The standard introduction can be found in any printed or online commentary.
My studies focus on the content of the letter and the application of biblical truth to our Christian way of life.
Tradition states that John wrote from Ephesus to a specific group of churches with whom he had intimate fellowship; probably the churches of Asia Minor as at Rev. 2-3.
However, I provide here a summary background for John's letters as taught by R. B. Thieme Jr.

                The background for this epistle

1. John, the last apostle, now lived in Ephesus from which point he not only ministered to the Ephesians church but to Laodicea in a nonresident fashion and another in the Roman province of Asia, probably Pergamus. Ephesus was the centre of Christianity and only through the apostasy of Catholicity and reaction to Gnosticism was there any changing to places like Rome and Constantinople.

2. John was not only a resident pastor in Ephesus but at several other congregations to which he was the nonresident pastor communicating doctrine through the medium of the written page — non face to face teaching.

3. 1 John was written to refute Cerinthian Gnosticism as well as Docetic Gnosticism. In other words, to deal not even with traditionalism. (Orthodoxy = moving toward heaven. Traditionalism = having some truth but mixed with false modus operandi or false doctrine, nevertheless generally straight) Gnosticism is neither traditional nor orthodox. It was the greatest revival of all time and it brought more Christians into the cosmic system than any other form of activity, including great persecution. The epistle was also deal with another cult which came out of Gnosticism. Asceticism is one of the things that came out of it and also antinomianism or lasciviousness. And there was a spin-off, a cult. A lot of people in their asceticism decided two things: a) They had never sinned. They believed in sinless perfection; b) Another group believed they had eradicated the sin nature. Both groups said since salvation, no sin.

4. This became the background, then, for dealing with the more important subject of the conflict of the dynaspheres.
(The two spheres of power within the universe: light and darkness)

5. This letter was written around 95 AD. It was written from Ephesus and addressed to local churches in the Roman province of Asia, the same churches to whom Paul wrote Ephesians and Colossians.

6. The center of Christianity in the first century was the Roman province of Asia, the capital of which was Ephesus. The major local churches were found in Revelation chapters 2 & 3.

7. While John was not mentioned as the author of the epistle he is so identified by the church fathers, Polycarp and Iranaeus, Eusebius. Furthermore, the language and vocabulary are identical with the Gospel of John.

THE DIVINE PURPOSE: through inspiration to take the oral teachings of the apostles on these truths and put it into writing, thus contributing to a final complete canon of scripture, which will be the final authority for doctrine and policy throughout the church age.

SUBJECT: basic Christian living.
Growth, fellowship, worship and service
The real issue in Christianity is fellowship with God and then, all that results from that fellowship. Fellowship with God revolves around knowledge and application of God’s word. Bible truth is the power of a successful Christian experience.
The Holy spirit will teach, remind and convict, using the written word as the standard. But each believer must personally CHOOSE to learn, listen and use the truths and principles of the bible in his own life.
If we live according to the standards of bible truth we will experience fellowship with God and with one another.
Sin in the life; that is, sin that is unrecognized and not dealt with blocks fellowship with God and hinders fellowship with other believers.
Sin in the life blocks the ministry of the Holy Spirit which prevents the experience of the abundant life (peace, joy and inner stability); prevents expressing the character of Christ (righteousness and love); and prevents prayer access.

Christianity depends on and centers around the person and
work of Jesus Christ. Heb. 12.2; Eph. 1.10; Col. 1.16
He must be the HUB of all doctrinal study-fellowship, worship and service.
If anything about the person and work of Christ breaks down, then all of Christianity falls as well. That's the reason so much emphasis is placed on the resurrection. 1 Cor. 15.12-19: Acts 17.3l

True fellowship with the Godhead depends on knowing the person and work of Christ.
Chapter One: Verses 1-4
1. We must recognize Him: Verse 1
  A. the person of Christ: Rom. 1.3-4
    1. Deity: Heb. 1.3; Rom. 9.5; John 1:1-3
       Micah 5.2; Is. 44.6; Rev. 1.17-18
    2. Humanity: In. 1.14; Gal. 4.4; Phil. 2.5-8
       Heb. 2.14-18; 4.15
  B. The work of Christ: Salvation/Eternal life accomplished
     through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
     Jn. 14.6: Acts 4.12; 2 Cor. 5.21: Jn. 10.7-18
2. We must verify Him: Verse 2
  A. Academic: Fulfilled prophecy
     "If anyone will learn the connection between prophecy
     and its fulfillment, let him read the 53rd chapter of
     Isaiah and compare it with the story of the passion.
     So vague and figurative that no one could have acted
     out the drama it fortold; but yet so definite and clear
     that, once fulfilled, the simplest child can recognize
     its scope and meaning."
     (Sir Robert Anderson; “The Coming Prince," P.77).

     LIST: prophecies of Christ’s first coming

  B. Experience: Ministry of the Holy Spirit in our life.
     Rom. 8.16; Gal. 5.22-23;
3. We must embrace Him: Verse 3a
  A. Salvation: Jn. 1.12-13; 3.16-18; 14.6
  B. Christian way of life: We live for Him not for
     Romans 14:7-8; 12:1-2; 13.14; 1Peter 3:15; Gal. 2:20
4. Then we have the basis for fellowship. Verse 3b
Our fellowship is with the Father
and with His son Jesus Christ.
FOUR factors then are necessary in order to experience fellowship with the Father through Jesus Christ.

1. That which: neuter relative pronoun to refer to the principle of the revelation of God through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. was: Imperfect Ind. of eimi. The imperfect tense indicates continuous action in the past. Used here it establishes the absolute existence of God the Son in past time. The past time is identified in the verse.
3. From the beginning: apo archā, from the ultimate source of the Beginning.
  a. The subject is - "that which" and refers to the 
     revelation of God.
  b. The revelation of god is his thinking, viewpoint and
  c. It has been in existence as long as He has – eternity.
     Prov. 8:22-31.
  d. The revelation of God concerning his design for the
     human race was revealed to man from the time of Adam
     and Eve.
     1. focus on His character prior to the fall of Adam.
     2. focus on His character and plan of salvation after
        the fall.
  e. And then at the appointed time, the revelation of God
     received its ultimate manifestation in the person of
     the Lord Jesus Christ.
  f. The manifestation of LJC as the revelation and the
     living Word of God is what John is thinking of here.
  g. As the living Word of God, Jesus Christ is God, and as
     The God-man. he completed the work of salvation for the
     human race
  h. Thus, our attention is brought to the Person and work
     of Christ, for there must be an orientation to that
     before there can be fellowship. Verse 3.
What we have heard: HIS MESSAGE
This is a perfect act. Indicative of akouō. It indicates something that was heard in the past with the result that it is still ringing in our ears.
We heard the message not just once, but repeatedly and thoroughly such as to prove beyond any shadow of doubt that what we heard was the personal revelation of God in the person of Jesus.
Peter writes, "WE were eyewitnesses of His majesty."
2Peter 1:16
The "we" of these thoughts is John as the last of the apostles, but as representing all of them and apostolic authority in general. It is kind of like an "editorial we." He could have said just "I" but by using "we" he appeals to a group of witnesses who have attested to these truths orally and in writing in previous years.
Peter writes, "WE were eyewitnesses of His majesty;" the ministry and character of Jesus.
This editorial "we" has a twofold focus.
(1) What "we" experienced in the past in the presence of Jesus.
(2) What "we" are doing right now by writing this letter - fellowship and joy.
The "we" now becomes a representative "we" referring to the position of apostolic authority. John might very well be the only living apostle at this time.

What we have seen with our eyes: HIS MIRACLES
This is a perfect act indicative of horaō.
We saw it. It was no optical illusion or dream but an actual physical person we saw. We saw Him, we saw what He did; what He was; Who He was. Even now we can close our eyes and the physical impressions and reality of living closely with him are still crystal clear to our mind's eye.
What we looked upon: HIS CHARACTER
The verb is theaomai as an aorist active indicative.
  a. view attentively, contemplate, focus intensely on something.
  b. the aorist is used to indicate the fact of his honest, intense and complete concentration.
  c. It is a long, intense and honest evaluation that again convinces beyond any shadow of doubt. John 1:14, His GLORY.
  d. This is talking about looking at WHO he is – his character.
  e. John recorded the results of his evaluation at John 20.26-31.

And our hands have handled: psālaphaō as an aorist active indicative. To examine closely, to handle with a view to investigation, to touch.
  a. The aorist tense is used to indicate the specific fact
     of the case and refers to the incident after our Lord’s
     resurrection recorded at Luke 24.39, where the same
     word is used, “touch me and see.”
  b. The resurrection of His humanity attests to the reality
     of his humanity. The FOURTH WITNESS to the incarnation;
     we touched him AFTER his resurrection.
  c. also to be included in this 4th witness are the
     incidents such as occurred in John 13:33. The close
     fellowship and friendship between Jesus and his

8. Concerning the word of The Life:
  a. The word: logos (from the verb, legō, which means to
     speak) refers to the content of communication.
     It is God's communication to man in the person of
     Christ. See John 1.1, 4, 14
     1. His person: John 14:6   2. His message: John 6:68
  b. of the life: the special kind of life which is in fact
     the life that God is and offers to the human race in
     contrast to the judgment prepared for Satan and his
     angels, which is existence without “life”
     (Mat. 25:41, 46).  John 20:31; Acts 4.12
  c. Two aspects to this quality of life. John 10:10, “life
     and abundance.”
    1. eternal life through relationship with God.
       John 6:40; 10:27-29
    2. Abundant life while living here on earth.
       Peace, joy and inner stability. Jn. 7:37-39; 8:31-32.
1. and the life was manifested: Phaneroō as an aorist passive indicative.
This is a specific reference to the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the first attack of Gnosticism: it denies the incarnation.
See topic: gnosticism
  a. John 1.14, “the word became flesh.”
     Heb. 2:14a; Heb. 10:5, "body prepared;" Phil. 2:7-8
  b. Total subordination to authority requires protection by
     that authority. Isaiah 53;2a
     "like a tender shoot and a root from parched ground."
     1. protection at birth: Mat. 2:12
     2. protection as a child: Mat. 2:13, 22
     3. protection through truth in the soul:
        Luke 2:40, 52; 4:1-12
     4. protection through the Holy spirit:
        Is. 11:1; 61:1-2; 42:1; Luke 4:18-21.
  c. The mystery of godliness: 1 Tim. 3:16
     "He who was revealed in the flesh."
      Aorist p. indicative of Phaneroō.
      1. The prophecy: Gen. 3:15; Is. 7:14; 9:6; Micah 5:2
      2. The fulfillment: Gal. 4:4-5; Luke 1:26-35;
         Mt. 1:18-23; Luke 2:8-14
      3. The result:  Romans 11:6

2. And we have seen it: horaō is a perfect a. ind. The repetition of the verb connects the logical and natural progression from seeing and verifying to communicating. (perfect tense: present results from seeing in the past).
3. and are bearing witness: martureō as a present act indicative expresses the act of John's personal verification of the incarnation; the person and work of Christ.
Present tense: constantly bearing witness (verifying) the reality of the person and work of Christ in every aspect of John's life.
4. and are announcing to you: apangellō, present act. ind.
The natural result from recognizing and verifying the person and work of Christ is to make a public proclamation and in this case, in written form.
apo: from the ultimate source.
angellō: announce
So, the idea is to make a public announcement from the ultimate source of ones self. It is a message that is near and dear to the heart and is a vital ingredient to one's character. To proclaim a message based on the standards in ones soul, and in this case, standards based on actual physical revelation to John as well as the Holy Spirit's ministry of inspiration.
There is a divine compulsion to proclaim truth when one allows truth to govern the soul. Acts 4:20, "for we cannot stop speaking the things which we have seen and heard."

5. The Eternal life: the whole reality of the person and work of Christ and the complete package of the Salvation provided by the cross and resurrection.
6. which was with the Father: John 1.1, the intimacy of the Godhead.
7. and was manifested to us: aorist p. ind. Of phaneroō.
Again, a statement of fact concerning the reality of the incarnation.
There is a natural pause in the Greek here before John continues. The condescension of God to mankind is so amazing that John cannot help but pause and reflect in his own thinking what is the magnificent mystery of Godliness.
It is expressed later at 1 John 3.1, "behold what manner."

After his pause for reflection in verse 2, John picks up again with his statement that what was seen and heard is being proclaimed.

1. What we have seen: Perf. a. ind. of horaō repeats the concept of v. 1; a very real and physical manifestation of the logos of God.
2. and heard: perf. a. ind. of akouō indicates a very real and physical hearing of the message of the Logos of God.
3. The reality of the source:  2 Peter 1:16-21
"We were eyewitnesses of His majesty."
4. We are proclaiming: present a. indicative of apangellō.
apo: from the ultimate source.
angellō: announce
So, the idea is to make a public announcement from the ultimate source of ones self. It is a message that is near and dear to the heart and is a vital ingredient to one's character. To proclaim a message based on the standards in ones soul, and in this case, standards based on actual physical revelation to John as well as the Holy Spirit's ministry of inspiration.
5. to you: The specific recipients, and in application, to all believers of every generation in the church age.
This is not evangelical in scope but instructional.
Specifically, how the Eternal life applies to the Christian way of life.
The function of the Christian way of life depends on the person and work of Christ as it relates to salvation.

6. Vital principle: The revelation of God to man is for
all believers. Not just a few who are specially educated,
and not just to those used of God to provide revelation.

7. in order that: hina plus the subjunctive to indicate the purpose for the communication of Divine truth.
8. You also: specifically of course this is addressed to the Ephesian believers. But in general it refers to the entire body of believers as already saved, and now faced with the challenge of living righteously, just as they are in fact positionally righteous in the eyes of God, through union with Christ.

The verb, might have is a present act subjunctive of echō.
It goes with hina to indicate purpose, but the potential is also in view. Communication of the truth in itself does not guarantee that the desired results will be seen in the lives of those who receive the communication. It requires volitional acceptance of the truth and application of the truth in one's daily life.
The presence of ALSO again indicates that participation in the benefits of God's plan is available to all who will hear and heed the principles of bible truth.

9. fellowship: koinōnia, a participation with, a sharing with a communion and partnership with.
10. with us: The "we" now goes beyond the specific eyewitnesses and refers to church leadership in general, who are represented by John, and are deemed by John to be walking in the light.
But the key focus is that all of us as believers, walking in the light, might have fellowship with one another.
11. and indeed: The particle, de, adds a point of amplification. And, incidentally; by the way.
12. our fellowship: specifically, John's fellowship with the Father and the son, which is a fellowship that all believers participate in as well.
13. is with the Father and with his son, Jesus Christ.
  a. with the Father: Primarily through an orientation to
     his perfect character and plan. Eph. 1.2, Grace.
    1. through prayer: all prayer is directed to the Father,
       in the name of the Son, through the Holy Spirit.
    2. through experiencing the perfect peace of God.
       Phil. 4.6-7
  b. with the Son:
    1.experiencing the grace and peace of Eph. 1.2.
      John 14:27, "my peace I give to you."
    2.Through participation in his character as it is
      produced in the life.
      2 Cor. 3.18; Rom. 13.14; 1 Cor. 11.1
    3. Service: 1 Cor. 3.9: 2 Cor. 5.20; 6.1, 4.
  c. With the Holy Spirit:
     It is through His indwelling presence that enables us
     to have fellowship with the Father and the Son.
     Our communion with the Holy Spirit is mentioned with
     regard to his control and ministry of producing
     Christ's character in the life.
     2 Cor. 13.14; Phil. 2.1; Gal. 5.22-23; 5.5.
  d. with other believers: Mutual participation in the areas
     of prayer, singing, service, comfort and encouragement,
     and general worship.  
     And of course all worship must be centered around the
     unity of the faith as outlined by Paul at Ephesians
     4:1-6. This "unity of the faith" is established by the
     content of revealed truth as found in the 66 books of
     the bible.

1. and these things: The book of 1 John, and by application,
the entirety of the written revelation of God.
2. we are writing: graphō as a present act indicative.
John is viewing this as a PRESENT endeavor designed to have present and real results in the lives of the readers/hearers.
3. so that our joy: chara, my joy and your joy
the experience of inner relaxation and contentment and
satisfaction in life.
  A. My joy: as the communicator, knowing that what he
     offers is the key to maximum soul prosperity in the
     Christian life.
  B. Your joy: through acceptance and participation in the
     instruction they receive. Hearing and doing the Word of
     God. James 1:25; John 13:17; Psalm 1:1-3

4. might be fulfilled: Perfect passive participle of Plāroō,
   Plus the Present subjunctive of eimi.
  A. periphrastic perfect participle to emphasize the unique
     and special quality of Divine happiness in the soul
  B. When certain principles of Doctrine are understood, the
     results are a fulfillment of soul prosperity which is
     evident whenever those principles are volitionally
     adhered to.
  C. the Subjunctive of eimi indicates that volition plays a
     part in experiencing the fulfillment of Christian joy.
  D. the perfect tense indicates full and complete results
     of the action but dependent on the volitional aspect of
     the subjunctive mood.
  E. On our part, the doing of our commission plus the
     personal application of the same principles in our
     On your part, the hearing and doing of the word taught.
1. And this is the message: angelia.
Everything else centers around the content of this message.
2. we have heard from Him: perfect act. indicative of akou
3. and announce to you: pres. act. indicative of apangell
4. that God is light: The God keeps on being.
    present indicative of eimi to indicate absolute nature
    and status. As to His nature and essence, He is NOT "a"
    light, and not THE light, but He is light in the sense
    of an absolute nature that is absolutely in contrast to
    a nature or essence of darkness.
    Light refers to the essence and character of the
    Godhead, and darkness refers to ANYTHING that is not
    consistent with or in agreement with that essence and
5. and in Him there is not darkness, not any:
  A. there is not: the verb is eimi plus the negative, ouk.
  B. darkness is skotia.
  C. and then the negative idea is repeated for emphasis
     with the word, oudemia, which means "not any."
  D. In Him: not any - in any way, shape or form and there
     is absolutely no room for any kind of compromise.

God is light: 1 Jn. 1:5a
  A. 1 Tim. 6:16
    1. Who dwells: oikeō, pres. pass. participle, dwelling.
    2. in unapproachable light: aprositos - communicates
       infinite essence in contrast to finite.
      a. Absolute in contrast to relative
      b. perfect in contrast to imperfect
    3. Whom no one has seen: Exodus 33:18 -34:7
      a. V. 18 - show me your glory: absolute essence
      b. V. 20 - you cannot see my face, ie, glory or
      c. For no man can se me and live: infinite vs. finite.
    4. What could be seen was a reflection of his glory
      a. V. 19 - all my goodness - character attributes
      b. V. 23 - my back parts - communicates reflection or
      c. V. 34.6 - character attributes: compassion, grace,
         patience, provision and truth
      d. V. 34.7 = justice: forgiveness or punishment
  B. The kingdom of light: Acts 26:18; Col. 1:12; 1 Pet. 2:9
  C. 1 Jn. 1:5b - in Him is no darkness at all:
     no sinfulness, no evil.
    1. Therefore, absolute righteousness and uprightness.
       Ps. 92:15; Deut. 32:4
    2. His viewpoint is light: Ps. 36.9; 43.3; 27.1;
       Dan. 2.22
  D. The believer can live and walk in the light.

  E. Anything or anyone who lives contrary to the divine
     standards of LIGHT is in darkness; walks in darkness
     and exists in opposition to God.

  F. The believer has been delivered from the kingdom of
     darkness through positional union with Christ. But in
     order to live out from under the influence of darkness,
     the believer must learn and use bible truth.
  G. Light vs. darkness then is the basis for fellowship
     rapport with the Godhead.

Verses 6-10
The issue of fellowship.
The "we" refers specifically to the possibilities for each and every believer.
However, in principle, it also APPLIES to any unbeliever, for the statement is true that if anyone walks in darkness, they are not practicing the truth.
Likewise, if ANYONE is walking in the light, that person has fellowship with God (one with another - mutual fellowship).
However, such an experience is ONLY possible for someone who is already a believer.
So what John teaches indicates the possibilities for every believer in order to effectually combat the false claims of the Cerinthian gnostics.
Verse 6, The 2nd attack from Gnosticism:
relationship with God is based on human terms.

1. If we say: 3rd class condition "if" to indicate a potential claim made by the believer under darkness delusion. It is an aorist act. subjunctive of legō, which means to state, affirm or even contend in an insistent rebellious attitude.
2. that we are having: echō as a present act. ind., which  communicates a present
condition or experience that the person is claiming.
3. fellowship: koinōnia refers to rapport and partnership based on alignment with someone’s character and plan.
  A. Usually used for fellowship in experience.
  B. Two times for salvation.
  C. Here, it is in the context of verse 3.
  D. Fellowship with God is based on alignment with His character and viewpoint. Called light Thus, walking in the light.
  E. It is called "abiding in Him (Christ)" at John 15:7
     and 1John 2:28.
  F. And yet: kai, introduces an attendant factor to our
     claim to be experiencing fellowship with God.

5. are actually walking: peripate
ō as a present act. indicative. The attendant activity that makes our claim to fellowship with God suspect.
The word is used to indicate how we conduct ourselves in life. It means to use the feet to move around (peri).

6. in the darkness: skotia with the definite article. Anything that is contrary to the light factors of verse 5; God's character and viewpoint.
  A. The principle oJ incompatibility: 2 Cor 6.14.
  B. Prov. 2:13, leaving the paths of uprightness (y
     Emphasis on moral standards and integrity
  C. 1John 2:11a, fails to operate on love.
     Emphasis on spiritual standards and integrity.
  D. The deeds of darkness: Rom. 13:12-13
  E. Thus, no alignment with God's character or viewpoint.
     1. The Holy spirit is quenched. 1 Thes. 5:19
        That is, the Spirit's ministry of teaching and
        guiding is shut town in the believer's life.
     2  And there is not Bible Truth operating in the soul.
  F. Eph. 5.9, the 3 factors of light living establish the opposite nature of darkness living. Goodness, righteousness and truth.
7. We are lying: pseudomai, pres. middle indicative.
   Our affirmation is false. The issue is NOT that we are
   intentionally "lying." But rather, we are simply making
   an untrue claim from being under the delusion of
8. and are not doing: pres. active ind. of poieo.
   This includes thinking, speaking and doing.
9. the truth: alātheia refers to God's viewpoint; doctrine and policy as it has been revealed to mankind throughout history and permanently resides in the 66 books of the bible.
Verse 7
1. but if (instead): 3rd class condition indicates the possible opposite condition of the believer's walk.

2. we are walking in the light: pres. act. subjunctive.
3. in the light: living according to the standards defined and communicated by God to the human race.
4. as He is in the light: this is a reference back to
   verse 5, "God is light," and indicates that the believer
   can in fact imitate certain aspects of God's character.
   So far, this "light" has not been defined.
  A. The principle of imitation: Eph. 5.1-2
  B.God's standards not man's.
    1. Is. 55.6-9
    2. Is 5.18-21
    3. Mal. 2:17
    4. Rebellion - Job 24.13
    5. The fruit of the Spirit: Gal. 5:22-23
5. we are having: echo as a present act. indicative shows a present reality based on alignment with God's standards.

6. fellowship with one another:
A. That is God with us - and we with God.
B. As well as, by application, with fellow believers as per
   verse 3.
c. Fellowship indicates an alignment with God. Therefore, no enmity between Him and the believer.
D. This must be premised on cleansing and forgiveness of sins.
E. Such a cleansing and forgiveness is only available through the work of Christ on the cross.
F. From a salvation perspective, it is an accomplished fact.
   Ephesians 1:7; Col. 1:13-14
G. From an experiential perspective it is only realized through sinless consistency. No sin in the life.

1. Definition: Sinless consistency is the condition of reflecting Christ’s righteousness based on the control of Divine truth in the soul. Psalm 119:11; 1 John 2:1

2. When God’s word is allowed to govern the soul, a total protection is provided in all three areas of one’s daily life. Prov 6:22

3. God’s word as a living and powerful influence in the soul (Heb. 4:12), provides the believer’s self-consciousness (ego) with light viewpoint in order to avoid the darkness viewpoint of the sin nature. Prov. 6:23; Job 29:3; Psalm 119:105.

4. See complete study under TOPICS S.

H. Even though saved once and for all, the believer still has a sin nature which brings a sinful influence into the believer's life on a daily basis. Thus, the sin nature is a constant source of temptation, but that temptation itself is not sin.
The character of the sin nature is absolutely contrary to the character of God. And even though that is one reason the human race is guilty before God and under God's judgment, that barrier to relationship with God has been removed or cleansed through Christ's work on the cross. Thus, as long as there is no personal sin in the life, the believer can experience fellowship with God and walking in the light.
When the believer "does" a personal sin (thought, spoken or overt), fellowship is broken and the sin nature takes control of the believer's life.
Fellowship is restored simply by a genuine confession of the sin to God the Father - and this is adequate because Christ ALREADY paid for all sins when He died on the cross.
When the believer confesses sin or sins to the Father, he appeals back to the cross and acknowledges the severity of his sin and Christ's efficacious payment for sin, and His resultant advocacy on behalf of the believer. 1 John 2:1

6.And the blood of Jesus His Son: specific reference to the SPIRITUAL sacrifice of Christ on the cross which obtained a full payment for all past, present and future sins.


7. cleanses us: katharidzō as a present active indicative.
keeps on cleansing. This refers to the once and for all sacrifice on the cross that has a continuous cleansing application while the believer is on earth.

8. From all sin: pas + hamartia. The all makes this a reference to every aspect of man's sinfulness. Sin is anything that comes short of the standards of God's righteousness. It covers all personal sin as well as the alienating character of the sin nature.
  A. Jesus died for all personal sins:

          1 Pet. 2.24; 2 Cor. 5.21; Is. 53.11

  B. Jesus died with reference to the sin nature.

When Christ was crucified, he crucified the sin nature, and in Christ, the believer has crucified the sin nature. Gal. 5.24
1. This occurs at the  moment of salvation.
     Rom 6:17-18
2. It's called a spiritual circumcision: Col. 2:11-12.

9. So as we maintain sinless consistency, fellowship is continuously experienced.
Doing a personal sin breaks that consistency and breaks fellowship. Confession of the sin restores the condition and attitude of sinless consistency and restores fellowship.
Denial of the presence of the sin nature.

1. If we affirm: 3rd class condition IF + aorist active subjunctive of legō.
2. that we do not have: the verb is ech
ō as a present act. indicative plus the negative, that denies the possession of something whether in terms of our spiritual or physical structure, or having something "in our possession."

3. sin: the noun, harmartia in the singular refers to the NATURE of sin rather than acts of sin as at verses 9 and 10.
Antinomianism is the doctrine of sinless perfection. That is, the condition or state of being absolutely sinless both in nature and in action. This doctrine is contrary to all that the Bible teaches and is a misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches about sinless consistency.

4. We are deceiving ourselves: the verb is planaō as a present active indicative to state the reality in spite of what we might believe or claim.
  A. deception because we do in fact have a sin nature and
     it is the source of all our sinful thoughts and
     activities. Galatians 5:19-21; Mark 7
  B. deception because without recognizing the problem,
     we will never find and experience the solution.

5. and the truth is not in us: the noun is alātheia and refers to all that God states as FACT concerning the presence and character of the sin nature.
Gen. 8:21; Psalm 51:5; Ec. 9:3; Prov. 22:15;
Jeremiah 17:9; Rom. 7:14-21

6. See doctrine of the sin nature

Verse 9
Once John affirms the existence of the sin nature in believers, he next deals with the solution to all the sinful acts that come from that nature.
All this is to pave the way for consistency in walking in light and experiencing fellowship with God.
1. if: another 3rd class condition to indicate the potential for believers to follow the policy that he is about to state.
2. we: this is referring to believers only. The procedure to confess personal sins in order to restore and maintain fellowship with God is a procedure ONLY for believers. The unbeliever gains nothing from confessing or acknowledging his personal sins, whether it is to God or some human authority such as a priest or minister. The only procedure, act or requirement for the unbeliever is to express personal trust/faith in the gospel. This certainly INCLUDES an acknowledgment that one is a sinner and in need of God's forgiveness, but it must be attendant with accepting the person and work of Christ as God's provision for forgiveness.

3. confess: the verb homologeō is a pres. act. subjunctive.
It means to say the same thing, thus to agree with or acknowledge.
  A. Confession of sin involves total agreement with God
     about that sin or sins.
    1. its nature: it is a violation of His viewpoint and
    2. The provision: Christ's payment for sin on the cross.
    3. your attitude: rejecting that sin and ceasing it as
       per Proverbs 28:13.
  B. confession of sin is not a mechanical verbalization or
     ritual but a simple mental affirmation of the facts
     concerning that sin.
  C. Confession of sin is always directed to God the Father.
     Never to men. Psalm 32:5

4. our sins: the noun hamartia in the plural to contrast with the nature of sin mentioned in verse 8.
  A. PERSONAL sin is the violation of any aspect of God's
     viewpoint and policy as detailed in His written word.
     Mk.7; Gal. 5.
  B. What is obvious, but often overlooked, is that this is
     referring to known sins. You cannot confess what is
5. He is faithful: pistos - dependable, trustworthy
   It comes from his perfect character and plan.
6. and just: adjective is dikaios. He operates fairly and equally to all members of the human race based on his standard of justice, which was satisfied through Christ's sacrifice for sins on the cross.
  A. All sins were paid for on the cross.
1. Titus 2.11-God's grace provides salvation to all
         men (universal provision)
      2. Heb. 2.9 - Jesus tasted death for everyone
         (universal identification)
      3. 2 Pet. 2.1 - He even bought the ones who deny him.
         (universal payment)
      4. 1 Tim. 4.10 - He is the savior of all men
         (universal sacrifice) especially of believers
         (limited application based on faith).
      5. 1 Tim. 2:6 - who gave Himself as a ransom for all.
      6. More details: Topic: unlimited atonement

  B. When someone trusts in Christ as savior, the penalty
     for sin (eternal separation from God) is removed in
     regard to all past and future sins ..
  C. But any future sins will still produce the effects of
     separation from God through misalignment with his
     viewpoint and policy.
  D. And since all the future sins were paid for on the
     cross, there is no need for another sacrifice. 
  E. However, something must be done about the misalignment
     with god that results from pesonal sin.
  F. An appeal back to the Cross work of Christ is what
     accomplishes forgiveness and a re-alignment with God.
      1 John 1:7 and 2:1.
7. to forgive us our sins: the preposition of purpose is hina. Thus, in order to forgive; for the purpose to forgive. Or even with the idea of result. Thus, with the result that he forgives.
The verb is aphi
āmi as an aorist active subjunctive. The issue in forgiveness is a removal of the obstacle that has removed and prevents proper alignment with God's viewpoint.
This forgiveness involves restoration to experiential fellowship with God and has nothing to do with the eternal forgiveness of sins that is obtained at the moment of salvation through trust in the person and work of Christ.

8. and to cleanse us: The verb is katharidzō as an aorist active subjunctive, and amplifies the purpose or result of confessing the sin or sins.
9. from all unrighteousness: pas adikia indicates the removal of any and all violations of divine righteosness.
This uniquely covers all the unknown or forgotten sins that accumulate in the believer's life subsequent to the initial sin that breaks fellowship with God.
10. Psalm 51:1-4


Sin in the life indicates a divergence from the viewpoint

of God since “righteousness cannot have fellowship with unrighteousness” and “all unrighteousness is sin.”

This breaks experiential (temporal) communion with God.

Assume that the erring believer quickly (or maybe not so

quickly) realizes his sin and changes his mind about it –

and readjusts to the viewpoint of God – thus acknowledging

and agreeing with the viewpoint of God.

This is in fact a mental “homologeo” of the sin(s) involved.

He can do this because the “eternal” consequence of all his

sins has been judicially paid for by Christ on the cross –

AND that believer has accepted that payment (redemption) by

saving faith in Christ.

Sin breaks our communion (rapport, fellowship) with God.

When that happens we NEED help for restoration. This cannot

be denied because that is exactly what 1john 2:1 says,

“if we sin, we have a helper.”

What is the nature of this help and how is it accessed?

This does not have to be seen as a courtroom image.

It could simply be an automatic factor that comes into play

when a certain condition exists. That condition in both old

and new testaments is for the erring believer to recognize,

accept and readjust to the viewpoint of God.


The Father is eternally satisfied with the ransom price that

was paid by Christ, and accepts the unbeliever who trusts in Christ.
And the Father is experientially satisfied when the believer
applies that ransom to his temporal sin.
That is why John mentions both aspects of propitiation at v.2:2.


Verse 10
The denial of personal sin
1. if we say: third class condition "if" clause to indicate as before the potential for a particular thought, statement or action. The verb is leg
ō as an aorist active subjunctive.

2. that we have not sinned: the verb is hamartanō as a perfect active indicative.
  A. This is rejection of the need for cleansing.
  B. It denies any past or present sin activity.
  C. It directly contradicts Romans 3:23 and context which
     establishes conclusively that man's thoughts and
     actions come far short of divine standards for
  D. It contradicts the reality of experience for the
     believer. Believers sin. All the warnings against sin
     and all the instruction for recovery from sin indicates
     that the believer still faces the reality of personal
     sin on a daily basis.
3. we make Him a liar: present act. indicative of poie
   When we make claims contrary to the written word of God,
   we are calling Him a liar.
4. And His word is not in us: no doctrinal orientation to
   spiritual and moral reality as revealed in the Bible.
   If His word was residing in our soul, we would not; could
   not actually deny it. We might still choose to violate
   the standards of the word through failure to resist
   temptation, but it is not a direct denial of the truths

Of course the goal of the Christian life is to maintain sinless consistency and thus manifest a quality of righteousness that is consistent with Christ's righteousness. This is what brings honor and glory to God the Father and promotes His plan in your sphere of influence. Thus, John will continue this theme in the next verse (chapter 2:1) expressing the desire that the believer not commit personal sin. And yet, even if and when that happens, God's plan provides for recovery based on the once and for all payment for sin that Christ accomplished when He died on the cross. The believer can recover from acts of personal sin through confession of sin (1 john 1:9) because Christ paid for that sin. Our sins are no longer an issue for relationship access to God for we have been born again into His family, but any future sins can break fellowship with Him here in this life. And because the sins have already been paid for, God is satisfied (propitiated), and all the believer needs to do is express a genuine acknowledgement (confession) of the sin(s) to God the Father in order to be restored to a functional fellowship with Him, "and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:3).


Questions and comments are always welcome

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