1_John_1-1-4 - Fountain of Truth Apostolic Church

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The First Epistle of John
Introduction (1:1-4)
Facts About the Apostle John
- Also, wrote The Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Epistles of John, and Revelation (Patmos).
- “Sons of Thunder” (headstrong – Luke 9:28-29)
- Son of Zebedee, brother of James
- Among the 1st disciples called (Peter, John, and
James)
- Classically known as, “John the Evangelist” or
“John the Revelator”
- Not to be confused with John the Baptist
Overview of 1st Epistle of John
Written by the Apostle John, although no author is
mentioned.
“This anonymity strongly affirms the early church’s
identification of the epistle with John the Apostle, for
only someone of John’s well known and preeminent
status as an apostle would be able to write with such
unmistakable authority, expecting complete obedience
from his readers, without clearly identifying himself.”
– MacArthur Study Bible.
The Background of 1st John
Written approximately at the end of the 2nd Century.
- Last surviving eye witness of Jesus Christ
- Papias of Hierapolis (“hearer of John”) described
John as, “a living and abiding voice.”
- According to the Church Fathers, John lived out his
life in Ephesus.
*Extensive evangelistic ministry
*Supervised many churches
*Completed writings (except Revelation)
The Background of 1st John
Why Ephesus?
- Cultural, Philosophical, and Intellectual Hub
Gnosticism: salvation through “secret knowledge”
- gnōsis
- “The aim of salvation is for the spirit to be
awakened by knowledge so the inner man can
be released from his earthly dungeon and return
to the realm of light where the soul becomes
reunited with God.”
– Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible
1st John 1:1-4
“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.” – 1st John 1:1 (KJV)
- Usage of “we” speaks regarding the eye witnesses
- Manifested in the flesh
1st John 1:1-4
“He begins with the description of the person of
Christ who he makes one and not two: and him both
God from everlasting (for he was with the Father from
the beginning, and is that eternal life) and also made
true man, whom John himself and his companions
both heard, beheld, and handled.” – Geneva Bible
*Deity of Christ (“All Man, Full God”)
1st John 1:1-4
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only
begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
– John 1:14 (KJV)
- “dwelt” translates literally as “tabernacled.”
Just as the Tabernacle was a physical building that
housed God, Jesus Christ was a physical being that
housed the Spirit of God.
1st John 1:1-4
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not
robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no
reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made (kenoō, “to make empty”) in the
likeness of men. - Philippians 2:5-7 (KJV)
- Kenosis, “The Self-Emptying God”
- Jesus is the vessel which received the essence and
attributes of God as they were emptied into him.
1st John 1:1-4
Controversy:
“(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;).” – 1st John 1:2 (KJV)
“The same was in the beginning with God.”
– John 1:2 (KJV)
- “with” (pros)
1st John 1:1-4
“with” (pros)
Thayer Definition:
1) to the advantage of
2) at, near, by
3) to, towards, with, with regard to
Part of Speech: Preposition (shows the relationship
between a noun or pronoun and other words in a
sentence.)
1st John 1:1-4
“…which was to, towards, with, with regard to
(with) the Father…” – 1st John 1:2 (KJV)
“The same was in the beginning to, towards, with,
with regard to (with) God.” – John 1:2 (KJV)
Reconciling the Language:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1 (KJV)
1st John 1:1-4
“was God — in substance and essence God; or was
possessed of essential or proper divinity. Thus, each
of these brief but pregnant statements is the
complement of the other, correcting any
misapprehensions which the others might occasion.
Was the Word eternal? It was not the eternity of “the
Father,” but of a conscious personal existence distinct
from Him and associated with Him. Was the Word
thus “with God?”
– Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Commentary
1st John 1:1-4
“It was not the distinctness and the fellowship of
another being, as if there were more Gods than one,
but of One who was Himself God - in such sense that
the absolute unity of the God head, the great principle
of all religion, is only transferred from the region of
shadowy abstraction to the region of essential life and
love.” – Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Commentary
1st John 1:1-4
“But why all this definition? Not to give us any
abstract information about certain mysterious
distinctions in the Godhead, but solely to let the reader
know who it was that in the fullness of time “was
made flesh.” After each verse, then, the reader
must say, “It was He who is thus, and thus, and
thus described, who was made flesh.”
– Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Commentary
1st John 1:1-4
“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. And these things write we unto
you, that your joy may be full.”
– 1st John 1:3-4 (KJV)
Theme of Epistle: The Basics of Christianity
1st John 1:1-4
Proof: “Little Children” – used 9 times in 1st John
Divisions of 1st John:
- The Conditions for Fellowship
- The Cautions to the Fellowship
- The Characteristics of Fellowship
- The Results of Fellowship
1st John is considered a “General Epistle” because it
does not identify a specific church, location, or
individual.
1st John 1:1-4
“…that your joy may be full.” – 1st John 1:3-4 (KJV)
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that
ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the
breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth
knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness
of God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19 (KJV)
1st John 1:1-4
“That ye might be filled with all the fulness of God;
this is the last petition, and is to be understood, not of
a full comprehension of the divine Being, nor of a
communication of his divine perfections, nor of
having in them the fulness of grace, which it has
pleased God should dwell in Christ; but either of that
fulness of good things, which they may receive from
God in this life; as to be filled with a sense of the love
and grace of God; with satisfying views of interest in
the righteousness of Christ; with the Spirit, and the
gifts and graces thereof;…”
1st John 1:1-4
“…with full provisions of food for their souls; with
spiritual peace, joy, and comfort; with knowledge of
divine things, of God in Christ, of Christ, of the
Gospel, and of the will of God; and with all the fruits
or righteousness, or good works springing from grace;
or else of that fulness which they shall receive
hereafter, even complete holiness, perfection of
knowledge, fulness of joy and peace, entire
conformity to God and Christ, and everlasting
communion with them.”
– John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible
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