Summary: John opens his first letter with an honest proclamation of what God has given us: The Life appeared, we have seen it and testify to it, and because of that we proclaim to you eternal life is available to all which gives us tremendous joy!

Having Complete Fellowship

1 John Bible Study, Part 1

1 John 1:1-4


- The author of this letter (or epistle) is the disciple, John

- This Epistle was probably written in Ephesus between the years 95–110.

-- It was written to counter Docetism: belief that Jesus did not come "in the flesh"

-- It was written to counter that Jesus only appeared as a spirit.

- Additionally, it defines how Christians are to discern true teachers:

-- By their ethics, their proclamation of Jesus in the flesh, and by their love

-- It is important as we draw closer to God ourselves that we are able to learn

- Read 1 John 1:1-4 / Pray

∆ Point 1 – What is the focus? (1-2)

- John opens this book pretty directly without much fanfare or explanation

-- If you break down verse 1 you see three things instantly leap out (v1):

• That which was from the beginning

• Which we have seen with our eyes

• That which our hands have touched

- This is what I am about to proclaim to you, this is all you need to know

- John says: I have seen, I have heard, and I have touched all that is Christ

-- But, what is it that he has experienced? This is imp to us …

- “That which was from the beginning” is a ref to Gen 1:1 and John 1:1

-- However, this is more specific … since the beginning of His ministry

- Remember we talked in 2 Peter about false teachers spreading bad info

-- John’s intro is also straight to the heart of that issue; correcting doctrine

- False teachers (ref: anti-Christs) often brought bad teachings to the church

-- John had first-hand dealings with them throughout His life

-- Re: John was probably the youngest disciple; yet lived the longest life

- So, in the early church, he would have experienced the nonsense often

-- Pharisees, Sadducees, and other “slick willies” would have been common place

-- People who tried to profit from God would’ve been an obvious problem

- So John sets the record straight: I have seen this with my own eyes

-- What has he seen? The Word of Life (John 1:1) … the actual Christ of God

-- “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

- John says that this life literally appeared to him (v2)

-- It is eternal, it is with the Father, and now has appeared to all on Earth

-- IMP: This supports that Jesus is coequal with God the Father

- TRANS: Why is Christ being the focus important to the church?

∆ Point 2 – We have complete fellowship (3-4)

- John proudly proclaimed to all what he knew; revealed from Christ about God

-- Why? “So that you (me) may also have fellowship with them”

- Turn ahead and read 1 John 2:12-14

- John’s implication of fellowship is NOT referring to new believers

-- IMP: He is referring to the ONGOING fellowship with other believers

- They needed to be sure of who Jesus is and of their salvation (security)

-- If we doubt our salvation, our fellowship will obviously be limited

-- John’s comments here are to those who are secure and living for Christ

- Implication: If we are not in full fellowship with God; ours is limited

-- Our fellowship is rooted in the example of the Father-Son-Holy Spirit

-- It is an intimate, personal, all-encompassing fellowship (ref: agape)

-- APP: Again, if we are not in full fellowship with God, ours is limited

- One of the most important things false teachers do is cause doubt

-- They weaken the stance of one who is secure in Christ; false teachings

-- So John is reaffirming the reader’s faith … tremendous encouragement!

- By way of introduction, John does something unique here in v4

- FACT: John is over-flowing with joy that has been received from Christ

-- He is “the disciple that Jesus loved”; held place of honor (inside group)

-- Witnessed the transfiguration, garden of gethsemane, and the crucifixion

-- He has seen what Jesus has done, and His promises come true in his life

- John is often referred to as “love” disciple; one concerned with feelings

- Note the words in v4 … “We write this to make our joy complete”

-- Not just you (which would be like a dictatorship tone)

-- Not just him (which would be a selfish tone)

-- But all members of the church – all those who call Christ, Lord!

- His implication is this: If readers’ salvation is affirmed, joy is complete

-- It’s a unique way of looking at what God has given us in Christ

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