1 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—
2 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—
which we have seen and
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.
4 And we are writing these things
so that our joy may be complete.
5 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.
+6 If we say we have fellowship with him
– while we walk in darkness,
– we lie and do not practice the truth.
+7 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.
+8 If we say we have no sin,
– we deceive ourselves,
– and the truth is not in us.
+9 If we confess our sins,
+ he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
+ and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
+10 If we say we have not sinned,
– we make him a liar,
– and his word is not in us.
1. All in bold refers to Jesus (from the beginning, Word of Life, life which was manifest, with the Father
2. We (Apostle John and 1st Century Christians) experienced something common-they heard,seen,looked,touch,testify and proclaim. The enemy group is teaching a different Jesus- which cannot be heard,seen,touch, witnessed and proclaimed (publicly acknowledged). A Spirit Jesus, a ghost Jesus. A Jesus of the whispers.
3. God is light-there is no darkness in him
4. The next 5 conditional statements follows a +–,+++,+–,+++,+– pattern. Something you don’t expect from a fisherman like John. But it shows that through the Holy Spirit he can make this sophisticated literary device to convey parellism.
5. Significant is the parellism of verses 7 and 9. “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us” is parallel to “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
6. All the negatives in verses 6,8, and 10 is about untruth in the third group of people-who are called proto-Gnostic (Greek gnosis-knowledge) who believes in “salvation by secret knowledge” and believes that the body is evil-while the spirit is good. And the spirit and body has no effect in each other. To them, “one can walk in darkness-and yet remain “in fellowship” with their Spirit Jesus. This proto-Gnostics are liars.
What does “walk” means in verses 6 & 7? Is it merely “living” and without regard to the “thinking”? Or is it both?
My take: Usually ‘walk’ is taken as a way of life or a lifestyle. One can be patient, kind and loving. However, one can be an atheist and live a moral life-does not attend worship services, read the bible, pray, or give to missionary endeavors. So –if walk is merely regarding the lifestyle-then it is highly restrictive. If you check the word ‘fellowship’ at verse 6 and look for other verses with ‘fellowship’ at chapter 1-verses 3 & 7 will refer you to the fellowship with the ‘Father and the Son’ as well as ‘one another’ and the ‘blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin’. Clearly living and believing/thinking is taken together in the meaning of ‘walk’
The Gnostics will always separate what God puts together- flesh and blood and then –living and believing. Let us follow Apostle John’s witness to what God ultimately requires of us-that we ‘walk in the light, as he is in the light’.