Matthew Henry's Commentary
This epistle is a discourse upon the principles of Christianity, in doctrine and practice. The design appears to be,
to refute and guard against erroneous and unholy tenets, principles, and practices, especially such as would lower the Godhead
of Christ, and the reality and power of his sufferings and death, as an atoning sacrifice; and against the assertion that
believers being saved by grace, are not required to obey the commandments. This epistle also stirs up all who profess to know
God, to have communion with him, and to believe in him, and that they walk in holiness, not in sin, showing that a mere outward
profession is nothing, without the evidence of a holy life and conduct. It also helps forward and excites real Christians
to communion with God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to constancy in the true faith, and to purity of life.
he apostle prefaces his epistle to believers in general, with evident testimonies to Christ, for promoting their happiness
and joy. (1-4) The necessity of a life of holiness, in order to communion with God, is shown. (5-10)
Verses 1-4: That essential Good, that uncreated Excellence, which had been from the beginning,
from eternity, as equal with the Father, and which at length appeared in human nature for the salvation of sinners, was the
great subject concerning which the apostle wrote to his brethren. The apostles had seen Him while they witnessed his wisdom
and holiness, his miracles, and love and mercy, during some years, till they saw him crucified for sinners, and afterwards
risen from the dead. They touched him, so as to have full proof of his resurrection. This Divine Person, the Word of life,
the Word of God, appeared in human nature, that he might be the Author and Giver of eternal life to mankind, through the redemption
of his blood, and the influence of his new-creating Spirit. The apostles declared what they had seen and heard, that believers
might share their comforts and everlasting advantages. They had free access to God the Father. They had a happy experience
of the truth in their souls, and showed its excellence in their lives. This communion of believers with the Father and the
Son, is begun and kept up by the influences of the Holy Spirit. The benefits Christ bestows, are not like the scanty possessions
of the world, causing jealousies in others; but the joy and happiness of communion with God is all-sufficient, so that any
number may partake of it; and all who are warranted to say, that truly their fellowship is with the Father, will desire to
lead others to partake of the same blessedness.
Verses 5-10: A message
from the Lord Jesus, the Word of life, the eternal Word, we should all gladly receive. The great God should be represented
to this dark world, as pure and perfect light. As this is the nature of God, his doctrines and precepts must be such. And
as his perfect happiness cannot be separated from his perfect holiness, so our happiness will be in proportion to our being
made holy. To walk in darkness, is to live and act against religion. God holds no heavenly fellowship or intercourse with
unholy souls. There is no truth in their profession; their practice shows its folly and falsehood. The eternal Life, the eternal
Son, put on flesh and blood, and died to wash us from our sins in his own blood, and procures for us the sacred influences
by which sin is to be subdued more and more, till it is quite done away. While the necessity of a holy walk is insisted upon,
as the effect and evidence of the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus, the opposite error of self-righteous pride is guarded
against with equal care. All who walk near to God, in holiness and righteousness, are sensible that their best days and duties
are mixed with sin. God has given testimony to the sinfulness of the world, by providing a sufficient, effectual Sacrifice
for sin, needed in all ages; and the sinfulness of believers themselves is shown, by requiring them continually to confess
their sins, and to apply by faith to the blood of that Sacrifice. Let us plead guilty before God, be humble, and willing to
know the worst of our case. Let us honestly confess all our sins in their full extent, relying wholly on his mercy and truth
through the righteousness of Christ, for a free and full forgiveness, and our deliverance from the power and practice of sin.
David Burnette's Life Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making
an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start
the book of 1st John with Chapter 1 and today we see John sharing how God is light, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and how
we are to live in the Light of Jesus Christ. In making application we see that we are to have a relationship with a holy God
who loves us and died for us. How about you? Is Jesus your light? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder of John
to see that Jesus is our light and we are to navigate our lives through the pages of the Bible following the still small voice
of the Holy Spirit as he reveals God's Daily Plan for our lives.
1 John 1
which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands
have handled, of the Word of life;
life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father,
and was manifested unto us;)
3That which we
have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father,
and with his Son Jesus Christ.
things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6If we say that we have fellowship with him,
and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin.
8If we say that
we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
10If we say that we have
not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.