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1 John 1:1  (King James Version)
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<< 2 Peter 3:18   1 John 1:2 >>


1 John 1:1

As a witness to Jesus Christ's entire ministry, John shows how He was not an apparition or a phantom. The apostles had heard His voice with their ears, seen Him with their eyes, and touched Him with their hands. He is writing to leave no doubt that Jesus Christ was a physical human being but at the same time the very Word of God.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
For the Perfecting of the Saints



1 John 1:1

Who is "we" and "our" here? They are the apostles of Christ: Peter, James, John, Andrew, and even Paul, an apostle "born out of due time" (I Corinthians 15:8). Why would they be unimpeachable as sources? John tells us why: "We were with the Boss for three and a half years. We heard our Lord, Master, and Savior with our own ears, saw Him with our eyes, watched Him do miracles, saw Him walk on the water. We touched Him. We ate with Him. We slept by Him." It really makes a difference to have good sources, and eyewitnesses are among the best.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace and Law (Part 20)



1 John 1:1-4

Notice the wording carefully. What is it that John says was manifested, that they experienced with their own senses? Eternal life! Eternal life is something that in the biblical sense can be seen and heard. Indeed, the apostles fellowshipped with it in the flesh! In turn, they reported it to us so we can also fellowship with it - though not to the same extent and in the same manner as they did.

Of course, John is speaking of witnessing and fellowshipping with that kind of life as exemplified in Jesus Christ. Verse 3 is the specific purpose statement of this epistle of I John: to proclaim the reality of God's eternal life as revealed in Jesus Christ.

When John wrote this epistle, the Gnostic heresy was rising in the church. We should note that John's method of countering it is highly subjective, that is, the epistle has many references to the first-person pronouns "I" and "we." The apostle uses the weight of his personal experience witnessing this life to combat the heresies of the Gnostics.

He says the life we witnessed "was from the beginning"; it is the original manner of living. It is the ultimate reality of how to live. This kind of life is not subject to change, whether over time or from culture to culture. The ultimate reality is God - in this case Jesus Christ in the flesh, who is God - and He changes not.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Elements of Motivation (Part Six): Eternal Life



1 John 1:1-4

There will be everlasting joy when God's Kingdom is established on earth. Joy and gladness are not only deep inward feelings, but they are also expressed in visible celebration when God's people gather together. Speaking of the future church, Isaiah 60:15 says, "Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, so that no one went through you, I will make you an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations." In the meantime, the apostle Paul advises us to "rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)

Martin G. Collins
Joy

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1 John 1:1-5

Why did John begin his epistle in this manner? He was establishing his authority to preach the true gospel because some were disparaging the message he said he heard from Jesus Christ. The false teachers disparaged his message as too conservative, orthodox, and some said downright wrong. His defense was that he had personally seen, heard, and touched the Christ when He was on earth, and for almost seventy years after that, he had continued his fellowship with Him through prayer, study, and obedience! As he wrote, his detractors viewed him as a senile, cranky, old man who looked at life through 100-year-old eyes. Human nature never changes. Satan never changes. Most importantly, God never changes those things that are basic to His purpose! Knowing this, John could speak with powerful authority.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Guard the Truth!



1 John 1:1-5

Notice the apostle's frequent use of "we" and "our." John was establishing his authority for what he was teaching! He is saying that what he writes in this epistle he received firsthand from Christ! During his day, false teachers were contacting Christian congregations claiming that John was a one-hundred-year-old fuddy-duddy who was "out of touch" with reality. What they were teaching was the truth, they said. John later labeled these people as antichrists (I John 2:18). His first epistle is an exhortation to reestablish their faith in the original beliefs and doctrines by and into which they had been converted.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Damnable Heresies




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing 1 John 1:1:

2 Corinthians 4:3

 

<< 2 Peter 3:18   1 John 1:2 >>
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