That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:1-4)
The Word of God, who was with God and who IS God and who was from the beginning… This man Jesus, we [Jesus’ best friend, John, and the other apostles] have heard with our own ears and have seen with our own eyes and have have touched with our own hands. This Jesus is God’s very Word of Life to us, and taught us true life by His presence in our midst. Ultimate and eternal life was made manifest [obvious, clear] among us in Him. We ourselves experienced it, and so we testify to the life God makes available to all of us. We proclaim it to you, in the hopes that you too would seek God’s face and appropriate His life for yourself, as we have. Thereby, you will have fellowship with God the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ, and with us as well — the ultimate community, the form and nature of which cannot be surpassed. We declare this life and fellowship to you, because nothing gives or could give us greater joy.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
We heard this message from Jesus Himself and therefore proclaim it to you … that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. The light is the kingdom and glory of God, where He lives and reigns, uncontested and unquestioned — where the Lord sits rightly on His throne, where His every judgment is good and His every command is joyfully obeyed. The darkness is everywhere beyond those walls — a wicked and twisted kingdom where others wrongly sit on thrones, where God’s law is ignored or even despised, and where there can be no life or joy or fullness of any kind. Only deception, withering sorrow, defeat, and certain death.
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:6)
If we say that we have fellowship with God while we walk in darkness, we are lying to ourselves and to others. We thereby deceive ourselves and practice falsehood rather than the truth. Only the delusional would believe they are eating at the table of the King while they in fact walk alone in the dark woods many miles from the King’s castle.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with Him. From out of the depths of the lonely haunted forest into the well-lit laughter of the great banquet hall of the King. And we do not eat alone with God, but in the fellowship of His children, the church. And we do not eat free at His table, for the blood of Jesus his Son has purified [cleansed] us from all sin, permitting us entrance not just for the occasional meal but to become a part of God’s own family.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
If we say we have not sinned and do not need cleansing before we enter the palace, then we make God out to be a liar. We stand in the garden of Eden all over again and declare that God has no right to identify one thought or word or act to be “good” and another to be “evil”. We will judge that for ourselves, thank you very much. Thereby we claim that God in His judgments lies, while we in our judgments are wise and trustworthy. Surely we, in our minds, are better suited to the throne than He is. In the midst of this delusion, we are strangers to His ways and His word. His law can therefore be neither in our hearts or on our lips. His truth is not in us.
If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:10)
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. God admits no one to His table who is not clean … pure … spotless. There are no filthy hands at God’s table and no filthy hearts among God’s children. No haughty eyes or self-righteous proclamations or tightly-gripped rings of power, either.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Only the clean and the humble will eat at God’s table. But this is not of ourselves. The great lie of the human race is that we can clean own own hands and purify our own hearts. I cannot. You cannot. Only Jesus. Only by the precious blood of the only begotten Son of God. For if we confess [profess, acknowledge, avow, proclaim] our sin before God and man, He will act in power on our behalf. This Jesus, whom we crucified…
- He is faithful — never failing to do what He promises
- He is just — always acting in the right and for our good, justified in His every action
- He forgives us our sins — sends them away, releases them, remits against them on their behalf, erases our debt, lays aside His full right to vengeance
- He purifies us from all unrighteousness — makes us utterly pure, with no stain or blemish remaining; where there were filthy rags, there remains now only spotless white
Out of God’s very nature, He acts within His right as sovereign Ruler to cancel your unpayable debt and credit to your account His infinite riches.
The True Light, Who gives light to everyone, has come into the world (John 1:9). But this is God’s devastating judgment: that people love the darkness instead of the light, because their deeds are evil (3:19). Jesus has come to the world He Himself created, but many do not receive Him. However, to all who do receive Him, to those who believe in His name, He gives the right to become children of God (1:11-12).
Darkness or light? The choice is yours.
I want to be in the light, as you are in the light. I want to shine like the stars in the heavens. O Lord, be my light and be my salvation, for all I want is to be in the light. All I want is to be in the light. —Charlie Peacock, for DC Talk