Numerous times I have used John and 1 John as reference material. Besides the few verses of 1 John that I have used in posts, an overview of the 5 short chapters may give some further understanding of just how valuable this book is. I will not give a full-detailed explanation of each and every verse because space is limited; however, an overview may be of some help.
The Apostle John, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is credited with the books of John, 1-2-3 John, and Revelation. He and his brother James, the sons of Zebedee, were among the first called by Jesus to follow Him; and when John referred to himself in the book of John, it was always “The Disciple that Jesus loved.” He used this term several times; and only in the book of Revelation did he state, “I, John,” apparently because by then he was known as an Elder of the Church of advanced age. John is reportedly the only Apostle to not have died a martyr’s death, but died of old age.
There are fables of events that he supposedly went through, but none are biblical. His main goal in his writings was to show Jesus as truly the Son of God and declare him being One with the Father.
In 1 John 1, he continues to show his adoration for the Lord by giving witness to the short time he spent with the Savior. He says at the very beginning of this chapter that he wants all to know what he saw, heard and felt – he was blessed to be able to even touch the Savior while Jesus was here. He testifies that the eternal life offered by the Father was made known to them, and he wants to pass on that information so that ALL who wish may share in that fellowship.
John says God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all (1 John 1:5). In Revelation 21:23, John tells us the city (Jerusalem) does not need the sun or moon to shine because the Glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb (Jesus). This will be the New Jerusalem that comes to the new earth as described in the last chapters of Revelation.
John challenges his readers to evaluate the relationship all of US have with the Savior. I say “US” because even though John wrote the letters for the people in the 1st Century, they are just as relevant and important to us today. (emphasis is mine)
He talks about those who say they have the Savior, but have not changed in any way. We will sin as long as we are on this earth (Romans 3:23), but those John is speaking of are habitual with no sign of repentance or remorse. It’s a sign of one not “born again” as in John 3:3-7, and therefore do not really accept Jesus as their Savior. However, if we have truly accepted Him, we will “Walk In The Light” because we have accepted that Jesus’ blood has cleansed us and made us whole.
For those who are truly Christian, 1 John 1:8-10 is critical for us. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our sins (To Him), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (emphasis mine)
The Father already knows everything we have done and has opened a door for us to come into His presence through prayer. He does not say we have to “confess” to any person here, but to Him and only through Jesus. No other person ever died for all our sins except Jesus. Therefore, He is worthy of our love and devotion. The only sin the Father will not forgive is to not have Jesus as our Savior – more on that later. By the way, once God has forgiven us, He forgets our sins completely if we belong to His Son.
In Chapter 2, John refers to his readers as “My Little Children.” He had advanced in age (possibly in 90’s) and apparently had a special kinship with his followers. He wanted to make sure they directed all their devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ and wanted them to keep God’s commandments. In Chapter 4 verse 21, it says the commandment from Him is that whoever loves God should love his fellow Christians too.
In the gospels, Jesus said the greatest commandment was to Love the Lord thy God with all your heart soul and mind, and the 2nd Commandment was like it as to love your neighbor as yourself. He points out that if someone professes to be “In the Light” but hates his fellow Christians, that person is actually in darkness.
He admonishes us to not love the things of this world, because if anyone loves this world, the Love of the Father is not in him. The world gives in to the desires of the flesh and arrogance produced by material possessions.
In 1 John 2:18 to the end of the chapter, John tells about the anti-christ that is coming in the last days, but also reveals there were already (and still are) anti-christs in the world. They had received the same messages as all the others did, but by their own acts showed they had never been truly saved. He says that you can tell a liar because they deny that Jesus is the Christ. Anyone who denies the Son also denies the Father. To have the Father, one must confess Jesus is His Son that came in the flesh to save us from our sins. Those who are in the Father and Son look forward to His appearing.
Also, when we go to be with Him, we will be like Him (1 John 3:2) because we will see Him as He is. There is no sin in Jesus. He says those of the world will hate us because the world hates the Son. If there had been any sin in Jesus at all, His sacrifice would have been useless. The main commandment given in Chapter 3 is to believe in the name of the Son and to love each other. (He repeats several things to drive the points home.)
We’re told in Chapter 4 to test the spirits. Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ is from God. Those who do not are of the spirit of the anti-christ. The person that does not love does not know God, because God is love.
In chapter 5:10-12, the one who believes in the Son of God has testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has testified concerning His Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and that life is in His Son.
The following is Most Important: The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have the Father, and therefore does not have eternal life. John has repeated this several times throughout the book, and it’s also in the Gospel of John several times. When God repeats something, we really need to take heed, because He doesn’t do this by coincidence.
John says that whenever we ask anything (now get this) According to HIS WILL, He hears us. This is one of the verses that prosperity preachers like to apply to their own interpretation. The HIS WILL part is very important, because to ask God for anything that is not of His will is a waste of time.
As I said, this is by no means an exhaustive study of 1 John but just an overview to give you some of what’s contained there. Hopefully, it will spark an interest for anyone to read these short 5 chapters, the Book of John, and also the book of Romans.
To summarize, to have Jesus is to have the Father; to not have Jesus, one has neither. For those who are saying there’s many ways to heaven and you don’t have to accept Jesus to get there, I again refer you to John 14:6 in which Jesus says He is the Way the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except by Him.
Jesus died for us ALL. He did not sacrifice Himself for any particular race, creed or whatever. All means just that, and you are part of that ALL. If you accept Jesus and ask Him to come into your heart and be your Savior, He will do so (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13). To reject Him is to have to go through the Great White Throne Judgment, which does not determine if you’re going to heaven or hell, but what punishment you will receive in hell.
All Christians will go through Judgments from Jesus personally to determine rewards that will be with them forever. It’s totally up to you, as God will not force anyone to accept His Son. Anyone who rejects Jesus will be shown through all eternity the chances they had.
Please accept His invitation today because tomorrow may be too late. Once you have taken your last breath on this earth, it will be too late to make a decision, as it was just made for you. Call on Him today – Now!