1 John 1:1-10 & 1 John 2:1-2 Verse 5. "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."
The apostle John was an old man when he wrote this, probably about 90 years old, and the tone of
the three epistles is that of a loving grandfather talking to his grand-children that he loved very much. He's
telling them things he has seen and experienced in his life. He wants them to know some of the things that
made his life worthwhile and to tell them that this knowledge will do the same for them. Let's pretend
we're one of those lucky kids and listen in to what the old man has to say.
1 John 1:1-3 "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; 2: (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." There is no doubt that the reference here is to the Lord Jesus Christ, "the Word" that was made flesh. In the very beginning of this epistle, John offers evidence that Jesus was God incarnate, God in the flesh. He had a personal encounter with Jesus in the flesh. His was no secondhand religious experience or second hand knowledge from someone he discovered in a book written by some rabbi. John knew Jesus face to face. He and the other disciples heard Jesus speak, they ate with Him, they touched Him, they watched Him, they even prayed with Him. In short, they lived with Him. He lived with them. They knew Jesus was real, and that He did the miracles He did. They knew He was God in human form and they knew He died for their sins on the cross.
Christ existed before the creation of the world. "That which was from the beginning." Then he says, "That which we have heard." John was with the Saviour throughout His earthly ministry and he records more of the words of Jesus than any of the other gospel writers. He uses the words of Jesus as evidence that He was the Son of God, the Word that became flesh.
This epistle was written that our joy might be full, and the first thing required for that full joy is that Jesus was and is who He claimed to be.
Then John says "That which we have seen with our eyes." John saw enough while he walked with Jesus to prove without a shadow of a doubt that He was the Son of God. He saw Him do things no mortal man could do. He saw Him forgive sin there on the cross. He saw Him die. John is the only disciple recorded at the cross. John wanted it understood that what he declared was what he saw with his own eyes and heard with his own ears.
"That which we looked upon." John means more than visual recognition here. This suggests great pleasure in what he had seen and understood about the Saviour. What John saw in Jesus' miracles, His actions, and His life caused John to find great joy in looking on Him. He recognized Him as the Son of God.
Now he mentions "That which our hands have handled." John declares that the evidence proves that Jesus was a man, subject to the sense of touch by another, even John. If they had only seen Jesus it might have been called an optical illusion, but they knew His voice, His touch, remember John leaned on His breast at the last supper. Jesus washed the disciples feet. John has every right to declare Jesus as a man, real flesh and blood and bone. After all, he was at the cross when Jesus shed His blood.
After John has thoroughly established this authenticity, he says the reason was so we could have fellowship with them. The total fellowship then is with all the saints and with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. That's what he is inviting us to take part in. The reason he writes concerning this fellowship is that our joy may be full.
Verse 4. "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." John realized that the world isn't capable of providing true and lasting joy for the human heart. This joy can come only through a proper relationship with the Lord Jesus. He has a deep seated joy to offer us that can't be disturbed by earthly circumstances.
Fellowship describes the situation where two or more people share things in common. John is going to try to get across to us just what is necessary for true fellowship with other believers and with God.
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." God is referred to as the "Father of Lights". By his statement here he means that God is absolutely holy, righteous and pure. God can't look with favor on any form of sin. Nothing is hidden from Him but it says in Hebrews "all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account".
Since God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, those who fellowship with God have to be compatible to Him. Amos 3:3 says, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Then, in Psalm 89:15 we read, "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, 0 Lord, in the light of Thy countenance."
VERSE 6." If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:" When a person testifies that he is saved, declaring that he is a follower of Jesus, and he lives in the world's ways, and fellowships with the world, the Word of God clearly states that person is a liar. If a person claims to believe the Bible and yet chooses to reject part of it, he is calling God a liar. What has been taught in our schools for some time, that the Bible account of creation in wrong, and evolution is how things came to be as they are, is calling God a liar.
John says they are in darkness. According to this verse they aren't believers. They claim Christianity but they're not Christians.
Warren Wiersbe had a good comment on this in his commentary. He called them counterfeit Christians, like a counterfeit ten dollar bill. Suppose you have a counterfeit bill and actually think it is genuine. You use it to pay for some gas. The gas station uses it for supplies. The supplier buys some groceries with it. The grocer puts it with some other bills and deposits it in the bank. The bank teller spots the phony and says, "I'm sorry, but this bill is counterfeit."
That ten collar bill may have done a lot of good while it was in circulation, but when it arrived at the bank it was exposed for what it really was and put out of circulation.
It's the same for a counterfeit Christian. He may do a lot of good things in his life, but when he faces Christ at the final judgement he'll be rejected. Matthew 7:23 says, "Depart from Me, I never knew you." If you are a parent here and you are saved, have you ever asked your children individually if they are saved? Are you saved, yourself? Are you sure? Ask yourself, "Am I a true child of God, or am I living a lie? Am I a counterfeit before God?
If you haven't experienced this real offer of eternal life, you can right now. Read 1 JOHN 5:9-13.
VERSE 7." But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Now we have some instructions as to how we establish and maintain fellowship with our fellow Christian and with God Himself. If we walk in the light, then we can have fellowship with the Lord Jesus and with our fellow Christians. Walking in the light means we're saved and live like it, not like the world which is in darkness. As far as God's Word is concerned, in this passage a man is either in the light or in darkness. If he is in the light, he is a member of the family of God. If he is in darkness, he doesn't have anything in common with God because there is no darkness in God at all. Those who walk in the light, those who are actually Christians, have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ continually cleanses them from all sin. Continually, not past tense, not future, but now, day by day, even moment by moment.
For every sin we are conscience of, God has a remedy, the blood of His dear Son. No matter how ugly the sin, there is no stain the blood of Jesus can't take away. As long as we live in the our natural bodies we're prone to sin. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. God knows we are dust and in His great salvation He provided a way not only to redeem us from the penalty of sin, but from the power of sin day by day. Someday He's even going to redeem us from the very presence of sin. We'll be where there isn't any sin or sinners. Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus." When we're born again, the Holy Spirit leads us into paths of right living. When we do sin, God has a pathway for sure restoration to fellowship, but in no case can we loose what we already have, and that's our salvation.
VERSE 8." If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Fellowship with God requires that we acknowledge the truth concerning ourselves. To deny our sinful nature is self deception. You aren't fooling God. Notice that John makes a distinction between sin and sins in verses 8 and 9. Sin refers to our corrupt nature. Sins refers to evil things we have done. Actually what we are is a lot worse than what we have actually done but thankfully, Christ died for what we are as well as what we have done and will do as long as we live in this body.
One of the worst things we can do is to judge other's sins. We tend to overlook our own at their expense. I know of some people who are terribly taken up with the sin of abortion to the extent that they hate those who perform them. Abortion is a dreadful sin, but in God's eyes, the sin of hating those souls that perform them is just as bad. God sees sin as all bad, we try to put sin in categories that go from little to big. To God, all sin is sin, regardless of man's opinion. Read James 2:10. God would rather have us pray for those people and witness to them. Conversion doesn't mean the eradication of the sin nature. It means that we have a new life, a divine nature, with the power to live victoriously over indwelling sin, through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
VERSE 9. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." "If we confess our sins." Here's another "if." In verse 6 it says, "If we say we have fellowship." Verse 7; "If we walk in the light." Verse 8; "If we say we have no sin." Now we see the way to bring sinful man together with a Holy God. "If we confess our sins," God has given us some responsibilities.
What does it mean to confess our sins? It means to say the same thing that God says. We need to be in complete agreement with God and say, "You're right, Lord. I did it and I knew better. And, mean it. This is what God liked about that old sinner, David. After he messed up he sincerely took the blame for what he did and God forgave him, because he didn't try to weasel out of it. He just asked forgiveness and got it immediately.
In order for us to walk day by day in fellowship with God and our fellow believers we need to confess our sins. Some are sins of commission and some are sins of omission, but all need to be confessed to God, and at times to our fellow man that we've sinned against.
We need to bring them all out individually before God. We need to use some discretion with those against our fellow man. Some of our sinful thoughts are better left in the privacy of God. True confession also includes forsaking those sins, not repeating them. PROVERBS 28:13 says, "He who covers his sins will not prosper; but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."
God is faithful and will do exactly what He has promised and all He has promised. He will forgive us when we sin if we will confess our sin. If God were unfaithful He would cease to be God. God can be just and yet justify the ungodly "through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
ROMANS 3:23-26,"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believe in Jesus".
VERSE 10." If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." We can't be in fellowship with God if we deny that we still sin. Don't lie to God, He's just like your mother was. You just knew she could always tell when you were lying or at least you thought so. God knows we have all sinned. It's even written in the scripture we just read, and all means ALL when God says it. To deny this is to call God a liar.
This isn't our sin nature here, it's the acts of sin we do. It's things that we do that we know aren't pleasing to God. It's also things we don't do that we know we should, things that we could do. Sins of omission. We've all sinned and we have to admit, that at our very best, we still come short of the glory of God.
Only through trusting our sins to the shed blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ can we ever come face to face with the glory of God and stand there, redeemed and fit for heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Not of works lest any man should boast." You may have heard those verses a hundred times, but did you ever really put yourself in there? Are you saved? Are you sure?
You don't have to answer this to me, even though I wish you would, but you have to answer it to God. You need to do it now, you may not have the luxury of another day.
Redemption is God's gift to hell deserving sinners through the finished work of the Son of God. We're redeemed by His blood.
After we're born again we aren't called on to make painful sacrifices or do penances or make pilgrimages. Fellowship with God doesn't require a sinless life, but it does require that our sins be recognized and brought before God and confessed and forsaken. It means that we have to be absolutely honest with God with no hiding or hypocrisy of what we are. We're sinners, but we're saved by grace!
I JOHN 2:1-2. " My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Now John tells us that he wrote this to us so we could understand just how and what God wanted from us in the way of obedience and fellowship. He also tells us once again how we have Jesus interceding for us with God. When Satan accuses us before God, Jesus intercedes and says "I paid for that already, at Calvary." Our sins can't be charged against us twice. Jesus is the only offering that God would accept for my sins, and He made the full payment for me, and you, if you are trusting Him right now as your Saviour. Remember, this is for eternity.
Verse 5. "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."John's epistles concentrate first on light, then love, followed by life. In the scriptures, light always refers to what is right. John used that illustration several times in the gospel of John.