. John says "we have seen, bear witness of it, and show it to YOU!
This I believe is the Key to what he is saying intends to show it to us. It has been "manifested" or it is revealed to us. (see v3 also) John says he is going to show us Jesus Christ. He is going to show us what Jesus Christ does for the one who accepts Him as Savior. He is going to show us our lives in Jesus Christ. c. This view is consistent with the content of the book.
You cannot know the message of life, the Gospel, without knowing the source of life Jesus Christ. Thus Christ and the message are one. John 1:1
a. He HEARD: It is in the prefect tense in Greek, meaning a past completed action, with a present result.
What John had heard in the past now effected his life, it was relevant, has current importance. b. He SAW: He includes the reference to seeing with the eyes, which means it was not spiritual "seeing". The Gnostic's taught Jesus did not have an actual physical body, (material is evil), thus He was a phantom. John says, "I saw Him physically".
c. He LOOKED UPON: means "to gaze a long time".
They lived with him daily for three years and they were able to examine Him personally.
d. He HANDLED HIM WITH HIS HANDS: He had physically touched Christ and he was no phantom, He was real! Moreover, John had lived for Christ some sixty years daily walking with Him. Christ had ascended to heaven, yet he was vitally real and every present hour by hour in John's life. John knew what it was to live walking in the Light of Christ's present, being led by the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.
2. The life he is referring to in V2 is the result of the message.
This is not referring and in the category of any form of life man can naturally have, but that supernatural life that only comes from knowing Jesus Christ as one's personal Savior.
2. The word "full" means "complete".
The message of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the message that life eternal, full, complete and to the highest degree is available in having personally received that life through Jesus Christ the Lord!
a. There are counterfeits! Thus John is going to reveal the real life giving item.
b. We are to examine the real item to make sure that we have it...then bask in the full reality of the fact that we are the Children of God!
2. This fellowship can be had...this life eternal is real, purpose and an absolute truth.
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