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1 John Chapter One


1 John 1

The Epistle of John has a peculiar character. It is eternal life manifested in Jesus, and imparted to us--the life which was with the Father, and which is in the Son. It is in this life that believers enjoy the communion of the Father, that they are in relationship with the Father by the Spirit of adoption, and that they have fellowship with the Father and the Son. God's own character is that which tests it; because it proceeds from Himself.

The first chapter establishes these two latter points: namely, communion with the Father and the Son, and that this communion must be according to the essential character of God. The name of Father is that which gives character to the second chapter. Afterwards it is that which God is, which tests the reality of imparted life.

The Epistles of Paul, although speaking of this life, are in general occupied with setting before Christians the truth respecting the means of standing in the presence of God justified and accepted. The Epistle of John, that is to say, his First, shews us the life that comes from God by Jesus Christ. John sets God before us, the Father revealed in the Son, and eternal life in Him. Paul sets us before God accepted in Christ. I speak of what characterises them. Each respectively touches on the other point.

Now, this life is so precious, manifested as it is in the Person of Jesus, that the epistle now before us has in this respect quite a peculiar charm. When I, too, turn my eyes to Jesus, when I contemplate all His obedience, His purity, His grace, His tenderness, His patience, His devotedness, His holiness, His love, His entire freedom from all self-seeking, I can say, That is my life.

This is immeasurable grace. It may be that it is obscured in me; but it is none the less true, that that is my life. Oh how do I enjoy it thus seen! How I bless God for it! What rest to the soul! What pure joy to the heart! At the same time Jesus Himself is the object of my affections; and all my affections are formed on that holy object. [1] But we must turn to our epistle. There were many pretensions to new light, to clearer views. It was said that Christianity was very good as an elementary thing; but that it was grown old, and that there was a new light which went far beyond that twilight truth.

The Person of our Lord, the true manifestation of the divine life itself, dissipated all those proud pretensions, those exaltations of the human mind under the influence of the enemy, which did but obscure the truth, and lead the mind of men back into the darkness whence they themselves proceeded.

That which was from the beginning (of Christianity that is, in the Person of Christ), that which they heard, had seen with their own eyes, had contemplated, had touched with their own hands, of the Word of life-that was it which the apostle declared. For the life itself had been manifested. That life which was with the Father had been manifested to the disciples. Could there be anything more perfect, more excellent, any development more admirable in the eyes of God, than Christ Himself, than that Life which was with the Father, manifested in all its perfection in the Person of the Son? As soon as the Person of the Son is the object of our faith, we feel that perfection must have been at the beginning.

The Person then of the Son, the eternal life manifested in the flesh, is our subject in this epistle.

Grace is consequently to be remarked here in that which regards life; while Paul presents it in connection with justification. The law promised life upon obedience; but life came in the Person of Jesus, in all its own divine perfection, in its human manifestations. Oh how precious is the truth that this life, such as it was with the Father, such as it was in Jesus, is given to us! In what relationships it sets us, by the power of the Holy Ghost, with the Father and with the Son Himself! And this is what the Spirit here first sets before us. And observe, how it is all grace here. Farther on, indeed, He tests all pretensions to the possession of fellowship with God, by displaying God's own character; a character from which He can never deviate. But, before entering on this, He presents the Saviour Himself, and communion with the Father and the Son by this means, without question and without modification. This is our position and our eternal joy.

The apostle had seen that life, had touched it with his own hands; and he wrote to others, proclaiming this, in order that they also should have communion with Him in the knowledge of the life which had been thus manifested. [2] Now, inasmuch as that life was the Son, it could not be known without knowing the Son, that is, that which He was, entering into His thoughts, His feelings: otherwise He is not really known. It was thus they had communion with Him--with the Son. Precious fact! to enter into the thoughts (all the thoughts), and into the feelings, of the Son of God come down in grace: to do this in fellowship with Him, that is to say, not only knowing them, but sharing these thoughts and feelings with Him. In effect, it is the life.

But we cannot have the Son without having the Father. He who had seen Him had seen the Father; and consequently he who had communion with the Son had communion with the Father; for their thoughts and feelings were all one. He is in the Father, and the Father in Him. We have fellowship therefore with the Father. And this is true also, when we look at it in another aspect. We know that the Father has entire delight in the Son. Now He has given us, by revealing the Son, to take our delight in Him also, feeble as we are. I know, when I am delighting in Jesus-in His obedience, His love to His Father, to us, His single eye and purely devoted heart--I have the same feelings, the same thoughts, as the Father Himself. In that the Father delights, cannot but delight, in Him in whom I now delight, I have communion with the Father. So with the Son in the knowledge of the Father. All this flows, whether in the one or the other point of view, from the Person of the Son. Herein our joy is full. What can we have more than the Father and the Son? What more perfect happiness than community of thoughts, feelings, joys, and communion, with the Father and the Son, deriving all our joy from themselves? And if it seem difficult to believe, let us remember that, in truth, it cannot be otherwise: for, in the life of Christ, the Holy Ghost is the source of my thoughts, feelings, communion, and He cannot give thoughts different from those of the Father and the Son. They must be in their nature the same. To say that they are adoring thoughts is in the very nature of things, and only makes them more precious. To say that they are feeble and often hindered, while the Father and the Son are divine and perfect, is, if true, to say the Father and the Son are God, are divine, and we feeble creatures. That surely none will deny. But if the blessed Spirit be the source, they must be the same as to nature and fact.

This is our christian position then, here below in time, through the knowledge of the Son of God; as the apostle says, " These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full."

But He who was the life which came from the Father, has brought us the knowledge of God. [3] The apostle had heard from His lips that which God was--knowledge of priceless value, but which searches the heart. And this also the apostle, on the Lord's part, announces to believers. This then is the message which they had heard from Him, namely, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness. With regard to Christ, He spoke that which He knew, and bore testimony to that which He had seen. No one had been in heaven, save He who came down from thence. No one had seen God. The Only-begotten, who is in the bosom of the Father, He had declared Him. No one had seen the Father, save He who was of God; He had seen the Father. Thus He could, of His own and perfect knowledge, reveal Him. [4] Now God was light, perfect purity, which makes manifest at the same time all that is pure, and all that is not so. To have communion with light, one must oneself be light, be of its nature, and fit to be seen in the perfect light. It can only be linked with that which is of itself. If there is anything else that mingles with it, light is no longer light. It is absolute in its nature, so as to exclude all that is not itself.

Therefore, if we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not practise truth: our life is a perpetual lie.

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we (believers) have communion with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. These are the great principles, the great features of christian position. We are in the presence of God without a veil. It is a real thing, a matter of life and of walk. It is not the same thing as walking according to the light; but it is in the light. That is to say, that this walk is before the eyes of God, enlightened by the full revelation of what He is. It is not that there is no sin in us; but walking in the light, the will and the conscience being in the light as God is in it, everything is judged that does not answer to it. We live and walk morally in the sense that God is present, and as knowing Him. We walk thus in the light. The moral rule of our will is God Himself, God known. The thoughts that sway the heart come from Himself and are formed upon the revelation of Himself. The apostle puts these things always in an abstract way: thus he says, "he cannot sin, because he is born of God;" and that maintains the moral rule of this life; it is its nature; it is the truth, inasmuch as the man is born of God. We cannot have any other measure of it: any other would be false. It does not follow, alas! that we are always consistent; but we are inconsistent if we are not in this state; we are not walking according to the nature that we possess; we are out of our true condition according to that nature.

Moreover, walking in the light, as God is in the light, believers have communion with each other. The world is selfish. The flesh, the passions, seek their own gratification; but, if I walk in the light, self has no place there. I can enjoy the light, and all I seek in it, with another, and there is no jealousy. If another possess a carnal thing, I am deprived of it. In the light we have fellow-possession of that which He gives us, and we enjoy it the more by sharing it together. This is a touchstone to all that is of the flesh. As much as one is in the light, so much will we have fellow-enjoyment with another who is in it. The apostle, as we have said, states this in an abstract and absolute way. This is the truest way to know the thing itself. The rest is only a question of realisation.

In the third place, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

To walk in the light as God is in it, to have fellowship with one another, to be cleansed from all sin by the blood; these are the three parts of christian position. We feel the need there is of the last; for while walking in the light as God is in the light, with (blessed be God) a perfect revelation to us of Himself with a nature that knows Him, that is capable of seeing Him spiritually, as the eye is made to appreciate light (for we participate in the divine nature), we cannot say that we have no sin. The light itself would contradict us. But we can say that the blood of [5] Through the Spirit we enjoy the light together: it is the common joy of our hearts before God, and well pleasing to Him; a testimony to our common participation in the divine nature, which is love also. And our conscience is no hindrance, because we know the value of the blood. We have no conscience of sin upon us before God, though we know it is in us; but we have the conscience of being clean from it by the blood. But the same light which shews us this, prevents our saying (if we are in it) that we have no sin in us; we should deceive ourselves if we said so; and the truth would not be in us; for if the truth were in us, if that revelation of the divine nature, which is light, Christ our life, were in us, the sin that is in us would be judged by the light itself. If it be not judged, this light-the truth which speaks of things as they are-is not in us.


[1] And this is morally very important; while it is in Him, not in myself, that I rejoice and delight.

[2] The life has been manifested. Therefore we have no longer to seek for it, to grope after it in the darkness, to explore at random the indefinite, or the obscurity of our own hearts, in order to find it, to labour fruitlessly under the law, in order to obtain it. We behold it: it is revealed, it is here, in Jesus Christ. He who possesses Christ possesses that life.

[3] It will be found that, when grace to us is spoken of in John's writings, he speaks of the Father and the Son; when the nature of God or our responsibility, he says God. John 3 and 1 John 4 may seem exceptions, but are not. It is what God is as such, not personal action and relationship in grace.

[4] He who had seen Him had seen the Father; but here the apostle speaks of a message and the revelation of His nature.

[5] It is not said "has" nor "will." It does not refer to time, but to its efficacy. As I might say such a medicine cures the ague. It is its efficacy.

── John DarbySynopsis of 1 John


1 John 1

Chapter Contents

The apostle prefaces his epistle to believers in general, with evident testimonies to Christ, for promoting their happiness and joy. (1-4) The necessity of a life of holiness, in order to communion with God, is shown. (5-10)

Commentary on 1 John 1:1-4

(Read 1 John 1:1-4)

That essential Good, that uncreated Excellence, which had been from the beginning, from eternity, as equal with the Father, and which at length appeared in human nature for the salvation of sinners, was the great subject concerning which the apostle wrote to his brethren. The apostles had seen Him while they witnessed his wisdom and holiness, his miracles, and love and mercy, during some years, till they saw him crucified for sinners, and afterwards risen from the dead. They touched him, so as to have full proof of his resurrection. This Divine Person, the Word of life, the Word of God, appeared in human nature, that he might be the Author and Giver of eternal life to mankind, through the redemption of his blood, and the influence of his new-creating Spirit. The apostles declared what they had seen and heard, that believers might share their comforts and everlasting advantages. They had free access to God the Father. They had a happy experience of the truth in their souls, and showed its excellence in their lives. This communion of believers with the Father and the Son, is begun and kept up by the influences of the Holy Spirit. The benefits Christ bestows, are not like the scanty possessions of the world, causing jealousies in others; but the joy and happiness of communion with God is all-sufficient, so that any number may partake of it; and all who are warranted to say, that truly their fellowship is with the Father, will desire to lead others to partake of the same blessedness.

Commentary on 1 John 1:5-10

(Read 1 John 1:5-10)

A message from the Lord Jesus, the Word of life, the eternal Word, we should all gladly receive. The great God should be represented to this dark world, as pure and perfect light. As this is the nature of God, his doctrines and precepts must be such. And as his perfect happiness cannot be separated from his perfect holiness, so our happiness will be in proportion to our being made holy. To walk in darkness, is to live and act against religion. God holds no heavenly fellowship or intercourse with unholy souls. There is no truth in their profession; their practice shows its folly and falsehood. The eternal Life, the eternal Son, put on flesh and blood, and died to wash us from our sins in his own blood, and procures for us the sacred influences by which sin is to be subdued more and more, till it is quite done away. While the necessity of a holy walk is insisted upon, as the effect and evidence of the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus, the opposite error of self-righteous pride is guarded against with equal care. All who walk near to God, in holiness and righteousness, are sensible that their best days and duties are mixed with sin. God has given testimony to the sinfulness of the world, by providing a sufficient, effectual Sacrifice for sin, needed in all ages; and the sinfulness of believers themselves is shown, by requiring them continually to confess their sins, and to apply by faith to the blood of that Sacrifice. Let us plead guilty before God, be humble, and willing to know the worst of our case. Let us honestly confess all our sins in their full extent, relying wholly on his mercy and truth through the righteousness of Christ, for a free and full forgiveness, and our deliverance from the power and practice of sin.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 1 John


1 John 1

Verse 1

[1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

That which was — Here means, He which was the Word himself; afterwards it means, that which they had heard from him.

Which was — Namely, with the Father, verse 2, before he was manifested.

From the beginning — This phrase is sometimes used in a limited sense; but here it properly means from eternity, being equivalent with, "in the beginning," John 1:1.

That which we — The apostles. Have not only heard, but seen with our eyes, which we have beheld - Attentively considered on various occasions.

Of the Word of life — He is termed the Word, John 1:1; the Life, John 1:4; as he is the living Word of God, who, with the Father and the Spirit, is the fountain of life to all creatures, particularly of spiritual and eternal life.

Verse 2

[2] (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

For the life — The living Word.

Was manifested — In the flesh, to our very senses.

And we testify and declare — We testify by declaring, by preaching, and writing, 1 John 1:3,4. Preaching lays the foundation, 1 John 1:5-10: writing builds there on.

To you — Who have not seen.

The eternal life — Which always was, and afterward appeared to us. This is mentioned in the beginning of the epistle. In the end of it is mentioned the same eternal life, which we shall always enjoy.

Verse 3

[3] That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

That which we have seen and heard — Of him and from him.

Declare we to you — For this end.

That ye also may have fellowship with us — May enjoy the same fellowship which we enjoy.

And truly our fellowship — Whereby he is in us and we in him.

Is with the Father and with the son — Of the Holy Ghost he speaks afterwards.

Verse 4

[4] And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

That your joy may be full — So our Lord also, John 15:11; 16:22. There is a joy of hope, a joy of faith, and a joy of love. Here the joy of faith is directly intended. It is a concise expression.

Your joy — That is, your faith and the joy arising from it: but it likewise implies the joy of hope and love.

Verse 5

[5] This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

And this is the sum of the message which we have heard of him - The Son of God.

That God is light — The light of wisdom, love, holiness, glory. What light is to the natural eye, that God is to the spiritual eye.

And in him is no darkness at all — No contrary principle. He is pure, unmixed light.

Verse 6

[6] If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

If we say — Either with our tongue, or in our heart, if we endeavour to persuade either ourselves or others. We have fellowship with him, while we walk, either inwardly or outwardly, in darkness - In sin of any kind.

We do not the truth — Our actions prove, that the truth is not in us.

Verse 7

[7] But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

But if we walk in the light — In all holiness. As God is (a deeper word than walk, and more worthy of God) in the light, then we may truly say, we have fellowship one with another - We who have seen, and you who have not seen, do alike enjoy that fellowship with God. The imitation of God being the only sure proof of our having fellowship with him.

And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son — With the grace purchased thereby.

Cleanseth us from all sin — Both original and actual, taking away all the guilt and all the power.

Verse 8

[8] If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we say — Any child of man, before his blood has cleansed us.

We have no sin — To be cleansed from, instead of confessing our sins, 1 John 1:9, the truth is not in us - Neither in our mouth nor in our heart.

Verse 9

[9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

But if with a penitent and believing heart, we confess our sins, he is faithful - Because he had promised this blessing, by the unanimous voice of all his prophets.

Just — Surely then he will punish: no; for this very reason he will pardon. This may seem strange; but upon the evangelical principle of atonement and redemption, it is undoubtedly true; because, when the debt is paid, or the purchase made, it is the part of equity to cancel the bond, and consign over the purchased possession.

Both to forgive us our sins — To take away all the guilt of them.

And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness — To purify our souls from every kind and every degree of it.

Verse 10

[10] If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Yet still we are to retain, even to our lives' end, a deep sense of our past sins. Still if we say, we have not sinned, we make him a liar - Who saith, all have sinned.

And his word is not in us — We do not receive it; we give it no place in our hearts.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 1 John


1 John 1:9

There are two ways to keep a diesel truck running. The first is called “trouble-shoot and repair” and involves waiting for a breakdown and then trying to fix the problem. It involves so much down-time, however, that most truckers now use the “preventive maintenance” approach, in which problems are anticipated and thus solved before they occur.

It is good to be reminded by 1 John 1:9 that forgiveness is there when we sin. But how much better to maintain such a life of faith and discipline that the breakdown never occurs!”


Chapter 1. The Light of Spiritual Fellowship

Claim to Be Without Sin
Deceive Oneself

I. The Word of Life from the Beginning

  1. Heard with Our Ears
  2. Seen with Our Eyes
  3. Touched with Our Hands

II. The Reality of Fellowship between God and Men

  1. God is Light
  2. Words in Conformity with Deeds
  3. Jesus' Blood Purifies Our Sins

III. Confess Our Sins

  1. Faithful and Just
  2. Sins Forgiven
  3. Resume Fellowship

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

      1. Which was "from the beginning"
         a. John may have reference to the creation of the world - cf. 
            Jn 1:1
         b. Or he may have reference to the beginning of the gospel - 
            cf. 1 Jn 2:7,13,24; 3:11
      2. This "Word of life" was...
         a. "heard"
         b. "seen with our eyes"
         c. "looked upon"
         d. "handled"
         -- all emphasizing that this "Word" was "real, in the flesh"; 
            an obvious reference to Jesus - cf. Jn 1:1,14
      1. Which was...
         a. With the Father
         b. And then manifested to the apostles, who had seen and were 
            bearing witness
      2. Again, this is an obvious reference to Jesus Christ
      3. But notice the use of the NEUTER gender throughout this 
         a. The emphasis appears to be on the "life" which Jesus had, 
            especially that which is "eternal" ("that eternal life")
         b. It is this same "life" which we can possess if we truly
            believe in the name of the Son of God - cf. 1 Jn 5:11-13
      4. Thus John is focusing on the "eternal life" which Jesus offers
         and made possible by His coming in the flesh
      1. Here is the reason for declaring the "Word of life", the 
         "eternal life"
      2. By declaring this "life" (revealed by Jesus and through
         Jesus), "fellowship" is possible
         a. Fellowship involves the idea of "sharing, communion"
         b. The "sharing, communion" that the apostles have is with the
            Father and His Son
      3. John wanted his readers to participate in this same sharing...
         a. "that you also may have fellowship with us"
         b. I.e., that you can experience what we are experiencing!
      4. Why does John desire this?  Read on...
      1. It is "fellowship" with the Father and Son that makes the 
         "life" of a Christian so full of joy!
      2. And just as Jesus came to give us "abundant life" (Jn 10:10),
         so John now writes...
         a. That we may be sure to have fellowship with the Father and 
            His Son, in Whom is "eternal life" - cf. Jn 17:3
         b. So that our joy may be full!
1. From 1 Jn 1:1-4, then, we learn that fullness of joy comes only 
   when we are in fellowship with the Father and the Son
2. Only then do we have that "eternal life", which was first manifested
   in the flesh by Jesus Himself, and now given only through Jesus - 
   cf. 1 Jn 5:11-13
3. In our next lesson, we shall see what John says is essential if we 
   are to truly have fellowship with God (1 Jn 1:5-2:2)
But if you are not a Christian, let me explain how such fellowship with
God can begin... - cf. Ga 3:26-27


Fellowship With God (1:5-2:2)
1. In the first four verses of First John, we saw that John's aim in
   this epistle is...
   a. To declare the "Word of life", the "eternal life" that was with
      the Father and has been manifested in Jesus Christ - 1 Jn 1:1-2
   b. That we might have fellowship with the Father and Son, just as
      the apostles do - 1 Jn 1:3
   c. That we might have fullness of joy - 1 Jn 1:4
2. So to have fullness of joy...we must experience the kind of life 
   that comes from having fellowship with God!
3. What is the basis for fellowship with God, so that we may have the
   life that produces fullness of joy?
   a. In our text (1 Jn 1:5-2:2), John discusses the basis for
      fellowship with God
   b. He also describes the place of sin, and how it can affect that
[With verse 5, we notice...]
      1. The figure of light is often used in the Scriptures to 
         describe that which to good, righteous, and true - cf. Ep 5:
      2. Therefore, God must always be thought of in this way:  He is 
         good, He is righteous, He is true!
      1. The figure of darkness would represent the opposite of light:
         evil, unrighteousness, falsehood
      2. Therefore we can never think of God as countenancing sin, 
         excusing it in any way
[With this basic understanding clearly established of what God is, John
now addresses some...]
      1. Why is this claim false?
         a. Because fellowship means to have something in common
         b. And we have seen that God is "light" (goodness,
            righteousness, truth)
         c. "Walking in darkness", therefore, would be going against
            everything God stands for! - cf. Ep 4:17-24
      2. What is the result of such a claim?
         a. We are false in our WORDS ("we lie")
         b. We are false in our DEEDS ("do not practice the truth")
      3. Instead, we should "walk in the light as He is in the light"
         a. I.e., instead of living a life characterized by "evil,
            unrighteousness, and error" (all the while claiming to have
            fellowship with God)...
         b. ...we should live a life in harmony with God's "goodness,
            righteousness, and truth"!
      4. Only then will we experience:
         a. "Fellowship with one another"
            1) That is, we will have fellowship with God
            2) Whereby we can share in that life which is eternal, and 
               provides fullness of joy!
         b. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son [which] cleanses us from
            all sin"
            1) This suggests that "walking in the light" does not imply
            2) Any more than "walking in darkness" implies total 
               absence of good
            3) Rather, "walking in the light" suggests...
               a) A life making progress under the positive influence 
                  of God's "light"
               b) A life enjoying the cleansing power of Jesus' blood 
                  as one meets the conditions of forgiveness outlined 
   B. "WE HAVE NO SIN" (8,9)
      1. John may have reference to statements made by professing
         Christians who thought they had become sinless
      2. The consequences of such a claim...
         a. Self-deceit ("we deceive ourselves")
         b. Living in error ("the truth is not in us")
         c. I.e., walking in darkness, not walking in light!
      3. Instead, we should freely confess our sins - 1 Jn 1:9a; cf. 
         Pr 28:13
      4. Then God, who is "faithful" (trustworthy) and "just" (one who 
         does what is right) will...
         a. "forgive us our sins"
         b. "cleanse us from all unrighteousness"
         ...through His mercy He makes it possible for to continue in 
         fellowship with Him!
      1. This claim may have been made by some denying they had ever
      2. The consequences of this claim are grievous...
         a. We make God a liar! - cf. Ro 3:23
         b. His Word is not in us!
      3. How can anyone who makes such claims as these hope to have 
         true fellowship with God, and thereby enjoy the life such 
         fellowship gives?
      4. Fellowship with God does not occur by making claims that turn 
         God into a liar!
[Though affirming that we do sin, John is not seeking to encourage sin.
Indeed, he is writing to discourage sin (1 Jn 2:1).
But fellowship with God requires that a person takes sin seriously.  To
appreciate further how serious God takes sin, we learn that...]
      1. The word "advocate"...
         a. Literally means "to call to one's side, to one's aid"
         b. It suggests the capability for giving aid
         c. Used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, a 
            counsel for the defense
         d. Generally, it is one who pleads another's case, an 
      2. Jesus is the perfect "advocate", for He is RIGHTEOUS
         a. As sinners, we are alienated from God - cf. Isa 59:1-2
         b. But since Jesus is without sin, He is a fit representative
            to come before God on our behalf!
         c. The author of Hebrews also makes the point that though 
            righteous, He understands our situation perfectly - cf. He 
            2:17-18; 4:14-16
      1. The word "propitiation" means "an appeasing"
         a. E.g., the pagans would offer sacrifices to appease their
         b. In the New Testament, it is God, not man, who offers the 
            appeasing sacrifice - cf. 1 Jn 4:10
         c. Through His death on the cross, Jesus is the means by which
            God can show mercy to the sinner
         d. This explains how God can be "just" (cf. 1 Jn 1:9) and 
            still forgive sin
         e. This wonderful "propitiation" was given to the whole world,
            but is accessed only by those who believe in Jesus - cf. 
            1 Jn 2:2; Ro 3:21-26
1. In this first chapter, and even into the second, John makes it clear
   upon what basis we can have fellowship with God, and enjoy the life 
   that provides fullness of joy
2. To have fellowship with God, we who are Christians must...
   a. Not walk in darkness, but walk in the light of God's goodness, 
      righteous, and truth
   b. Admit that we have sinned, and do sin
   c. Utilize our "advocate" (Jesus Christ), Whom God provides as the 
      "propitiation" for our sins
In 1 Jn 1:9, John explained how those who are already children of God
can appropriate the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus (through 
confession and prayer).  But how about the alien sinner?  - cf. Ac 2:
38; 22:16 (faith, repentance, and baptism)

--《Executable Outlines


The light of spiritual fellowship

Claim to be without sin

Deceive oneself


I.  The word of life from the beginning

1.    Heard with our ears

2.    Seen with our eyes

3.    Touched with our hands

II.The reality of fellowship between God and men

1.    God is light

2.    Words in conformity with deeds

3.    Jesus’ blood purifies our sins

III.       Confess our sins

1.    Faithful and just

2.    Sins forgiven

3.    Resume fellowship

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament