1 John 1–3: We Have Seen & Testify & Proclaim

Read the Bible in 2011Week 48: Sunday

What was from the beginning, what we have
heard, what we have seen with our eyes,
what we have looked at and touched with
our hands, concerning the Word of Life—

and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—

what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
1 John 1:1–4

Sunday’s Bible reading is 1 John 1–3. The evening I became a Christian, the guy who had shared the Gospel with me also read 1 John 5:13, and then told me to go home and read the entire letter—because 1 John is a letter of assurance. Even as John told us his purpose in writing his Gospel,

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
John 20:30–31

in 1 John 5:13 he tells us his purpose in writing this letter.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 5:13

John writes about realities which he wants us to understand, and he provides assurance of their truth in his explanations—so that Christians may know that we have eternal life.

This is a word cloud made from the words in 1 John. The larger the word, the more frequently it appears in 1 John. This gives you an idea of John’s themes and emphases. Click on the image to enlarge it.

1 John Wordle Lg Wht Bkgrd

His words of assurance include distinguishing truth from lies: recognizing false teachers— Who is the liar but the one that denies Jesus is the Christ? (2:22) and those who claim to be Christians, but are not—

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
1 John 3:9–10

As you read the letter you’ll see things that remind you of John’s Gospel, and the teaching Jesus gave at that last Passover meal before His crucifixion. John’s writing reverberates with the New Commandment. The letter is undergirded throughout with his great theme of love—God’s love for us, and the love Christians are to have for each other.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34–35
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.”
John 15:12–14

Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications

Original content: Copyright ©2011–2013 Iwana Carpenter

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