Reading the Word
1 John 1:1–4 (ESV)
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.
Understanding the Word
The Apostle John begins his letter emphasizing that the gospel he proclaims is real. He heard Jesus speak. He saw him. He touched him. The things that John proclaims are not just rumors or hearsay, but coming from a first-hand witness of the life of Jesus.
The reality of Jesus, the Son of God, being born into the world as a man, dying on a cross, and rising from the dead, means that eternal life is available for all who will hear the Good News and trust in Jesus. John wants all to hear his message and believe so that they might join the fellowship of believers now and for eternity.
Applying the Word
The Christian faith is grounded in history. The events that Christians hold to as the basis of their hope are things that actually happened. Christianity is unique in that it is not simply based on wise sayings or philosophical understandings of the world, as other religious systems. Instead, we look to the cross. We look to the historical events of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection as our hope.
And if Jesus really rose from the dead, we have the answers to all of our questions and the solution to our sin problem.
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