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Believing the Truth

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:1-4 CSB

We are now going to go through 1, 2, 3 John. This was roughly written between either A.D. 60 to 65 or A.D. 80 to 90, sent to the Christians in Ephesus and throughout Asia as a letter to encourage and strengthen the believers. Throughout John’s writings, John uses the themes of light and darkness as metaphors for the truth and goodness versus falsehoods and evil. It could also be written, like Peter, to counter false teachings that were sprouting, such as the belief of Docetism, the false teaching that Jesus did not actually have a physical body on earth, but only appeared to have one and was never fully human. With that all in mind, John establishes his testimony about Jesus, speaking that he was a personal eye witness “from the beginning,” meaning Jesus’ ministry. In rebuttal to the false teachers of Docetism, John mentions that he had physical contact with Jesus (“have touched with our hands” v. 1). A quick example of this interaction was in John 13:4-5, where Jesus washed all the disciples’ feet. John also establishes the main focus of his letter, “the Word of Life,” meaning Jesus, as seen in John’s gospel account in John 1:1-5 (“the Word was God…In Him was life”). John wants to share the truth of eternal life to his readers “so that you may also have fellowship with us” (1 John 1:3). John wants to clarify the truths about salvation and Jesus so that every believer is on the same page, a topic that Paul emphasized in 1 Corinthians 1:10 saying, “Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.” If believers are confused about a Biblical truth, division will occur, so John wants to rectify this problem by reminding everyone of the foundational truths of Jesus and eternal life and about salvation. And John is not doing this out of his own selfish gain, but out of genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of his readers. “We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4). The truth about Jesus and salvation is pivotal in a believer’s walk, and Satan will do everything in his power to try to confuse them in order to hinder their work here on earth. Therefore, John’s letter is to strengthen the believers and remind them that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)


Isaac De Guzman


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