" 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, concerning the Word of life the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
Fellowship with Him and One Another
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (NKJV)
The “purpose” of this letter(Epistle) was to combat the false doctrine delivered by certain false teachers, called “Gnostics”, a group of false teachers that appears in the word from 1 John 2:18-26; 3:7; 4:1-3:. John countered this false doctrine 1 John 5:1-6. John declares that 'Jesus is the Christ,' and that he was Christ, 'not just by water only (baptism), but by water and blood. The false teachers taught that Jesus Christ was just a “mere” man, that he wasn’t divine at all and claimed to be the Son of God. Cerinthus the ring leader of the false teachers contended that Jesus by birth was a mere man, that the “AEon, Christ”, descended on him at his baptism, and left him before his death. But if what John says, 1 John 5:1-6, was opposed to Cerinthus, the Antichrists of whom he speaks, 1 John 2:18,19, and who, according to 1 John 2:22, denied that Jesus was the Christ, as also the false prophets, mentioned 1 John 4:1,3, must be Cerinthians, or “Gnostics”.
I. Historic Review- What Was Heard…What Was Seen…How We were Touched (From the beginning) (verses 1-5)
A. From the beginning-
John 1:1” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. In both places it clearly means BEFORE creation, before the world was made, when as yet there was nothing. The meaning is: that the "Word" (Christ) had a self-existence before the world was created. (vs.1)
B. The Life of Christ Manifested: (vs.2)
That is, the Lord Jesus, who is the creator of all things, and the fountain of life to all sentient and intellectual beings, and from whom eternal life and happiness come, was manifested in the flesh, and we have seen him, and in consequence bear witness to him as the fountain and author of eternal life; for he (Jesus) who was from eternity with the Father (Jehovah or Yahweh)was manifested (born alive before us in human form) unto us his apostles(the original 12 disciples), and to the whole of the Jewish nation, and preached that doctrine of eternal life which I (John the Apostle)) have before delivered to the world in my(Holy Spirit Led version) gospel, and which I now further confirm by this letter.
C. Manifestation of the Life of Jesus Christ (vs.3)
1. What We Heard- Based on the Gospel of John of everything Jesus Christ said about Himself that gives us conclusive evidence that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that is God manifested in “human” flesh through the process of birth through a virgin (Mary) by the Holy Spirit overshadowing her. John in John 1:14 said it this way: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”. Jesus subjected himself to the laws of biology and through the impregnation of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. In other words, He who was and is Spirit and Divine (God) came to us in the form of a baby. In Isaiah 7: 14, Isaiah prophesied a “virgin would conceive conceived (Mary) and bear a Son and his name shall be called Emmanuel. (God with us.)
2. Bear witness to it- To testify to you what God allowed us to see and experience (vs.3)
a. Based on what they (the Apostles) saw and heard (testimony) It’s not hearsay, it’s not the traditions of men, not by conjecture. John said they had the fullest certainty of all that we wrote and preached. They spent time with Jesus while he was alive on earth.
b. The purpose John wrote this epistle:
That ye also may have fellowship with us] That you may be preserved (protected) from all false doctrine, and have a real participation (be in fellowship) with us apostles of the grace, peace, love, and life of God, which communion we have with God the Father, who hath loved us, and given his Son Jesus Christ to redeem us; and with his Son Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for the life of the world, and through whom, being God manifested in the flesh, we have union with God, are made partakers of the divine nature, and dwell in God, and God in us.
3. That your joy may be full (vs.4)
a. You have already experience the “goodness of God. (Jesus)
b. That you will understand the height of your Christian calling:
c. That you will experience complete happiness.
d.. That you will experience a thorough cleansing of all sin.
e.. Being filled with the fullness of God (Filled with the Holy Spirit.
II. THE Message: ``God is Light: (verses 5-7)
A. The Grand principle on which everything stands (vs.5)
Jesus alone declared the fullness of the truth, and the extent of the blessings, which believers on him are to receive. (John 1:15).” “John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'"
B. God is Light What does that mean? (vs. 5)
God is the source of wisdom, knowledge, holiness, and happiness; and in him God or Jesus Christ) is no darkness at all-no ignorance, no imperfection, no sinfulness, and no misery. And from him (God and Jesus Christ) comes wisdom, knowledge, holiness, and happiness and all of these things are given by God and received by every believing soul. This is the grand message of the Gospel, the great principle on which the happiness of man depends.
LIGHT implies every essential excellence, especially wisdom, holiness, and happiness.
DARKNESS implies all imperfection, and principally ignorance, sinfulness, and misery.
C. Fellowship With God: “Communion Relationship” (vs.6)
Communion relationship means to “partake” of God’s divine nature through the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit; allowing the Holy Spirit to take “full control” causing what the Apostle Paul said: “It’s no longer I but Christ that lives (fully) in me , and work the works of His divine plan and ministry through me each day. THEREFORE: If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: “Darkness” and “Light” have no "common" fellowship!
1. “Walking in Darkness:” (vs. 6)
The songwriter puts it this way: How can I live in sin and feel my Savior’s love? Having received the principle of holiness from him, If a person professes Christianity through Christ and still ‘walks” in darkness and lives a sinful life. They are “liars” and not telling the truth, nor is the truth in them. They do not have true fellowship with Christ because they walk in darkness and haven’t been cleansed from all unrighteousness
Note: The Gnostics were expert at “looking churchy”. They had biblical knowledge, laid claims to “divine” illumination from God, and on the surface acted as they were holy. They spoke the language and put up major fronts, but they personal lives away from the sanctuary never reflected a true conversion experience “with Christ”, and “in Christ”. “They had a “form” of godliness, but their lives denied the power of the Holy Spirit. They were full of themselves and not full of the Holy Spirit. The modern church is full of “great pretenders”. who act church on "public worship" day (usually Saturday or Sunday)
2. “Walking in the Light: (vs.7)
If, we have received the principle of holiness from Christ and live a holy and righteous life as we continue to obtain continual light, power, and life from HIM, then we have fellowship one with another; that is, we have ‘communion’ with God, and God condescends (Through the Holy Spirit) to hold communion with us. Where the Spirit of God is, there is “liberty”- true “Spiritual freedom.” These are they that have their robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb!
III. The Truth About Our Sin Nature (vs. 8-10)
A. Nobody can deny having sinned “Not Even Gnostics” (vs. 8) the Gnostics not only claimed to be sinless and didn’t need a “Savior”, but made the claim that Jesus Christ never suffered as a Savior but suffered as a common man, and his death and sufferings had no saving power and no merit beyond that of a common man.
B. If we say that we have not sinned.
All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; and therefore every man needs a Savior,
C. If we say we have no sin, we are deceived and have no truth in us!
By making the supposition that we have no guilt, no sinfulness, and consequently have no need of the blood of Christ as an atoning sacrifice that person is completely deceived and has none of the truth of God within them. This is the most dreadful of all deceptions, because it leaves the person’s soul under all the guilt and pollution of sin, exposed to hell, and utterly unfit for heaven.
This also means we have no knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus, the basis of which is founded on this most awful truth.
The truth is: all have sinned, all are guilty, all are unholy; none are righteous, and none can redeem himself. As a result, it was necessary that Jesus Christ should become incarnated, and suffer and die to bring men to God. Otherwise all of mankind would still be lost ant all would die in their sin and go to hell.
D. But if we confess our sin: (vs.9)
If, from a deep sense of our guilt, impurity, and helplessness, we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and admit to our iniquity, to the fact that HE is Holy, that we are powerless against Him, and then ask for mercy for his sake (Jesus Christ) who has died for us; God is faithful, because he has promised mercy, Psalms 32:5; and Proverbs 28:13; and just, for Christ has died for us, making an atonement to the Divine justice; so that God can now be just, and yet the "Justifier" of him who believes in Jesus.
1. God is faithful and just to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
That is God will both forgive the sin and purify our hearts.
Very Important things to know: Sin "exists" in the soul in 2 “forms”:
A. In the form of “Guilt”, “Guilt” requires a person to seek forgiveness or a pardon. In order for guilt, to be forgiven, it must be confessed; and pollution, to be cleansed, must be also confessed. In order to find mercy, the person must acknowledge their transgressions and admit to being a sinner. Then, they must make a “fervent” appeal to God through Jesus Christ for pardon or forgiveness. Just like King David did in Psalms 51: They must ask God to create in them a “clean” heart and renew in them a “right” spirit.
B. In the form of “Pollution” or “corruption”. Both pollution and corruption requires that the person is cleansed from the unrighteousness that comes from Sin. Sin both pollutes and corrupts morals, values, and correct doctrines.
Sadly, few are pardoned, because they do not feel and confess their sins. Few are sanctified or cleansed from all sin, because they do not feel and confess their own sin, and the plague of their hearts. As the blood of Jesus Christ, the merit of his passion and death, applied by faith, purges the conscience from all dead works, so the same cleanses the heart from all unrighteousness.
C. If we deny our sinning, we make God (Christ) a “liar” and HIS Word is not in us (vs. 10)
To attempt to deny our sin and sin nature, and plead for the continuance of sin in the heart through our life, is ungrateful, wicked, and even blasphemous; for as he who says he has not sinned, makes God a liar, who has declared the contrary through every part of his revelation; so he that says the blood of Christ either cannot or will not cleanse us from all sin in this life, gives also the lie to his Maker, who has declared the contrary, and thus shows that the word-the doctrine of God is not in us
Rev. Dr. William Edward Boddie