1 John 1-2:6
This book was written by the last living disciple of Jesus, John, likely in the 80s-90s AD.
1a: From the beginning likely refers to Jesus’ existence from eternity past. Meaning that Jesus has existed “from the beginning” and did not begin to exist when he was born on earth.
1b-3: Jesus’ life was made manifest, and we have seen it. Jesus physically existed on earth, and also died and rose again. John and the disciples witnessed these things, and that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you.
4: A central them in 1 John is that of joy, which John hopes the readers of this book will experience as the see the goodness of Christ.
Question: Jesus’ existence, death, and resurrection was a real event that Jesus’ disciples and many others witnessed. Contrary to popular belief, Jesus’ disciples were not killed because they were Christians, but because they claimed that Jesus actually rose form the dead. How does the historical reality of Jesus and his resurrection help you when you experience doubt?
5-6: God is light, he is perfect and without sin. Living in sin causes us to walk in darkness. Perhaps showing that maybe we may in fact not be truly walking with God in our lives.
8-10: Though believers should strive for holiness, the fact remains that we all still sin in this life. To say (or think) that we have no sin (or that we don’t need forgiveness) is deceiving to ourselves and shows the truth is not in us (that is, that we don’t truly believe the Gospel).
Question: Being a Christian means you admit you are a sinner in need of a savior. However, living in continuous, unrepentant sin may be a sign that someone is not truly a follower of Christ. Being honest, what would you say are some of your biggest sin struggles? In what areas of your life could you use prayer?
1: John’s goal is to encourage us to live righteously. However, if (when) we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2: Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, not for ours only but also for the sins of the world. Meaning that Jesus is the one and only way for the forgiveness of sins for everyone in the entire world; there is no other way.
3-5: We know those that have come to know Christ if they keep his commandments. Salvation is by grace alone, however our lives reflect where our faith and trust truly is. Is it in the things of this world, or in Christ? Otherwise, if we say we believe in Jesus, we are a liar, and the truth is not in us.
Question: This passage is both a beautiful and humbling reminder. It starts by saying that Jesus is our advocate. This means that as we stumble, fall, and screw up that Jesus is actively fighting for those who have placed their faith in him. How does this encourage you to know that, even as you sin, Jesus does not turn his back on you? Jesus is actively advocating for you!
Question: The humbling part of this passage is the reminder that those who make little or no attempt to keep his commandments are not truly believers. Biblical views of finances, sex, pride, sacrificing for others, etc., is radically different than that of the “world.” If you area believer, think back to before you became one, have you seen your desires for certain things change from then until now? Or how they have changed even during you walk with God?