“We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life– this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us– we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (I John 1:1 – 4)
The writer of I John says “so that our joy may be complete”; I want to take this to mean that the writer found joy in passing on the “Word of Life” that comes from knowledge and belief in Jesus Christ. That it is joy and not obligation that moves him to write. And he must have felt joy he they first realized what had been revealed to him.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and 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.” (Verses 6 – 10)
There are realities in this passage; and if, as the writer of I John says, we do not heed what is true, and try proclaim and profess what is false – there are dire consequences. The Divine is not made ashamed or made a fool of if we profess incorrect faith and belief. And it is not just shame or embarrassment that we will suffer, but the consequences and wages of sin.
“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; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (Chapter 2, verses 1 – 2)
The writer of I John holds out hope to his listeners/readers – more hope than perhaps I or Paul would give. As I said yesterday, such letters are written to new young believers who are just hearing for the first time the “Word of Life”. We, beloved reader, do not have that excuse or fallback. We know, or should know what is true and authentic concerning the Divine and Jesus Christ. But praise be to the Lord God Jesus Christ, the writer of I John is correct – Jesus did atone for our sins, If we will confess belief and seek understanding, we will not be lost for the long term. Shalom & Selah!