I’m not going to lie, I had to read verses 1-4 a few times, and ended up resorting to The Message to try and get a clear picture of what Paul was getting at. Once I read The Message and my concordance it’s not a difficult thought, just the wording isn’t the easiest to read. A lot of “that which”, “made manifest” and “we have seen” duplicate phrases, run on sentences etc going on. Early morning studies & that combination = my brain was just not getting it.
So now that I’ve immersed myself in these verses, this is what I am getting…
v1-2 – They heard, saw, looked upon & touched the physical “Word of Life.” The Eternal Life (Jesus) was with God in Heaven, then He came and showed Himself to the world in human form.
v3-4 – John was telling the readers of His letter these things so that they could share in this beautiful fellowship John had with the other Christians, with God Himself and with His Son.
I don’t know about you, but because I believe the Bible is the Word of God (complete truth) and I have been taught these things since I was born – I find as I read them I sometimes just nod and write my notes as though it is all matter of fact, common sense, head knowledge. “Okay, so He came down. Born of a virgin. In the form of a man. Died on a cross…” and I lose the awe factor. Like… God, the Creator, the One who spoke this world into existence… sent His only Son down to earth in the form of a mere human. He sent Him for the sole purpose of dying a gruesome sacrificial death, all because we are sinners, and we need a savior. That is absolutely mind-blowing if you actually take the time to let those words sink in. So I really need to discipline myself to read as though I’m hearing these things for the first time. I want to really grasp the crazy love that God had for us.
- What were your initial thoughts when you read the first 4 verses?
- Were you awe-struck by these truths or are you too in the rut that I am? Any practical study tips on how to get out?
V5-10 – Light vs. Darkness
v5 – God is light & in Him is no darkness.
The next few verses go back and forth (6,8 & 10 are to those who walk in darkness) and (7 &9 are to Christians)
v6,8&10 – You can’t walk in darkness and have a relationship with God. You are calling God a liar if you say you haven’t sinned – therefore the Word/truth is not in you (because God cannot lie!)
v7&9 – If we walk in His ways, we have fellowship with other Christians and with Him. The blood of Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross. If we confess our sins to God, He will forgive us. He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Praise the Lord.
- Write out a list of characteristics/analogy’s/contrasts of light & dark
My favorite thought is that darkness has no power over light. If there is light, darkness cannot “turn on” or “remove light” – because darkness is only the absence of light. Darkness has no power over us as Christians either. We are full of light – because He IS light and His Spirit dwells within us.
I also find it true in my own life that just like in a dimly lit room lots of “dirt” can go unnoticed // when I stop reading & praying & having happy fellowship with God, my conscience gets immune to the little sins around me. But when I am “walking in the light” I am more alert and aware of sin and acknowledge it for what it is.
A Christian who is walking closely with God will never think or say “I’ve made it! I’m just like Christ. I’m nearly perfect!” Because the closer you get to God, the more sinful you realize you are. He shines so bright that even the corners and crevices of your life (where you tuck some of those little sins away) are exposed are you can see it all for what it really is.
- Think about your life – is there a difference in your tolerance of sin/things you are convicted about depending on how close you are to God (the Light) ?
- What are some specific areas of your life that you know you let sin creep in when you aren’t in happy fellowship with the Lord?Think of one or two practical ways to stay “walking in the Light.”
I hope you enjoyed the first week of 1 John. Please share any thoughts you had//practical applications etc! I LOVE reading your comments – it encourages me more than you will ever know!