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I John Chapter 1

Memory verses for this week:   Mat 11:11  Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 

Introduction:  We begin a new study this week on the book of I John.  This is the first of these 3 books authored by the apostle John.  It is believed that he was an old man at the time of the writing, and that he was living in Ephesus at this time.   John was the son of Zebedee and also penned the gospel account of the book of John.  It is believe these three epistles were written at the end of the first century A.D.   This appears to coincide with the belief that John lived to be an old man, and exercised pastoral care over a number of churches in Asia Minor.


I.  The Life that Was From the Beginning

1 John 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;

If we desire to know “What was from the beginning?”, we need look no further than this account in I John.   John not only knew what was from the beginning, but had an eye witness account of the Lord Jesus Christ.   He speaks of the “Word of Life”, and Jesus and the Word are closely related.   In John’s account of the Gospel, he says that the word (Christ) was in the beginning with God and was made flesh to come and live among us.  Notice that way back there He is already past tense; Jesus is the Ancient of Days.

John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

… John 1:14  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 declares that they had heard, seen, looked upon, and handled the Lord.

1 John 1:2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

Notice the word “Life” in verses 1 and 2.   If you and I want REAL life, life that will go on eternally, we have to come to Jesus.  He is the one who can give you spiritual life that will never end.  When Jesus talked to the Samaritan women at the well, we told her of living water that would satisfy her spiritual needs forever.

John 4:7  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

John 4:8  (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

John 4:9  Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

John 4:10  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

John 4:11  The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

John 4:12  Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

John 4:13  Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

John 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.


John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John declares that he had seen this life, being Christ.   God had a certain time planned, and at the time appointed, Jesus came to this earth.

Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Gal 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Gal 4:6  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Gal 4:7  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

II.  Our Fellowship is With the Father and His Son Jesus

1 John 1:3  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.

John is declaring that those things that he saw, he was now sharing with the ones to whom he was writing.   The purpose was that they might have fellowship with them and the Father.    We have a relationship that is wonderful with our Heavenly Father due to what Jesus has done for us.   If we want to have good fellowship, we need to have good Christian friends.   For us to have fellowship with God, we must be a son of God.  And that comes by knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.


Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:


1 John 1:4  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

For us to have full joy, a Christian must acknowledge that Eternal Life is in Christ.    John’s writings were to make them understand that Christ had come and was manifested in the flesh.   Their acquaintance was with Him.  The more we know about Christ being in the flesh, his going to Calvary to pay for our sins, the greater our joy will be.  We will realize what a gift we have received when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and He becomes the Lord of our life.

Matthew Henry said this about the Christian’s joy.

The gospel dispensation is not properly a dispensation of fear, sorrow, and dread, but of peace and joy. Terror and astonishment may well attend mount Sinai, but exultation and joy mount Zion, where appears the eternal Word, the eternal life, manifested in our flesh. The mystery of the Christian religion is directly calculated for the joy of mortals. It should be joy to us that the eternal Son should come to seek and save us, that he has made a full atonement for our sins, that he has conquered sin and death and hell, that he lives as our Intercessor and Advocate with the Father, and that he will come again to perfect and glorify his persevering believers. And therefore those live beneath the use and end of the Christian revelation who are not filled with spiritual joy. Believers should rejoice in their happy relation to God, as his sons and heirs, his beloved and adopted,—in their happy relation to the Son of the Father, as being members of his beloved body, and coheirs with himself,—in the pardon of their sins, the sanctification of their natures, the adoption of their persons, and the prospect of grace and glory that will be revealed at the return of their Lord and head from heaven. Were they confirmed in their holy faith, how would they rejoice! The disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost, Acts 13:52. [1]


III.  To Have Fellowship, We must Walk in the Light

1 John 1:5  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.

With man, we have sin and there is darkness in us.  But with God, there is no darkness at all.  God is light as verse 5 declares.

John 1:9  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.


John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


John 12:35  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

John 12:36  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.


If a man follows Christ, he should not walk in darkness.  Darkness speaks of sin, and Christ has overcome sin, and we should walk in the light as He is in the light.  The person who walks in darkness does not know where he goes.


1 John 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

1 John 1:7  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.

J. Vernon McGee said this about verse 7.

“If we walk in the light,” that is, if we walk in the light of the Word of God. Dr. Harry Ironside tells of his own confusion of mind relative to this verse. Noticing that the cleansing of the blood depends upon our walking in the light, he read it as though it said, “If we walk according to the light, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” He thought it meant that if he was very punctilious about obeying every command of God, God would cleanse him. Then he noticed that it does not say if we walk according to light, but if we walk in the light. The important thing is where we walk, not how we walk. Have we come into the presence of God and allowed the Word of God to shine upon our sinful hearts? You see, it is possible to walk in darkness, thinking you are all right.  [2]

Verse 6 tells us that if we have fellowship with God and live contrary to his word, we lie and are not doing the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with the other.

What is required for us to walk in the light? 1.  A person must first know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

2.  A person should be baptized into a New Testament Church.  (This is the Will of God.)

3.  A person must live by faith.

4.  We need to study our bibles… grow in grace, and continue in the things of the Lord.

Nothing but the blood of Jesus can cleanse sin.   Man can turn over a new leaf, and whitewash their life and even appear to look better.  They can take on a new philosophy or seek a better way to live according to man.  But without Jesus, the real problem, is never removed.   Jesus is the one and only who can take away sin.

Heb 9:19  For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

Heb 9:20  Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

Heb 9:21  Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.

Heb 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.   Some want to remove the blood from our songbooks, but it is Christ’s blood that cleanses us from all sin.   Jesus’ blood was shed for the remission of our sins.

Mat 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

IV.  How Many are Deceived

1 John 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

One of the most difficult things there is in leading a person to Jesus Christ is to get that person to admit that he or she is a sinner.  We just don’t like to admit that we have sinned and fallen short of the mark.  But unless a person acknowledges that they are lost, that they can’t do a thing about it either, they can never be saved.   Once we acknowledge our true condition, then by faith and repentance we can have salvation.   The bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  By Adam sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned.   The person who says that he or she lives above sin does not have the truth in them.

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;


Rom 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:


V.  God Will Forgive Sin

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The bad news is we have all sinned.  But the good news is that God is ready to forgive and saved.  He will forgive the lost man of his sin of unbelief.  This is the one sin that can cause us to spend an eternity separated from God.

Mark 3:28  Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

Mark 3:29  But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

For the lost person to get forgiveness, he must repent and believe in Christ as His Savior.  To have forgiveness, we must confess our sins.  Not to a man or some priest, but to God.

2 Chr 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Verse 10 makes it clear… if we say we have not sinned, we are making God out as a liar.  And there is no way that God can lie.   He is totally righteous as we discussed earlier, and in Him there is no darkness.

King David acknowledged that he had sinned.

Psa 51:1  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Psa 51:2  Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Psa 51:3  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Psa 51:4  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Psa 51:5  Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

As long as we live in the flesh, no matter how hard we try, the reality is that we will still sin.   Paul told of the great war that went on between his flesh and spirit over in Romans.

Rom 7:15  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Rom 7:16  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

Rom 7:17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Rom 7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.


Who can deliver us from this bondage of sin?  Only one… and that is Jesus Christ.  We can have victory over the flesh by Christ.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.


Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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