God’s Saving Word: Love
1 John 1:1—2:6: The First Letter of John has two main purposes: to encourage its readers to live in fellowship with God and Jesus Christ, and to warn them against false teachings that would destroy this fellowship. Today’s reading describes how God’s Word of life (Jesus) came to earth and was witnessed by those who saw, heard, and touched him. Knowledge of God comes from obeying God’s commands. When we confess our sins to God, we have the assurance of God’s forgiveness and that Jesus, the righteous one, pleads on our behalf.
The Word of Life
1 We write to you about the Word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes, we have seen it, and our hands have touched it. 2 When this life became visible, we saw it; so we speak of it and tell you about the eternal life which was with the Father and was made known to us. 3 What we have seen and heard we announce to you also, so that you will join with us in the fellowship that we have with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 We write this in order that our joy may be complete.
God Is Light
5 Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him. 6 If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions. 7 But if we live in the light—just as he is in the light—then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. 9 But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make a liar out of God, and his word is not in us.
Christ Our Helper
2 I am writing this to you, my children, so that you will not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have someone who pleads with the Father on our behalf—Jesus Christ, the righteous one. 2 And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone.
3 If we obey God’s commands, then we are sure that we know him. 4 If we say that we know him, but do not obey his commands, we are liars and there is no truth in us. 5 But if we obey his word, we are the ones whose love for God has really been made perfect. This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God: 6 if we say that we remain in union with God, we should live just as Jesus Christ did.
Today’s Key Verse: 1 John 1:7
If we live in the light—just as he is in the light—then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.
In the Bible, light is used to describe God or God’s Word (John 1:4-5; Psalm 119:105), and those people or things that reveal God’s truth (Isaiah 49:6). The followers of Jesus are also called “people who belong to the light” (Ephesians 5:8) or “light for the whole world” (Matthew 5:14). Reread 1:5-7. How would you explain what it means to live in the light? What does it mean to you, knowing that Jesus pleads with the Father on your behalf (2:1)?
Lord, I want to live in your light. Forgive me for the ways in which I have failed to live according to your will. Thank you for the forgiveness you offer when I confess my sins to you and for Jesus, the righteous one, who pleads on my behalf. Grant me your grace that I may have new life in you. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
1 John 2:7-29: Believers are encouraged to obey the Spirit’s teaching and remain in union with Christ.