“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– and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us– 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. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” (NAU 1 John 1:1-4)
Christ was from the beginning and he is the Word of Life. The surrounding witnesses of that time touched him, seen with their own eyes, and the things that they heard about him were still ringing in their ears. The reality of the resurrection was undeniable. Jesus’ life and resurrection was clearly seen, and because of the resurrection, the way to receive eternal life was clearly made known. (“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” John 14:6). An opportunity for a relationship with God the Father has been made because of the resurrection of Christ.
John wanted his readers to experience joy. What is joy? Sometimes we confuse joy with happiness. Happiness changes as your outward circumstances change. Joy is an inner peace that is with you no matter what your outward circumstances might be. Your joy must be founded in God. It is looking to our present fellowship and future eternal life with Jesus Christ. John was really expressing his heart by wanting his readers to experience this joy. This was written so your joy (delight) may be made full.
Since man was in rebellion against God, God reached out to man and provided salvation for him. Only God can provide the righteousness needed to obtain a right standing with a holy God. This righteousness is obtained through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, and man receives this righteousness through faith. This faith does not cancel out the Law, rather it satisfies the legal requirements of it (Romans 3:31).
Faith justification is the only kind possible because it removes any natural advantages (3:27–31). This is not a new teaching, because the Old Testament even teaches faith justification. Abraham was not justified by his works (4:1–8), or by circumcision (4:9–12), or even by the Law (4:13–17). One can only be justified by faith, just as Abraham was (4:1–17).
Justification has many benefits (5:1–11). The one who is justified now has peace with God and a hope in God. Also, he now has a right standing before God (5:1–2). The one who is justified can boast in many things (5:2-11). He can boast in the hope of God’s glory. He can also boast in troubles, because those troubles will bring about perseverance, proven character, and hope (5:3–5). Since God demonstrated his love to a world that was in rebellion against him by sending his unique Son to die for the ungodly (5:6–10), the justified can boast in God, because he is now in a right relationship with God (5:11). Thankfully, since God sent his Son, man’s sin problem is now solved (5:12–21).