Spurgeon Verse Expositions - 1 John 1:1 - 1:10

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Spurgeon Verse Expositions - 1 John 1:1 - 1:10


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

1Jn_1:1. That 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;

You know who that is, who it is that John had heard, and seen, and looked upon, and handled, even Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

1Jn_1:2-3. (For the 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,) that 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.

The Father delights in his risen Son, no more to suffer and to die, having accomplished all his work; and I am sure that we have fellowship with the Father in that rejoicing. Then think what is the joy of Christ, who has passed through the shades of death, and risen from all the gloom of the sepulcher no more to die. I trust, dear brethren and sisters in Christ, that we have fellowship with him, for we also have risen with him unto newness of life.

1Jn_1:4. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

“There,” the apostle seems to say, “if you have doubts, they will kill your joy. Doubt is a great joy-killer; but we have seen him, we have heard him, we have handled him who is the fountain of all true joy. Let no doubts come into your hearts, for these are well-attested facts of which we speak.

We live still,” saith John,-though, perhaps, when he wrote, he may have been the last survivor of the eleven,-“we live still, by our testimony concerning Christ, to confirm your faith, that your joy may be full.”

1Jn_1:5-7. This 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. if use say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but 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.

That is, if we walk in the brightest light we can ever know, and if our fellowship with God is the highest that can be enjoyed this side heaven, we shall still need the cleansing blood of Jesus; and, blessed be God, we shall still have it, and we shall still find that it “cleanseth us from all sin.”

1Jn_1:8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

We are walking in darkness when we thus talk of light. It is easy for a blind man to talk of light though he cannot see it; and there are some who boast of very superior light who, nevertheless, are so much in the dark that they cannot even see their own sin.

1Jn_1:9-10. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to 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.

The Lord bless to us the reading of his Word! Amen.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 33. and 1 John 1.



May that Divine Spirit, who inspired every word of this wonderful letter, bless it to all our hearts as we read it!

1Jn_1:1. That 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;

You remember how John begins his Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word “and how, a little later, he says, “In him was life.” The Holy Spirit seems to have recalled those expressions to his mind, for he moves him to use them again. Note how clearly, how explicitly, John writes concerning the Logos, the eternal Word. He says, “That which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life,... that declare we unto you.” The facts of Christ’s history on earth are recorded by eye-witnesses who could not be deceived concerning them. They exercised their various senses with regard to Christ, — hearing, seeing, and touching him again and again. They were veracious witnesses, and they died in testimony of their faith in what they asserted. And when anything has been heard, seen, inspected, and even touched and handle-, by a company of reliable witnesses, the testimony of such witnesses concerning it must be accepted as true.

1Jn_1:2. (For the 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;)

John and his fellow-apostles were eye witnesses of the coming to earth of God in human flesh, — the indwelling of the Word of life in a body like our own,

1Jn_1:3-4. That 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. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

Hear ye this, ye people of God! The object of the revelation of Jesus Christ is that you may have joy, — yea, that you may have a heart full of joy, and that you may know what full joy means; for, here below, we get but drops and dashes of joy, unless we are brought into fellowship with God through Jesus Christ; and, then, we have the very joy of God in our souls. Oh, the delight of it! Oh, that you could all know it to the full!

1Jn_1:5. This 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.

That is to say, God is knowledge, God is truth; God is purity. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” There is no darkness of sin, or ignorance, or error about God.

1Jn_1:6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth;

He who walks in ignorance and sin, is in fellowship with the powers of darkness; but he is certainly not in fellowship with God, who is light.

1Jn_1:7. But 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.

So that, in the very highest state to which we can attain in this world, namely, walking in the light, as God is in the light, and having fellowship with him, even then we shall sin, and shall still need the blood of Christ to cleanse us from its stain. So those err exceedingly who say that the Christian man can or does live utterly free from sin. Either they have lowered the standard by which they judge the actions of men, or they excuse themselves on some Antinomian principle, or else they must be altogether ignorant of the truth about the matter; for “if we walk in the light, as God is in the light,” and have fellowship with him, still “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin;” and, therefore, there is sin needing to be cleansed, for Christ does no work as a superfluity. But what a mercy it is for us to feel the continual cleansing of the precious blood of Jesus, so that, if we sin through ignorance, or if we sin by omission or by commission, that precious blood constantly keeps us so pure, that we can still walk with God!

1Jn_1:8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

It does not matter either, in what sense we say it. We may try to beguile ourselves with the idea that we say it in some peculiar gospel sense; but “we deceive ourselves” if we say it in any sense whatsoever, for we have sin, and we do sin.

1Jn_1:9. If we confess our sins, —

That is the point; and he, who says that he has no sins, will not confess them. He, who believes himself to be perfect, cannot enjoy the blessing described in this 9th verse. To deny that we have any sin, is to walk in darkness, and to show we are without the light which would reveal our sin to us, kind if we are walking in darkness we cannot be in fellowship with God. But to see sin in ourselves from day to day, humbly to confess it, and mourn over it, is to walk in the light; and walking in the light, we shall have fellowship with God who is light. “If we confess our sins,” —

1Jn_1:9-10. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to 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.

This exposition consisted of readings from 1 John 1 and 1Jn_2:1-6.



1Jn_1:1. That 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;

The fact that Christ was really in the flesh, that he was no phantom, no shadow mocking the eyes that looked upon him, is exceedingly important, and hence John-(whose style, by the way, in this epistle is precisely like the style which he uses in his Gospel)-John begins by declaring that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who in his eternity was from the beginning, was really a substantial man, for he says-“ We have heard him “-hearing is good evidence, “ Which we have seen him with our own eyes; “ eye-sight is good, clear evidence, certainly, “ Which we have looked upon “- this is better still, for this imports a deliberate, careful, circumspect gaze; but better still- “which our hands have handled,” for John had leaned his head on Jesus Christ’s bosom, and his hands had often met the real flesh and blood of the living Saviour. We need have no doubt about the reality of Christ’s incarnation when we have these open eyes and hands to give us evidence.

1Jn_1:2. (For the 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;)

That same eternal Being who is Very God of Very God, and is worthy to be called essentially Life, was made flesh and dwelt among us, and the Apostles could say-“ We beheld his glory.”

1Jn_1:3. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you-

See how he does hammer this nail as if he will drive it fast! How he rings this bell that it may toll the death-knell of every doubt!

1Jn_1:3. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us:

But John, what is the value of fellowship with you, you and your brethren, a parcel of poor fishermen, who wants fellowship with you-hooted, despised, mocked and persecuted in every city-who wants fellowship with you?

1Jn_1:3. And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with trio Son Jesus Christ.

What a leap from the fisherman to the Father’s throne, from the poor, despised son of Zebedee up to the King of Kings! Oh, John, we would have fellowship with thee now! We will have fellowship with thy scorn and spitting, that we may have fellowship with thee, and with the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ.

1Jn_1:4. And these things write I unto you that your joy may be full.

Some Christians have joy, but there are only a few drops in the bottom of their cup; but the Scriptures were written, and more especially the doctrine of an Incarnate God is revealed to us, that our joy may be full. Why, if you have nothing else to make you glad the feet that Jesus has become brother to you, arrayed in your flesh, should make your joy full.

1Jn_1:5. This 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.

Not a light, nor the light, though he is both, but that he is light. Scripture uses the term light for knowledge, for purity, for prosperity, for happiness, and for truth. God is light, and then in his usual style, John, who not only tells you a truth but always guards it, adds-“ in whom is no darkness at all.”

1Jn_1:6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.

Mark here, this does not mean walking in the darkness of sorrow, for there are many of God’s people that walk in the darkness of doubts and fears, and yet they have fellowship with God; nay, they sometimes have fellowship with Christ all the better for the darkness of the path along which they walk, but the darkness here meant is the darkness of sin, the darkness of untruthfulness. If I walk in a lie, or walk in sin, and then profess to have fellowship with God, I have lied, and do not the truth.

1Jn_1:7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,-

Not to the same degree, but in the same manner-

7.We have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

So you see that when we walk the best, when we walk in the light, as he is in the light, when our fellowship is of the highest order, yet still we want daily cleansing. It does not say-mark this O my soul-it does not say “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleansed “ but “ cleanseth.” If guilt return, his power may be proved again and again, there is no fear that all my daily slips and shortcomings shall be graciously removed by this precious blood. But there are some who think they are perfectly sanctified and have no sin.

1Jn_1:8-9. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Oh, those words, and more especially that glorious word “ all! “ This must include the vilest sin that ever stained human nature, the blackest grime that ever came from the black heart of man. And now John is very careful when he strikes a blow to hit completely. He has already smitten those who say they have no sin, and now he smites those who say they did not at one time have any.

1Jn_1:10. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psa_130:1-8; 1Jn_1:1-10; 1Jn_2:1-2.