TODAY’S READING: 1 JOHN
“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.” (1 John 1.1-3)
John is writing this letter to testify and to proclaim the eternal life. Eternal as in of God. The life of God.
John says that the eternal life was with God and made manifest to him and the other disciples. They heard and saw him. They looked at and touched him.
The one they saw and heard John calls the word of life. The logos of life. This is none other than the word, the logos, of God.
The word of life is the word of God.
John is clearly speaking of Jesus.
The word of life is Jesus.
The word of God is Jesus.
After this introduction to his letter, John goes on to testify and to proclaim three things of Jesus. In order (and that is important), John testifies and proclaims light, love, and life.
“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.” (1 John 1.5)
God is light.
There is no darkness at all in God.
Therefore, if there is no darkness in God, then he cannot create darkness. Darkness is not of or from God.
Jesus proclaimed this revelation of God. Therefore, he contradicts Isaiah 45.7, which says, “I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things.”
Isaiah had a partial and obscured view of God. He saw through a veil. Therefore, he said God both formed light and created darkness.
Jesus alone has seen God. Jesus gives the clear view of God. Jesus gives the perfect revelation of God.
God is light. And, there is no darkness at all in him.
John then ties light with truth.
“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice 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. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1.6-10)
Light is truth.
Darkness is lies and deception.
“God is not man, that he should lie.” (Numbers 23.19)
“There was no deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53.9)
“I am…the truth.” (John 14.6)
John says that God is light was declared from the beginning.
“Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.” (1 John 2.7-8)
We may not understand it as a commandment, but indeed from the beginning the darkness was passing away and the true light was shining.
“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1.3-4)
God is light.
God is truth.
It was so from the beginning.
But, darkness, lies, and deception are of the devil.
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He…does not stand in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8.44)
Having testified and proclaimed God is light, then John speaks of love.
“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3.4)
Sin is lawlessness. Lawlessness is simply being without law.
Jesus summed up the law as love for God and love for your neighbor.
To be without law is to be without love for God and without love for your neighbor.
This is sin – not loving God and not loving your neighbor.
“You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps in sinning has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3.5-6)
Jesus came to take away every word and deed that is not rooted and grounded in love. He never sinned, which means never said or did anything that was not from love.
“He committed no sin.” (1 Peter 2.22)
“He committed no lawlessness.” (Isaiah 53.9, Lexham English Septuagint)
“Although he had done no violence.” (Isaiah 53.9)
Jesus committed no sin, no lawlessness, no violence.
“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” (1 John 3.8)
“You are of your father the devil, and our will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning.” (John 8.44)
“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3.11)
Did we hear this message from the beginning, in the creation?
“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ And God mad the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.” (Genesis 1.6-7)
The separation of waters is a picture of baptism.
Baptism is a picture of dying. More than dying, baptism is a picture of choosing to lay down your life.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.” (1 John 3.16)
The separation of waters on day of creation is a picture of love – Jesus laying his life down for us.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4.7-10)
“God is love.”
“I am the way.” (John 14.6)
Having testified and proclaimed God is light and God is love, John speaks of life.
“If we receive the testimony of mean, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5.9-11)
John does not explicitly say it hear, but this testimony of God has been heard from the beginning too.
“And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so.” (Genesis 1.9)
The land coming out of the waters is a picture of life rising out of death – resurrection. It was from this risen land that all life flowed in the rest of the creation story.
God is life.
“I am…the life.” (John 14.6)
“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.” (1 John 1.1)
“From the beginning.”
- God is light and there is no darkness at all in him
- God is love and there is no sin, lawlessness (without love), and violence (killing) at all in him
- God is life and there is no death in him
Therefore, Jesus declared “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14.6)
He said, “I am love, light, and life.”
The first three days of creation.
When the light of God shines on the love of God you have the life of God.
This is you becoming a new creation in Christ.