[CF Devotionals] 2011-11-22 - 1 John

The Epistles of John ~ Part 5 ~ Outline and Prologue

Prologue: 1:1-4

  1. God is Light 1:5-2:27
    1. Communion with God and Confession of Sin 1:5-2:2
    2. Communion with God and Obedience 2:3-11
    3. Attitude Toward the World 2:12-17
  2. God is Righteousness 2:28-4:6
    1. The Righteous Children of God 2:28-3:10
    2. The Righteous Love of the Children of God 3:11-18
    3. Confidence Before God 3:19-24
    4. Warning Against the Spirit of Antichrist 4:1-6
  3. God is Love 4:7-5:12
    1. The Nature of True Agapé 4:7-21
    2. Necessity of Faith in Jesus 5:1-12
  4. Epilogue: 5:13-21


Prologue: John doesn't give a typical salutation to this first epistle. In fact, because of this some scholars believe it is a sermon given to the church at Ephesus, instead of a letter. Nevertheless we will approach it as a letter sent by John to believer who he was concerned for.

Because of the difficulties involved with the translation of the Greek into English for this introduction, I am going to read it in the amplified version of the Bible. Baker notes that:

"the four verses represent a single periodic sentence in Greek. But the main verb and subject "we proclaim" (apangellomen), which controls the whole sentence, does not appear until v.3." 1
[We are writing] about the Word of Life [in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands.

v.2 And the Life [an aspect of His being] was revealed (made manifest, demonstrated), and we saw (as eyewitnesses) and are testifying to and declare to you the Life, the eternal Life [in Him] Who already existed with the Father and Who [actually] was made visible?was revealed?to us [His followers]

v.3 What we have seen and [ourselves] heard we are also telling you, so the you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this fellowship that we have which is a distinguishing mark of Christians) is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

v.4 And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full?and your joy may be complete." 2

  1. Baker, pp. 298-299
  2. The Amplified Bible, Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids MI,1983, 374.

To be continued.

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