from 1 John 1:1-2:6
The first four verses are a key NT assertion of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. John makes a very strong assertion of empirical (based on sensory observation) validation of the Incarnation. By beginning in this way, John invites us to ponder as we read the ensuing letter how the incarnation of Christ permeates all that he says about the Christian life. At the outset John is also alerting us of his credentials to write about Christ: he was a personal disciple of Christ during his earthly ministry. With the preamble complete, John then turns to some preliminary tests of faith. The material is organized very fluidly, and this means that we cannot simply number the tests. We need to read slowly, noting themes that are introduced, succeeded by something different, and then picked up again. Here is a starting list: walking in the light rather than darkness; confessing sin and receiving God???s forgiveness; the need to love rather than hate.
The Word of Life
1:1 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??? 3 that which we have seen and heard 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.
Walking in the Light
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.
Christ Our Advocate
2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says ???I know him??? but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.