Study Guide

Johannine Epsitles (1-3 John) 1 John 1

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1 John 1

Intro to Jesus 101

  • The letter opens with a speaker…er, multiple speakers, who start declaring all kinds of things. It's mainly stuff about Jesus, but hey, what did you expect?
  • The speakers say that, from the beginning, they've been able to hear and see and touch "the word of life." That's just a poetic way of saying that, in addition to being God and all that, Jesus was a flesh and blood human being (source, 1179).
  • They also announce that they know all about eternal life and what God revealed to the world in Jesus. Secret knowledge? Bring it on.
  • They're saying all this so that everyone can live in harmony with them as one big happy Christian community. Kumbaya, folks.
  • Basically, the message they need to deliver is this: God is a light. That'll come in pretty handy when the power goes out.
  • If you live your life for God, then you won't ever be in the dark, they say. But don't toss your flashlights yet—it's just a metaphor.
  • How do you know you're in the light? Easy. You're part of a community—specifically the same Christian community that the speakers are part of. Hey, God loves joiners.
  • And how do you know you're not in the light? Well, one clue is if you say you're not a sinner. That's a bad move because, honey, everyone's a sinner.
  • The good news is that if you admit your sins to God, he'll forgive you, and things will be all hunky dory. Hopefully you'll start being a better person, too.
  • But if you keep going on about how sinless and perfect you are, you're clearly not tight with God.
  • And that's what the speakers have to say.

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