1 John 1:1 – 2:2

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-9-07-49-amChapter 1
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.

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. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Chapter 2
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin,
we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

 Verse 1:1 – What do you suppose were some of John’s most vivid memories of Jesus?
Why does John refer to Jesus as the “word of life”?
The Greek word for “word” is logos. Jesus is “the Logos.” What was the significance of using this word to John’s readers. (Click HERE for help and /or see Note 1 below)
 Verse 1:2 refers to what is known as the “incarnation.” What is the incarnation and why is it absolutely necessary to the Christian faith? (Click HERE for help)
Why is the incarnation such a stumbling block for unbelievers? (see Note 2 below)
Verse 1:3 – The word for fellowship is “koininia.” What does John say is the mark of koininia?
Why is koininia such an important element of a community of believers? What can the church do better to experience koininia and not just social gatherings?
Verse 1:4 – Why would John say that writing this makes his joy complete?
Verse 1:5 – If you were to sum up the message of the gospel in one tweet (140 characters) what would you say? Why does John say it the way that he says it (only 47 characters)?
Verses 1:6-7 – Is it possible to have fellowship with God and yet to walk in the darkness?
What does it mean to walk in the light?
How does blood purify sin?
Verse 1:8 – Explain how people can rationalize away sin. Why is the doctrine of sin so important to understanding Christianity.
Verse 1:9 – The word confess (homologeo) means to “agree with” or “to say the same thing as.” Why do we have to confess sin in order to be forgiven of sin? (Click HERE)
Verse 2:1 – What  are your top 3 goals in life? Note what John’s goal is in writing? Have you ever heard anyone describe this as one of their life goals?
Jonathan Edwards, one of the great preachers of colonial America and perhaps it’s greatest theologian and a huge part of the First Great Awakening used to make resolutions. One of his was, “Resolved, never to do anything which I would be afraid to do  if it were the last hour of my life.” Why he resolve to do such a thing?
Verse 2:2 – Explain what “propitiation” means. (Click HERE for help)
Does Jesus’ sacrifice take away the sins of the whole world or just of those who believe? Explain your answer.
Notice all the “if” phrases in verses 1:6-2:1. Why is “IF” such a big word in these verses?
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Note 1:
John is introducing Jesus with a word or a term that both his Jewish and Gentile readers would have been familiar with. The Greek word translated “Word” in this passage is Logos, and it was common in both Greek philosophy and Jewish thought of that day. For example, in the Old Testament the “word” of God is often personified as an instrument for the execution of God’s will (Psalm 33:6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:15-18). So, for his Jewish readers, by introducing Jesus as the “Word,” John is in a sense pointing them back to the Old Testament where the Logos or “Word” of God is associated with the personification of God’s revelation. And in Greek philosophy, the term Logos was used to describe the intermediate agency by which God created material things and communicated with them. In the Greek worldview, the Logos was thought of as a bridge between the transcendent God and the material universe. Therefore, for his Greek readers the use of the term Logos would have likely brought forth the idea of a mediating principle between God and the world.
So, essentially, what John is doing by introducing Jesus as the Logos is drawing upon a familiar word and concept that both Jews and Gentiles of his day would have been familiar with and using that as the starting point from which He introduces them to Jesus Christ. But John goes beyond the familiar concept of Logos that his Jewish and Gentile readers would have had and presents Jesus Christ not as a mere mediating principle like the Greeks perceived, but as a personal being, fully divine, yet fully human. Also, Christ was not simply a personification of God’s revelation as the Jews thought, but was indeed God’s perfect revelation of Himself in the flesh, so much so that John would record Jesus’ own words to Philip: “Jesus said unto Him, ‘Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, “Show us the Father”?'” (John 14:9). By using the term Logos or “Word” in John 1:1, John is amplifying and applying a concept with which his audience was familiar and using that to introduce his readers to the true Logos of God in Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God, fully God and yet fully man, who came to reveal God to man and redeem all who believe in Him from their sin. (https://gotquestions.org/Jesus-Word-God.html)
Note 2:

Many are willing to believe in Christ if he remains a merely spiritual reality. But when we preach that Christ has become a particular man in a particular place issuing particular commands and dying on a particular cross exposing the particular sins of our particular lives, then the preaching ceases to be acceptable for many.

When God Becomes Man . . .

I don’t think it is so much the mystery of a divine and human nature in one person that causes most people to stumble over the doctrine of the incarnation. The stumbling block is that if the doctrine is true, every single person in the world must obey this one particular Jewish man. Everything he says is law. Everything he did is perfect. And the particularity of his work and word flow out into history in the form of a particular inspired book (written in the particular languages of Greek and Hebrew) that claims a universal authority over every other book that has ever been written.

This is the stumbling block of the incarnation—when God becomes a man, he strips away every pretense of man to be God. We can no longer do our own thing; we must do what this one Jewish man wants us to do. We can no longer pose as self-sufficient, because this one Jewish man says we are all sick with sin and must come to him for healing. We can no longer depend on our own wisdom to find life, because this one Jewish man who lived for 30 obscure years in a little country in the Middle East says, “I am the way the truth and the life.”

When God becomes a man, man ceases to be the measure of all things, and this man becomes the measure of all things. This is simply intolerable to the rebellious heart of men and women. The incarnation is a violation of the bill of human rights written by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is totalitarian. It’s authoritarian! Imperialism! Despotism! Usurpation! Absolutism! Who does he think he is! (John Piper)

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