1 John 1 … Consider Him, the Word of Life

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, (1:1).

Ten short verses that will require an eternity to grasp. This letter is attributed to the apostle John, a fisherman by trade, who left his family business to follow Jesus.

Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him, (Matthew 4:21-22).

While John does not explicitly name himself as the author of this letter, the early church fathers confirmed John as the author because of the similar language, phrases, and expressions used in his writings in the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation.

The apostle John, along with Peter and James, was one of the privileged three included in Jesus’ inner circle. And John referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (see John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20). (More on that later).

From NIV Study Bible:
1 Jn 2:12-14,19; 3:1; 5:13 make it clear that this letter was addressed to believers. But the letter itself does not indicate who they were or where they lived. The fact that it mentions no one by name suggests it was a circular letter sent to Christians in a number of places.
John’s readers were confronted with an early form of Gnostic teaching… This heresy was also libertine, throwing off all moral restraints.
Consequently, John wrote this letter with two basic purposes in mind: (1) to expose false teachers (see 2:26) and (2) to give believers assurance of salvation (see 5:13). In keeping with his intention to combat Gnostic teachers, John specifically struck at their total lack of morality (3:8-10); and by giving eyewitness testimony to the incarnation, he sought to confirm his readers’ belief in the incarnate Christ (1:3). Success in this would give the writer joy (1:3).

Ten short verses in this first chapter, packed with a boundless revelation that will surely nurture every believer’s faith in the Incarnate Christ referred to by John as the Word of Life. This God-Man Who is Eternal, Who is the Light, Who is One with the Father, and Who is the Faithful and Righteous One Who shed His blood to cleanse us and forgive us our sins is the Word of Life; and He was seen, looked at, and touched.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:

Word: 3056. λόγος lógos; gen. lógou, masc. noun from légō (3004), to speak intelligently. Intelligence, word as the expression of that intelligence… The word Lógos in John 1:1, 14; 1 John 1:1 stands for the preincarnate Christ… In John 1:1, Jesus Christ in His preincarnate state is called ho Lógos, the Word, presenting Him as the Second Person of the Godhead who is the eternal expression of the divine intelligence and the disclosure of the divine essence…

Life: 2222. ζωή zōḗ; gen. zōḗs, fem. noun from záō (2198), to live. Life… Generally, physical life and existence as opposed to death and nonexistence… the source of all life (John 1:4; 5:26; 1 John 1:1, 2).

Referring to Jesus as the Word, defines Him as One Who came in flesh and blood as the exact image of the Father. And ascribing Him the title of the Word of Life, identifies Him as One with the Creator God and the Source of all Life.

The recipients of John’s letter needed to be strengthened to withstand the false claims of Gnosticism. For foundational to the faith is that Christ did in fact come in the flesh; for had He not come as a Man, He would not have become our perfect substitute offering for sin.

and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf… 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:15, 21).

And John rebutted every false teaching with Truth. Jesus Christ came in the flesh as the eternal expression of the divine essence of God. He is the Creator and Source of all Life as He gives Life to the dead. And what did not exist before is called into being by Him, the Word of Life.

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes,” (John 5:21).

…even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist, (Romans 4:17b).

Consider Him, the Word of Life

  • He is the Word of Life Who was from the beginning with God.
    • 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, (1:1).
    • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men, (John 1:1-4).
  • He is the Word of Life Who became flesh and blood to reveal and explain the Father.
    • All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him, (Matthew 11:27).
    • And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth… 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him,  (John 1:14, 18).
  • He is the Word of Life Who became flesh and blood to convey God’s Glory.
    • He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, (Colossians 1:15).
    • And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power… (Hebrews 1:3).
  • He is the Word of Life Who became flesh and blood to demonstrate God’s Love.
    • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
    • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, (Romans 5:8).
  • He is the Word of Life Who became flesh and blood to communicate God’s Gift of Eternal Life.
    • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).
    • And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life, (1John 5:11-12).
  • He is the Word of Life Who is the Source and Creator of Life.
    • For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him, (Colossians 1:16).
    • God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world, (Hebrews 1:1-2).
  • He Is the Word of Life Who Creates His Life in us as He calls into being what did not exist before, enabling us to walk in fellowship with Him and other believers in the Light and Truth of His forgiveness.
    • what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ, (1:3).

How do we respond to Him, the Word of Life?

The apostle John had this marvelous all-consuming appreciation of what his salvation had cost Jesus, the Word of Life. The very Creator and Source of all Life, died that he would be saved and live!

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him, (1 Thessalonian 5:9-10).

And it seems that John just could not get over the fact that his Savior loved him so much that He would leave His place in Heaven to become flesh and blood for him. And so moved by such unexplainable love, John identified himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Not that he was any more special or loved than any other, but that he simply could not separate himself from the way Jesus loved him. And in so doing, John became a living  expression of the love of Jesus to others.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him, (1 John 3:1).

Today was not an easy day attempting to capture in human language the glimpses John gave of Him, the Word of Life. But I pray that we too would be so moved by His unfathomable love, that we would leave everything behind to closely follow Him, unable to separate ourselves from the reality of His love. Oh, that we, like John, would come to identify ourselves as immeasurably loved by Him and become an expression of His love to others.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another, (1 John 4:10-11).

As we grow in our appreciation and gratitude of His inexplicable love, we can trust that He will call our love for others into existence that we would be enabled to walk in Fellowship, in the Light and Truth, and in the Forgiveness we have received in Him, the Word of Life.

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 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, (1:5-7).

Oh, may we never get over His love, that we too could boldly claim in confidence that we are “the disciple whom Jesus loves.” And let us rest in the Truth; our sins and failures will never cause His love to fail. But let us be quick to confess our sins, believing that He will always be faithful to call into existence the forgiveness we have in Him, the Word of Life, Who became flesh and blood to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1:9).

Let’s Grow Together!

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