Jesus was not a figment of the apostles imagination. He was not a human being who became God sometime during his time here on earth. This letter (epistle) was written for us to know, Jesus was God in flesh.
In the apostles everyday experiences with Jesus, such as, seeing, touching, and hearing what he said; testified Him to be the Word of Life. That is, the message the apostles heard was, God is light.
God is the eternal glory and purity of truth (light) with no darkness in him. Imagine walking, touching, and hearing perfection. Their fellowship with the Father and the Son gave them great joy! John, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, desires for us to experience and live in the depth and richness of this joy. God tells us how to do that.
We walk in this joy by walking in fellowship with Christ. This means we are to habitually walk in the light (truth) as Jesus walked in the light. The opposite of walking in the light would be to lie, to say you do not sin, and to say you have never sinned. To live in darkness denies the truth because darkness is void of truth (light).
Below is the bible study breakdown on 1 John verse by verse.
1 John 1:1
1 John 1:1-2 KJV 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;
1 John 1:1 Bible Study Notes
|beginning||arxḗ||746||the initial (starting) point; i.e. what has priority because ahead of the rest (preeminent) (HELPS Word-studies)||Jesus and His gospel was from the beginning (John 1:1-2). Jesus, God, came to fulfill the plan of salvation that existed before time began ( 2 Timothy 1:9). Then John gives 4 ways he witnessed Jesus as the word became flesh.|
|we have heard||akoúō||191||properly, to hear (listen); (figuratively) to hear God’s voice which prompts Him to birth faith within (HELPS Word-studies)||John heard the sermons that Jesus spoke and the parables He told. The disciple had private conversations with Jesus. The words Jesus spoke still burned in his heart. They encircled and influenced him when he first heard them and their influence never stopped.|
|we have seen||horáō||3708||properly, see, often with metaphorical meaning: “to see with the mind” (i.e. spiritually see), i.e. perceive (with inward spiritual perception). (HELPS Word-studies)||There are many who believe Jesus existed but not necessarily as a real flesh and bone person. John wants to correct that error. Jesus was a real physical person like you and I. They saw Him the same way we physically see other people.|
|have looked upon||theáomai (from tháomai, “to gaze at a spectacle”)||2300||properly, gaze on (contemplate) as a spectator; to observe intently, especially to interpret something (grasp its significance); to see (concentrate on) so as to significantly impact (influence) the viewer. (HELPS Word-studies)||The apostles focused on what they were seeing and hearing in order to grasp the relevance of it all. This means they didn’t recklessly watch Jesus, they did so watched intently.|
|have handled||psēlapháō||5495||properly, hand; (figuratively) the instrument a person uses to accomplish their purpose (intention, plan). (HELPS Word-studies) — to feel or grope about- 5584 xeír;properly, touch lightly, “feel after” to discover (personally investigate). (HELPS Word-studies)||The disciples touched Him all the time. It was John who leaned his head upon Jesus (John 13:23,25). John 20 gives a life application of what 1 John 1:1 is teaching. John 20:29-30 KJV 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:1?
We are to believe that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” And He is the only way to receive eternal life.
1 John 1:2
1 John 1:2 KJV 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;)
1 John 1:2 Bible Study Notes
|life||zoe||2222||All life (2222 /zōḗ), throughout the universe, is derived – i.e. it always (only) comes from and is sustained by God’s self-existent life. The Lord intimately shares His gift of life with people, creating each in His image which gives all the capacity to know His eternal life. (HELPS Word-studies)||Jesus existed before time began. Further, Jesus, the Word, was with God and was God. John 1:1 KJV 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The apostles saw and walked with the One Who gives eternal life (John 12:49-50).|
|Was Manifested||phaneroo||5457||(from 5457 /phṓs, “light”) – properly, illumine, make manifest (visible); (figuratively) make plain, in open view; to become apparent (“graspable”). 5319 /phaneróō (“become manifest”) in 1 Jn 3:2 1 Jn 3:2: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that if (Gk ean) He becomes manifest (5319 /phaneróō), we will be like Him, because (hoti) we will see Him just as (Gk kathōs) He is.” (HELPS Word-studies)||What the apostles saw and heard convinced them, by faith, of one very important fact, God had made Himself visible (was manifested) to the world through His Son.|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:2?
God revealed eternal life through His Son to the world. What had been hidden was now on display. Eternal life (Jesus) Who was with the Father (heavenly) was revealed (manifested) to the apostles.
Colossians 1:15 KJV Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
1 John 1:3
1 John 1:3 KJV 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.
1 John 1:3 Bible Study Notes
|that||hing||2443||for the purpose that (in order that)(HELPS Word-studies)||What I am telling you has a purpose.|
|may have||echo||2192||possess (Strong’s Concordance)||The purpose is for you (us) to possess what we (apostles) possess.|
|fellowship||koinonia||2842||properly, what is shared in common as the basis of fellowship (HELPS Word-studies)||All believers, from close relationships to the ones not met yet, share a fellowship that closely bonds and unites them.|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:3?
Fellowship begins with believing Jesus made the invisible God visible. This creates bonds of fellowship between other believers as well as God-the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:4
1 John 1:4 KJV 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
1 John 1:4 Bible Study Notes
|and||kai||2532||takes the former term (idea) to its “next level,” i.e. to complete (develop) the thought (HELPS Word-studies)||We are given an added element to our fellowship.|
|joy||xara||5479||(another feminine noun from the root xar-, “extend favor, lean towards, be favorably disposed”) – properly, the awareness (of God’s) grace, favor; joy (“grace recognized”) (HELPS Word-studies)||Our added element is joy. Christ is our origin of joy (Romans 14:17). Lasting joy does not belong to the world. Therefore lasting joy can not come from the world.|
|full||pleroo||4137||(from plērēs, “be full,” see 4130 /plḗthō) – properly, fill to individual capacity, i.e. to the extent it is “meet” (appropriate). See 4130 (plēthō) / 4130 – expresses totality, and implies full quantity (“up to the max”) (HELPS Word-studies)||Jesus doesn’t give His joy sparingly. The heart of Christ desires our heart to be full of His joy (John 15:11)|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:4?
Psalm 16:11 KJV Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
God wants us to know our joy deepens as our understanding of Christ matures. We fill our joy through fellowship with God and other believers.
1 John 1:5
1 John 1:5 KJV 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.
1 John 1:5 Bible Study Notes
|is||eimi||1510||(the basic Greek verb which expresses being, i.e. “to be”)… commonly expresses God’s eternality (HELPS Word-studies)||Psalm 90:2 KJV Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. God is self-existent. He is. God is the giver of life.|
|light||phos||5457||(a neuter noun) – In scripture, 5457/phos (“light”) is the manifestation of God’s self-existent life (HELPS Word-studies)||God’s self existence is defined as Light, Life, Word of Life (Psalm 36:9, John 1:4-5).|
|no||ou, ouk, ouch||3756||objectively negates a statement, “ruling it out as fact.” (HELPS Word-studies)||This concerns the truth or reality of God’s nature (character). What reality?|
|darkness||skotia||4653||Cognate: 4653 skotía (a feminine noun) – darkness, a brand of moral, spiritual obscurity (i.e. which blocks the light of God when faith is lacking). See also 4655 /skótos (“darkness”). (HELPS Word-studies)||The nature of sin was never at work in Jesus because there was no darkness in Him (John 14:30).|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:5?
God is Light was manifested in His Son. This is Who He is, John 8:12.
1 John 1:6
1 John 1:6 KJV 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1 John 1:6 Bible Study Notes
|we say||lego||3004||“speaking to a conclusion” (HELPS Word-studies)||Someone states something as a fact. They have come to a firm conclusion.|
|fellowship||koinónia||2842||refers to the unique fellowship (community) of Christians because they are in Christ (HELPS Word-studies)||They are voicing they have fellowship with God because they believe they are in Christ|
|walk||peripateo||4043||(from 4012/peri, “comprehensively around,” … walk around in a complete circuit (in “full circle”) (HELPS Word-studies)||At some point in life we realize we have experienced this before. We have come full circle. What full circle do they run?|
|darkness||skotos||4655||(“the principle of darkness and inevitable effects”), refers to the realm in which God’s light is obscured to people who prefer sin. (HELPS Word-studies)||These people profess Christianity but their lifestyle shows they walk in the circle of darkness. Walking from one sin to another sin is their true reality.|
|lie||pseudomai||5574||properly, lie (falsify, willfully misrepresent, mislead) (HELPS Word-studies)||They give false testimony and know they are misleading others about who they really are.|
|truth||aletheia||225||(from 227/alethes, (“true to fact”)- properly, reality; the opposite of illusion (HELPS Word-studies)||They do not live out God’s reality or truth. Truth does not have to pretend.|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:6?
God is Truth. They say they fellowship with Truth. But their lifestyle states they willfully lie. Their lips profess but their heart is far from the Lord (Isaiah 29:13; Ezekiel 33:31; Matthew 15:7-9)
1 John 1:7
1 John 1:7 KJV 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.
1 John 1:7 Bible Study Notes
|if||ean||1437||then urges the reader to look to the “spin offs” that would apply if the condition is (or becomes) valid. (HELPS Word-studies)||If our walk in Christ is true there will be proof|
|walk||peripateo||4043||refers to walking with God in the complete “circuit” (course) of faith (HELPS Word-studies)||Walking “in the light” equals walking all the way with God by faith|
|light||phos||5457||properly, light (stressing its results, what it manifests) (HELPS Word-studies)||Walking by faith with God will cause changes.|
|fellowship||koinonia||2842||properly, what is shared in common (HELPS Word-studies)||Believers in Jesus the Christ have a common bond or unity. We walk in obedience to the commands of God.|
|cleanses||katharizo||2511||make pure (“clean”), removing all admixture (intermingling of filth). See 2513 katharos – properly, “ without admixture;” (figuratively) spiritually clean because purged (purified by God), i.e. free from contaminating (soiling) influence of sin (HELPS Word-studies)||The blood of Jesus Christ was shed for our forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7). We have been set free from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:6-7).|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:7?
Walking in the light with God will show on the outside of our life. We will deny sins influence, we will love the commands of God, and we will genuinely love others.
1 John 1:8
1 John 1:8 KJV 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:8 Bible Study Notes
|no||ou, ouk, ouch||3756||objectively negates a statement, “ruling it out as fact.” (HELPS Word-studies)||We read, we say, in verse 6 and we read those words here. This time the conclusion rules out sin as fact.|
|sin||hamortia||266||properly, no share (“no part of”) what is self originated (self-empowered) (HELPS Word-studies)||They do not believe sin exists in their life anymore.|
|deceive||planao||4105||properly, go astray; deviate from the correct path (HELPS Word-studies)||People who say such things are fooling themselves (Galatians 5:17-21). Sin remains a fight until we receive our new body ( Romans 23).|
|in||en||1722||properly, in (inside, within). 1. 1722 (en)… meaning- “in the sphere of,” so it is often used to convey “spiritual union” between the believer and the Lord. (HELPS Word-studies)||Those who say they have no sin are not more spiritual, they are looking away from God.|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:8?
To say you are a believer that has no sin is someone who is self deluded. Believers have been freed from slavery to sin but we still sin ( 1 John 2:1-2).
1 John 1:9
1 John 1:9 KJV 9 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 Bible Study Notes
|confess||homologeo||3760||(from 3674/homou, “together” and 3004/lego, “speak to conclusion”)- properly, voice the same conclusion, i.e. agree… agreeing with what is true, i.e. what God defines valid (HELPS Word-studies)||Believers agree God’s word is truth (John 17:17). So we confess our sins which shows we hold His truth.|
|faithful||pistos||4103||properly, faithful (loyalty to faith; literally, fullness of faith); typically, of believing the faith God imparts (HELPS Word-studies)||God is faithful to His character.|
|just||dikaios||1342||describes conformity to God’s standard of what is just (measured by His own eternal being) (HELPS Word-studies)||Righteousness or being just is set by God according to His standards. This means it is faithful and just for God to forgive our sins when we obey (or conform to His word) by confessing our sin.|
|forgive||aphiemi||863||(“release,” “ letting go”) means sending away all bitterness (ill-will, rancor). releasing any desire to punish (HELPS Word-studies)||See unrighteousness verse breakdown.|
|unrighteousness||adikia||93||properly, the opposite of justice; unrighteousness, as a violation of God’s standards (justice) which brings divine disapproval; a count (violation) of God’s justice, i.e. what is contrary to His righteous judgments (what He approves) (HELPS Word-studies)||God will always be true to His promises and His justice, therefore when we confess our sins (unrighteousness) we can be assured we are forgiven and Christ’s blood cleanses us.|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:9?
Proverbs 28:13 KJV He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Confession of sins remains a part of a believers life while here on earth. And God being a faithful and just God forgives.
1 John 1:10
1 John 1:10 KJV 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:10 Bible Study Notes
|have not sinned||hamartano||264||properly, having no share in, to sin, which always brings forfeiture (eternal loss because missing God’s mark) (HELPS Word-studies)||People who say they have not sinned bring upon themselves eternal loss.|
(from 3004 /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”) – a word, being the expression of a thought; a saying. 3056 /lógos (“word”) is preeminently used of Christ (Jn 1:1), expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit — 3004 légō (originally, “lay down to sleep,” used later of “laying an argument to rest,” i.e. bringing a message to closure; see Curtius, Thayer) – properly, to say (speak), moving to a conclusion (bringing it to closure, “laying it to rest”) (HELPS Word-studies)
|When someone comes to the conclusion they have not sinned, they call God a liar (Romans 3:23, 5:12).|
|in||en||1722||properly, in (inside, within).. i.e. in which something operates from the inside (within) (HELPS Word-studies)||Those who say they “have not sinned” do so because God, the Truth, is not in them.|
What Are We To Learn From 1 John 1:10?
To claim to be a Christian and claim to be without sin shows you are in direct opposition to what God says (Luke 13:3, 1 John 1:9). If we say we are without sin at any time, before we profess salvation or after, we invalidate the cross, the blood, the death and the resurrection of Jesus. This profession of no sin carries an eternal loss of heaven and an eternal gain of hell (Ezekiel 18:4)
HELPS Word-studies taken from The Discovery Bible software, available at thediscoverybible.com, copyright © 2018, HELPS Ministries Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. —- You can view the definition on Bible Hub under Interlinear.