Chapter 1. The Impact of Spending Time with Jesus

1 John 1:1-5

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; [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); [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. [4] And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. [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.

The writings of the Apostle John deal with all three periods of time...the past, the present, and the future. The Apostle John wrote the gospel of John which portrays the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and reveals to us matters about the past. He was very close to the Lord and loved Christ dearly. In fact, Jesus demonstrated His confidence in John by entrusting the care of His mother to him as He was dying on the cross of Calvary.

He also wrote the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation which gives us all a glimpse of the future and the catastrophic events that will take place during the seven-year tribulation period, the rise and fall of the Anti-Christ, the defeat of Satan, and the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth for all eternity.

John also wrote three other letters known as the epistles of John. In our Bible they are listed as 1,2, and 3 John. The three epistles of John are extremely important for us today. They deal with issues of the present. First John will be a great source of encouragement to you if you are struggling in these areas:

This letter, written to Christians, is a very practical one for sure. Let’s dig in and see what treasures we can find within its pages.

I. A Peek at the Past 1:1a

That which was from the beginning...

John begins this letter by looking back at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ, of which he was an eye-witness. He also eyes the beginning of his relationship with the Lord. He never got over it and neither should we. If you want to stay close to the Lord, then frequently take a peek at your past. Recall the day the Lord saved you and what He saved you from. When the Christian forgets this, then he is in trouble. Ingratitude, apathy, and doubt tend to infiltrate the heart. This is what ruined the church at Ephesus. They lost their first love for Christ (Revelation 2:4).

If you are struggling with doubt about the matter of your salvation, if there is no relationship with Christ, then get this issue settled in your heart today. Don’t live in doubt about your salvation. The Apostle Paul urged us to examine our hearts to make sure we are saved.

2 Corinthians 13:5-Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Knowing you are saved is what gives you peace. God wants you to know that you are saved and have that assurance in your heart. This is one reason why this epistle was written.

1 John 5:13-These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

II. The Personal Experience of the Apostles 1:1b

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;

Scholars state that this letter was written between 90-100 a.d. During this time, false teaching had crept into the churches. This teaching distorted the truth about Jesus and attacked His deity and His humanity. This is one of the reasons why John wrote this epistle. There were two lies that were being spread by deceptive preachers.

1. Lies about the Humanity of Christ

Men were preaching that Jesus was God, and He was not a man at all. The reason this is so serious is the fact that if this were true, Jesus could not be the mediator between God and man. As our mediator, Jesus represented both God and man so that we could be saved.

1 Timothy 2:5-For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

As a man, He faced temptation and testing just like all of us, yet, He was without sin. Our Lord is the Son of Man who understands everything that we face in life.

Hebrews 4:15-For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

By being sinless, Jesus demonstrated His power over sin and also death.

Romans 8:2-For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

2. Lies about the Deity of Jesus Christ

Deceptive preachers were saying that Jesus was only a man and not God at all. The root of this teaching came from a Jewish man named Cerinthus. He taught that Jesus was Joseph’s son, not the Son of God. The virgin birth was considered ridiculous, as well as the gospels and Paul’s epistles. John wrote his epistles to refute these lies.

Beloved, if Christ was not born of a virgin, then He would be just like all of us. He would have had a sin nature and would not be sinless. He would not be able to redeem mankind by being a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

John makes it very clear who Jesus is. He gives personal testimony of his and the disciple’s experiences with the Lord.

A. That Which We Have Heard

John makes it clear, “I have met this man and have personally heard Him.” We have heard from the Lord too, through His Word.

John was with the Saviour through His entire ministry, and he has recorded more that Jesus said than any of the other apostles. Though John wrote this letter some sixty years after Christ’s resurrection, what he had heard firsthand was still a vivid truth in his heart.

In fact, this word “heard” is in the present tense which indicates a completed act in the past with an impact in the present. John’s ears were blessed to hear the voice of the Son of God Himself. One day, we will enjoy that blessing, too. For now, we can read what He said in His Word.

B. That Which We Have Seen With Our Eyes

John makes it clear that he was an eye witness of the Savior. In other words, “I saw this man! I saw what He did! He is the Son of God!”

We have seen these things with our eyes! Jesus was not a mystical phantom or a spiritual vision. John was not giving hear-say testimony. He saw the real thing. Peter gave the same witness.