1 John 1:2

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, etc.

I. HERE IS AN OBJECT EMINENTLY WORTHY OF AN APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST. "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." St. John sought to lead his readers into:

1. Participation in the highest fellowship. "That ye also may have fellowship with us," etc. (verse 3). The word "fellowship," or "communion," signifies "the common possession of anything by various Persons." By the "with us" we understand the apostles and others, who had been eyewitnesses of Jesus Christ. And St. John's aim was that his readers should participate in the truth and trust, the life and love, which the older generation of Christian disciples already possessed; that they should share in his own highest and holiest experiences. And it was not into an exalted human communion merely that the apostle endeavoured to lead his readers. "And truly" he says, "our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." In infinite condescension, the heavenly Father and the Divine Son admit Christian believers into vital and intimate communion with themselves. This fellowship is a thing of character and of life. They who share in it are "begotten of God;" they have "become partakers of the Divine nature; and they realize with joy the Divine presence. The apostle sought to lead his readers into:

2. Realization of perfect joy. "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." Hitherto the joy of those to whom St. John wrote had not been full; for their acquaintance with Christian truth had been imperfect and partial. By the fuller disclosures of that truth he hopes that their joy may be fulfilled. How rich and manifold and abundant is the joy of the true Christian! The joy of the forgiveness of sins, of reconciliation with God, of progress in truth and holiness, of hope of future perfection and glory. Our Lord said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." "Rejoice evermore."

II. HERE ARE MEANS EMINENTLY ADAPTED TO ACCOMPLISH THIS OBJECT. St. John endeavoured to attain his aim by declaration of the truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice:

1. The title applied to him. "The Word of life." Each term of this title demands consideration.

(1) The Word - the Logos (cf. John 1:1). "The term Logos," says Canon Liddon, "denotes at the very least something intimately and everlastingly present with God, something as internal to the Being of God as thought is to the soul of man. In truth, the Divine Logos is God reflected in his own eternal thought. In the Logos God is his own object. This infinite thought, the reflection and counterpart of God, subsisting in God as a Being or hypostasis, and having a tendency to self-communication, - such is the Logos. The Logos is the thought of God, not intermittent and precarious like human thought, but subsisting with the intensity of a personal form. The expression suggests the further inference that, since reason is man's noblest faculty, the uncreated Logos must be at least equal with God .... The Logos necessarily suggests to our minds the further idea of communicativeness. The Logos is speech as well as thought."

(2) The life which is predicated of the Word. "The Word of life." We cannot define this life. Its essential nature is hidden from us. But life in an extraordinary sense and degree is attributed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Twice he himself said, "I am the Life." And St. John says, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." "As the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself." He is the Giver of life to others. "All things were made by him," etc. "I came," said he, "that they might have life, and that they might have it abundantly." "As the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son also quickeneth whom he will." He has life in himself, and he is the great Bestower of all life to others. And his life is eternal. It "was from the beginning." He existed before creation, and before time, and his existence is independent of time. "We declare unto you that eternal life." He is ever-living and unchangeable.

2. His intimate communion with God the Father. "That eternal life which was with the Father" (cf. John 1:1). "The Word was with God." "He was not merely: παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ, 'along with God,' but πρὸς τὸν Θεόν. This last preposition expresses," says Canon Liddon, "beyond the fact of coexistence or immanence, the more significant fact of perpetuated intercommunion. The face of the everlasting Word, if we may dare so to express ourselves, was ever directed towards the face of the everlasting Father." Or, as Ebrard expresses it, the life "was towards the father.... A life which did indeed flow forth from the bosom of the Father, but which did at once return back into the bosom of the Father in the ceaseless flow of the inmost being of God."

3. His manifestation to men. "And the life was manifested, and we have seen," etc. "The Word" also suggests the idea of revelation or communication; for the Logos is not only reason, but discourse; not only thought, but the expression of thought. The life was manifested in the Person of Jesus Christ - in his words and works and life amongst men. It was exhibited gloriously in his splendid triumph over death by his resurrection. "It was not possible that he should be holden of it." "The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us," etc. We have said that these means - the declaration of the truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ - were eminently adapted to lead men into participation in the highest fellowship and realization of perfect joy. The statement is capable of ample proof.

(1) A right relation to God is essential to fellowship with him and to true joy. For us, who have sinned against him, reconciliation to him and trust in him must become facts before we can have any communion with him.

(2) A true knowledge of God is essential to right relation to him. If we regard him as a stern Lawgiver, offended, resentful, implacable, we cannot even approach unto him. And the guilty conscience is prone to entertain such views of him.

(3) The true knowledge of God is attainable through Jesus Christ. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." In Jesus Christ, God is revealed unto us as "a just God and a Saviour," as mighty and merciful, as faithful and forgiving, as infinitely holy and gracious and full of compassion. Such a revelation of God is attractive; it is fitted to melt the heart into penitence, to awaken its confidence in him, and to draw it to him in the fellowship of life and light.

III. HERE IS AN AGENT EMINENTLY QUALIFIED TO USE THESE MEANS. The apostle was qualified by various and competent knowledge of him concerning whom he wrote.

1. He had heard his voice. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard." St. John and his fellow-apostles had heard his words on very many occasions both in public discourse and in private conversation.

2. He had seen his human form and his mighty works. "That which we have seen with our eyes The Life was manifested, and we have seen it." There is, perhaps, a special reference to his having seen hint accomplish his great and beneficent miracles. But the apostles had seen their Master in various circumstances and conditions. They had seen him in his majesty and might quelling the tempest and raising the dead to life; and they had seen him exhausted and weary. They had seen him bleeding and dying on the cross; and they had seen him after he had risen again from the dead. John and two others had seen him bowed in anguish in Gethsemane; and they had seen him radiant in glory on Hermon.

3. He had intently contemplated him. "That which we looked upon," or beheld. This looking upon him is more internal and continuous than the having seen hint with their eyes. With the most intense and affectionate and reverent interest the apostle contemplated him.

4. He had handled his sacred body. The hands of John and the other apostles must frequently have touched the body of their Divine Master. But there is, perhaps, special reference to the touching of him after his resurrection: "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me," etc. (Luke 24:39). "He saith to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and see my hands," etc. (John 20:27). Thus we see how eminently qualified St. John was to testify concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. How conclusive is the testimony which he bears! And how fitted is such an agent with such means to introduce men into the blessed fellowship and the perfect joy! Have we entered into this high fellowship? Do we realize this sacred and perfect joy? Let those who are strangers to these hallowed nod blessed experiences seek them through Jesus Christ. - W.J.

For the life was manifested
1. We may think of Christ as the manifestation of that eternal life whence has come all that has ever been — all creation, all nature, all time, all history; of that mysterious life which ever beats at the heart of the universe, which ever feeds its unfailing springs.

2. Christ is the manifestation of the eternal, in the extent to which He has brought more fully to light, and more practically established, the spiritual kingdom of likeness to God, of fellowship with God, for which all hearts are intended and required. He at once so guaranteed and illustrated its existence and meaning, as everywhere to lift this spiritual kingdom to a higher plane. He made it far more possible and certain than any other teacher or messenger from God had ever desired or conceived. He brought it within the reach not alone of the chiefest and the best, but also of the commonest and the lowest. He showed it to be the proper life of every man—showed that purity, righteousness, justice, mercy, patience, love, are as essential and necessary to every man as they are to God; that the true and blessed life for man means supremely this — after His own example, fellowship with God, likeness to God, sonship to God.

3. Christ manifested the eternal, not alone by the transcendent excellence and spiritual elevation of His life, but also by the power which He displayed of showing the inherent oneness of material and moral forces — in other words, of proving the rightful control of spirit over matter. What to us may look like signs or wonders or unusual phenomena, to Him were but natural facts, natural revelations or efforts of the deep, underlying oneness between things outward and inward, between all nature and life.

4. Christ manifested the eternal by revealing to us the afterlife, the future world. Of the two, that world seemed to Him even more real than this. He spoke of it with even the same deep intensity, and yet with the same calm, self-evident truthfulness as He did of the existence, and name, and character, and purpose of His Father. To Him the future world, the immortal life, were but the natural outcome of the existence and kingdom and purpose of His Father. To Him, because God is, and ever will be, man, His child, will continue to be as living, as personal as He. Jesus, knowing Himself to be the outcome, the evidence, the gift of all spiritual and eternal realities, could look beyond the seeming defeat and dread suffering of His last days, beyond the bitterness and sting of His own death, beyond the gloom and corruption of His own grave, to an existence for Himself that should be as changeless and lasting as the Father's, whose presence and truth and love He declared; nay, more — He could look beyond all the failure, pain, and death with which any of His brothers or sisters on earth should have to struggle, or to which they should succumb, and could give to them the offer, the assurance, the possession of a life as spiritual, as blessed, as immortal as His own.

(J. T. Stannard.)

What is the conception that St. John had of the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ? In his gospel he looks upon it as the manifestation of God: "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth." But in the Epistle he looks upon the Incarnation as the manifestation of life. He here declares the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life which was toward the Father — for so it literally should be — which was Fatherward and was manifested unto us. Now, it is no uncommon thing for a young man setting out in life to set some high ideal before him. You can understand a young man in business setting before him the ideal of a George Peabody or a George Moore. It is not so much the success the man has achieved, as the way in which he spent the well-earned wealth, which fires the ambition of the youth. But what was St. John's ideal? The Lord Jesus Christ. There was the life. The life was manifested, and we have seen it. It is a question often asked, Is life worth living? And that depends very much upon the kind of life you mean to live. If you mean a life of selfishness and self-pleasing, the answer must be distinctly, No! Or a life of worldliness or luxury? No! A life of avarice and covetousness? No! For these kinds of lives are very disappointing now, and 'the issue of them hereafter is terrible to contemplate. If you think of life simply as amassing wealth, if you think of life simply as acquiring esteem, as winning pleasure, you have not seen life. But the life has been manifested, the only life worth living, and he points you back to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, what were the characteristics of the life which was thus manifested to us? It was a life Fatherward, that was the life, that eternal life, which was toward the Father. There are some who live a life towards the world; their whole inspiration is drawn from the world; their whole pleasure is found in the world. You have a very striking picture of such a life in Ezekiel 17:6, where Israel is likened unto a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him. Towards whom? Toward the great Assyrian power, and so it became a vine, and brought forth branches and shot forth sprigs. Instead of seeking all their strength from God, they turned their roots towards Assyria, and tried to draw strength from Assyria. Now, there are a great number of people living who have these earthward lives, their roots turning towards the world — drawing in all their strength, all their sustenance, all their pleasure from the world. St. John says: Life which was manifested was not towards the world, it was towards the Father. This implies absolute obedience. The work that my Father hath given me to do, shall I not do it? This life implies perfect trust. "Your heavenly Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him." This life implies perfect, complete resignation. "Father, not My will, but Thine be done." This life implies the most blessed intercourse. Our Lord Jesus Christ is able to go out on the mountainside and continue all night in prayer to God. Why? Because God was His Father. This life Fatherward means also love to the brethren, for if God is our Father we must love one another. It is not our Father's will that one of these little ones should perish. This life Fatherward implies ambition for the Father's glory. We must let our light so shine before men that they may glorify our Father which is in heaven. And this life Fatherward contains the blessed hope of a reunion. I go to My Father. "If ye loved Me ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father." So you see how, during all our Lord Jesus Christ's life, it was a life Father-wards. And St. John says, We have seen it. Oh, it is a different life to what we see in the world. If you look at a man living towards the world, what a life of fear it is, what a life of terror: he is afraid lest he should break the customs of the world; he is afraid lest he should endure obloquy from the world. A life which is lived towards the world is always a slavish life, because it must be in entire accord with the dictates of worldly policy, But a life towards the Father is without fear. "Perfect love casteth out fear." Now St. John says, "We have seen that life; we walked with Him three and a half years, and we saw all through His life this was His great characteristic — What would my Father wish Me to do? And he goes on to say, Not only did we see it, but we bear witness of it — that is to say, We have tried to follow it ourselves; and now we want to tell you that there is no life worth living compared with this; that we can bear witness to it, and have learned something of what it means. More than that, we come to tell you about it, because we want you to have fellowship in this life. We have seen this life towards the:Father; we have tasted it, and can bear witness that it is the sweetest life, that it is the purest life, that it is the life most worth living, and now we want you to have fellowship with us. And one thing more he goes on to say: "And this is eternal life." It is life not only on the earth here, but in heaven.

(E. A. Stuart, M. A.)

Christ, God-man, Mediator, is the life, that eternal life, in respect of His threefold offices of king, priest, and prophet. As prophet, He is the life by way of revelation, discovering this eternal life to us; as priest, by way of impetration; securing this eternal life for us; as king, by way of collation, conferring this eternal life on us. And as the fulness of water is dispensed by the sea to the earth, and the fulness of light is communicated by the sun to the air, and the fulness of corn was divided by Joseph among the people, so the fulness of grace and glory, of life, even eternal life, is conveyed by Christ to His Church, and therefore very justly doth this character belong to Him. And now, what should this consideration teach us?

1. To bewail our sad condition whilst we are without Christ; for if Christ be the life, all that know Him not, or believe not in Him, must needs be in a state of death and damnation.

2. To seek after this life, because it is eternal, and to seek it by union with Christ, who is the life.

3. To set an high value upon Christ, and give Him the glory of this great mercy, even eternal life.

(N. Hardy, D. D.)

I. THE PERSON SPOKEN OF, THE TITLES GIVEN HIM, AND WHAT IS HERE SAID CONCERNING HIM. For the life was manifested — that Eternal Life which was with the Father.

1. It is Christ, God-Man, is the Person spoken of.

2. I will next glance at the titles given Him in the words before us. He is entitled, "The Life." He is so most emphatically. He is expressly called the living God by the apostle (Hebrews 3:12). He is life essentially, He is life communicatively, He is life spiritually, He is life eternally. He is the life of the whole creation, the life of grace, the life of glory. And He is all this as God-Man, the Lord, the Creator, the Proprietor of every creature. He is "Eternal Life." His life never decays. He lives in all generations, and His Name and memorial are from everlasting to everlasting. Our spiritual and eternal life cometh from Christ only. He is the fountain of it. The knowledge of Him is our eternal life. Communion with Him is the means whereby the blessedness contained in the knowledge of Him is imparted to us and enjoyed by us.

II. THE APOSTLES' HAVING SEEN THIS GREAT SIGHT, GOD INCARNATE. "We have seen it," or rather Him. We have seen Him as manifested in the flesh. We have seen and bear witness, and show the truth of this in our ministry of the gospel unto you. To have seen Christ, God manifest in the flesh, must have been a great sight. To retain the true sense and apprehension of what they saw in Him, and heard and received from Him, must have been to them life everlasting. Their whole ministry was filled up with giving a simple narrative of the Person, Incarnation, Life and Actions, Crucifixion, Death, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension and Exaltation of the Lord Jesus. This they were called to bear their immediate testimony unto. This forms the foundation of the four Gospels. And it is by the spiritual apprehension of Christ, as set forth therein, we live. Nor must the history, nor the mystery of Christ be rejected, nor neglected by us. The one being the foundation of the other, therefore the one must be of as great importance as the other.

III. WHAT THE APOSTLES DECLARED OF HIM, WHICH WAS WHAT THEY KNEW, FROM THE DIVINE KNOWLEDGE WHICH THEY HAD OF HIM, THAT HE WAS THAT ETERNAL LIFE WHICH WAS WITH THE FATHER. This must be the fruit of Divine revelation and inspiration: by which, their minds being renewed by the Holy Ghost, they were, under His further illumination, enabled to receive true apprehensions of the Person, Incarnation, Mission and Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ into their minds. They found real blessedness in the subject — in declaring the same, in bearing their witness and testimony to the truth thereof, in showing forth the eternity, the dignity, the personal glories of their, and our, Lord Jesus Christ.

IV. THIS WAS A VERY PARTICULAR PART OF THE WITNESS WHICH THEY DARE OF HIM — THAT HE WAS MANIFESTED UNTO THEM. A very singular favour. Such as I conceive we can form no adequate ideas of. How should we? That age is past. It will never return. All the Lord's ministers and people, and that to the end of time, will be witnesses for Him, and show forth the truths of His gospel, some in a greater, some in a less measure and degree, yet not in the same way, nor to answer the same end, for which the apostles were appointed.

(S. E. Pierce.)

This chapter, this verse, concerning the life which was manifested, is the record of St. John's whole Christian experience given in the last years of his life; it is St. John's full thought, his mature, final testimony to the Christ. Think of the phrase which he uses — the word of life. A word is a means of expression, a way of disclosing some secret thought, a manifestation of mind to mind. The word of life, then, is the expression of life, the means of making the life known, the revelation of its nature. And the word, or revealing, of life, of which John speaks, was not a writing from heaven, not even a voice becoming articulate from out the skies; it was the life manifested in a person, it was the personal Word of God; it was the eternal life, the life with the Father, making itself known in the person of the Lord. The life — what is it? What is its nature? What has it been from the beginning? We have seen and heard, says John, what it is, what it has been from the beginning — it is such a life as we have seen Christ live; He is its spoken word, He is its manifestation; we declare unto you that which we have seen and heard. So much, then, in general as to what this text meant to John himself. Following the leading of St. John's experience of the Christ in this passage, let us think, in the second place, what it may mean to us. John saw the life in its personal manifestation in the Christ; we see it in its increasing spiritual attraction and universal beneficence. Let us think more closely what this eternal life, which was with the Father, may be, the life from the beginning, concerning the personal word of which St. John bore witness, and of whose continuous and increasing power the world, becoming Christian, witnesses. The word "life," which St. John uses, is still, even in its lowest physical manifestations, the unexplained word of our science. Our best definitions of life are but learned words thrown out into the darkness. Our clearest cut conceptions of the nature of living matter run out into the indefinite and the unimaginable. The life that awakens from the wintry sleep, that gives colour and grace to the tops of the elm trees which we have seen for months as dark lines etched against the sky; the life that turns the prose of the dull landscape into the poetry of fresh meadows and waving forests; the life with which this earth has been for ages richly endowed, and whose abundant energy fails not nor grows dim with the centuries; it is a manifestation of energy which even more directly than other forms of force seems to be the touch thrilling through nature of the living God! And this life which we behold manifested in the world around us, we know more intimately in our own self-consciousness. For this is the additional marvel, this the wonder of it all — that the life which was from the beginning, which stirs in the least portion of living matter, at last feels itself throbbing in our veins, and grows conscious of its own power in our wills, and rises to its perfection of spirit in the love of our human hearts. And beyond our knowledge of personal life in us, according to the witness of the apostles, and all the world's subsequent spiritual verification of the truth of their gospel, another even higher, richer manifestation has been given of the life which was from the beginning. The life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, has summed up all its revelations, completed its ages of working, carried its whole manifestation to utmost perfection in the word of life, in Him who at last, standing upon this earth, could say, "I am the life of the world!" "I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it abundantly." Thus the world leads at last to the perfect man, and the perfect man is God's explanation of the world. Thus the manifested life of the world reveals its eternal purpose and end. It is from the Father, and it goes to the Father. But from these thoughts which carry us far and deep, let me turn to some nearer, perhaps plainer, applications of our Scripture. One immediately following is this: it is of the utmost practical importance for us to be impressed with the fact that the life which we may live is the sacred thing. Death is not the supreme power, but the life is. Death is not the end, but the new beginning of life. It was not possible for the Holy One to see corruption. Henceforth life shall be strong and pure, sacred as the true word of the living God, and full of promise as of love, because Christ has shown how life may be lived and death over come; and Christ is risen as the firstfruits of the resurrection. The one further application which I would now make of this most fruitful subject is this: The one single object of all the Scriptures, of the whole gospel, of all true preaching of it, is to bring us into fellowship with the life, even that life which from the beginning was with the Father, and which has been lived perfectly in the Son, and which is glorified in Him and all who live with Him.

(N. Smyth, D. D.)

"Like draws to like," is man's maxim, and man's principle of action. But such is not the heavenly law. The principle of Divine action, the regulating power of the infinite heart above, is the reverse of this. The law of grace is what man would call the law of unfitness, and unworthiness, and unlikeness. Well for us that it is so! What would have been our hope had it been otherwise? In God's dealings with man, it is the unlike that we see uniting. What more dissimilar than heaven and earth? yet they have come together! The life has been manifested! This is our gospel. It is not "the life is," but "the life" has come forth from its eternal mystery. The life has been manifested! What has given it opportunity to come forth? Death! It is not life that has attracted life, nor light that has given occasion for the outshining of light. Thus God, the God of all grace, revealed to us the breadth and length of His infinite love. As it needs darkness to bring out the glory of the starry heavens, so it needed death to show forth the life—life such as had not been possessed before, nor could be, by man unfallen, or upon a sinless earth. Hence the deep significance of the Lord's words (John 10:10). Thus and then the life entered! Not like a monarch, to take possession of a fitting palace; but like a physician, to take possession of an hospital; like spring, coming to take possession of a wintry earth; like dayspring, coming to take possession of the darkened skies. What an entrance! Not invited by kindred life, still lingering among men; but uninvited, nay, repelled. It is the absence of life here that is the cause of its manifestation from on high. The life was manifested! And we have seen it! Life in the realms of the dead; light in the land of darkness; God manifest in flesh: this is what our eyes have seen. Yes; at the cradle, and the cross, and the tomb, the life has been manifested! Blessed manifestation for us, the dead in sin! The life has come; and because He liveth, we shall live also; for he that hath the Son hath life. Surely there is no lack of life for us. But what if it be rejected and despised? Here is life for you; but is it in you? Here is life come down to earth; but has it quickened you? Life died that death might live. Immortality went down into the tomb, to bring up thence for us immortality and incorruption. Life for the dead! This is our message to the sons of men. This is our gospel; a gospel for the dead, not for the living. It is the gospel of the "manifested life." You say, perhaps, that it is just your state of death that makes this no gospel to you. Your consciousness of death leads to despondency. Ah! were you not so dead you would not need the life, and would present fewer attractions, as well as fewer necessities, to the living One; there would be less in you to call out the life. The danger lies, not in your being too dead, but in your not knowing how thoroughly dead you are. So long as there is the unconsciousness of death, there is a barrier, a non-conducting medium between you and the Life. The Holy Spirit, in revealing to you your true condition of utter death, is throwing down that barrier, and substituting a conducting for a non-conducting medium. "This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." His Son is the "manifested life," the "resurrection and the life," and "he that hath the Son hath life." What have you found in it? Have you read in it the love of God? Have you obtained from it the life of your soul? But the manifestation of this Life is not yet over. The Life has, as it were, retired for a season, and gone within the veil; but this same Jesus, who came the first time, as the Life, shall come, as such, the second time also; and that day of His manifestation shall be the day of ours as well. The "resurrection unto life" shall be the completion of the great manifestation. As His first coming was its alpha, or beginning, so shall His second coming be its omega, or end. He comes to give His Church the full benefit of the manifested life.

(H. Boxcar, D. D.)

I know a great scientific man whose greatest cause of regret is that on one occasion there were brought under his observation certain phenomena of human disease which might have enabled him to anticipate a great discovery which was made in Germany in late years. He had the very facts under his eye, and he did not notice them. What would be our feeling if we should find that in a region more important than any with which science is concerned, we had had under our eye, in the intelligible revelation of Jesus Christ, a disclosure of the character of God, and from mere lack of moral observation, had refused to take notice of it?

(Canon Gore, M. A.)

His unlikeness to this world implies His likeness to another world. One evening you find among the reeds of your lake an unknown bird, whose broad breast and powerful pinions are not meant for this inland scene. It is resting midway between two oceans, and by tomorrow will have gone. Does not that bird prove the ocean it left? does it not prove the ocean whither it has flown? "Jesus, knowing...that He was come from God, and went to God," is the revelation and confirmation of ageless life.

(John Watson, M. A.)

Age-during, Ages, Appeared, Bear, Clear, Declare, Eternal, Giving, Manifest, Manifested, Proclaim, Report, Revealed, Shew, Testify, Us-, Witness, Witnessing
1. He describes the person of Christ, in whom we have eternal life, by a communion with God;
5. to which we must adjoin by walking in the light.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 John 1:2

     8106   assurance, nature of
     8117   discipleship, benefits

1 John 1:1-2

     2421   gospel, historical foundation
     2595   incarnation
     5627   word
     6645   eternal life, nature of

1 John 1:1-3

     1436   reality
     4945   history
     5441   philosophy
     5854   experience, of God
     7032   unity, God's people

1 John 1:1-4

     2427   gospel, transmission

1 John 1:2-3

     7953   mission, of church

Walking in the Light
'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.'--1 John i. 7. John was the Apostle of love, but he was also a 'son of thunder.' His intense moral earnestness and his very love made him hate evil, and sternly condemn it; and his words flash and roll as no other words in Scripture, except the words of the Lord of love. In the immediate context he has been laying down what is to him the very heart
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Message and Its Practical Results
'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. 6. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 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. 8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9. If we confess our sins, He is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

June the Twenty-Seventh God is Light!
"In Him is no darkness at all." --1 JOHN i. That wonderful mansion of God's Being is gloriously radiant in every room! In the house of my life there are dark chambers, and rooms which are only partially illumined, the other parts being in the possession of night. Some of my faculties and powers are dark ministers, and some of my moods are far from being "homes of light." But "God is light," and everything is glorious as the meridian sun! His holiness, His grace, His love, His mercy: there are
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

On Working Out Our Own Salvation
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Phil. 2:12-13. 1. Some great truths, as the being and attributes of God, and the difference between moral good and evil, were known, in some measure, to the heathen world. The traces of them are to be found in all nations; So that, in some sense, it may be said to every child of man, "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; even to do justly, to love mercy, and to
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Good Man Useful in Life and Happy in Death.
"Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: For the end of that man is peace." * * Preached at the funeral of Asa Witter, Esq. Oct. 9th, 1792. The subject of this psalm is the way and end of the righteous and the wicked. It is designed to calm the minds of good people when tried with adversity, and to reconcile them to the divine administration in the unequal distributions of Providence, and the apparent disregard of character, in those distributions. With these views, the writer, after glancing
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

Fellowship with God
And now, my brethren and sisters in the common faith of our Lord Jesus, this morning I trust that many of us can say, "Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." Did the apostle John need to say, "Truly"--as much as though some doubted or denied it? We, too, have sometimes an occasion to make as solemn an affirmation as he has done. There are certain sectaries who exalt the form of their church government into a sine qua non of piety, and they say of us that it is impossible
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 7: 1861

The Life of God
1 JOHN i. 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! What do we mean, when we speak of the Life everlasting? Do we mean that men's souls are immortal, and will live for ever after death, either in happiness or misery? We must mean more than that. At least we ought to mean more than that, if we be Christian men. For the Bible tells us, that Christ brought life and immortality to
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Acts 17:26 "One Blood. "
[6] THIS is a very short and simple text, and even a child knows the meaning of its words. But simple as it is, it supplies food for much thought, and it forms part of a speech delivered by a great man on a great occasion. The speaker is the Apostle of the Gentiles, St. Paul. The hearers are the cultivated men of Athens, and specially the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. The place is Mars' Hill at Athens, in full view of religious buildings and statues, of which even the shattered remains are a
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

"For what the Law could not Do, in that it was Weak through the Flesh, God Sending his Own Son in the Likeness of Sinful Flesh,
Rom. viii. 3.--"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh." The greatest design that ever God had in the world, is certainly the sending of his own Son into the world. And it must needs be some great business, that drew so excellent and glorious a person out of heaven. The plot and contrivance of the world was a profound piece of wisdom and goodness, the making of men after
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Union and Communion with God the End and Design of the Gospel
Psalm lxxiii. 24-28.--"Thou wilt guide me with thy counsel, &c. Whom have I in heaven but thee? &c. It is good for me to draw near to God."--1 John i. 3. "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."--John xvii. 21-23. "That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, &c." It is a matter of great consolation that God's
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God, and his Righteousness, and all These Things Shall be Added unto You. "
Matth. vi. 33.--"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." The perfection even of the most upright creature, speaks always some imperfection in comparison of God, who is most perfect. The heavens, the sun and moon, in respect of lower things here, how glorious do they appear, and without spot! But behold, they are not clean in God's sight! How far are the angels above us who dwell in clay! They appear to be a pure mass of light and
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

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.--1 John i. 5. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light; because their deeds were evil.--John iii. 19. We call the story of Jesus, told so differently, yet to my mind so consistently, by four narrators, the gospel. What makes this tale the good news? Is everything in the story of Christ's life on earth
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

Synopsis. --Biblical Miracles the Effluence of Extraordinary Lives.
V SYNOPSIS.--Biblical miracles the effluence of extraordinary lives.--Life the world's magician and miracle worker; its miracles now termed prodigies.--Miracle the natural product of an extraordinary endowment of life.--Life the ultimate reality.--What any man can achieve is conditioned by the psychical quality of his life.--Nothing more natural, more supernatural, than life.--The derived life of the world filial to the self-existent life of God, "begotten, not made."--Miracle, as the product of
James Morris Whiton—Miracles and Supernatural Religion

The Next Petition Is, Forgive us Our Debts. ...
The next petition is, FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS. In this and the following petition our Saviour has briefly comprehended whatever is conducive to the heavenly life, as these two members contain the spiritual covenant which God made for the salvation of his Church, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts." "I will pardon all their iniquities" (Jer. 31:33; 33:8). Here our Saviour begins with the forgiveness of sins, and then adds the subsequent blessing, viz., that God would
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

Divine Fellowship
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.'. (1 John i. 3.) My mind and heart have been dwelling upon that sweet word 'fellowship'. We all know what it means in ordinary social intercourse--it means acquaintance, friendship, communion of spirit, interchange of thought and feeling. But I want you to see that all this marks the fellowship prevailing between the Lord
T. H. Howard—Standards of Life and Service

The Way of Fellowship
When man fell and chose to make himself, rather than God, the centre of his life, the effect was not only to put man out of fellowship with God, but also out of fellowship with his fellow man. The story of man's first quarrel with God in the third chapter of Genesis is closely followed, in the fourth chapter, by the story of man's first quarrel with his fellow, Cain's murder of Abel. The Fall is simply, "we have turned every one to his own way."[footnote1: Is. 53: 6] If I want my own way rather than
Roy Hession and Revel Hession—The Calvary Road

In the last chapter we showed that the doctrine of justification deals with the sinner's change of relation, or change of state. We also learned that faith is the instrumental or applying cause of justification. In another place we showed that true faith presupposes penitence, and this again presupposes a sense and knowledge of sin. Again we showed that penitence and faith are the two essential elements of conversion; that where these elements are found there is a change of heart, and the beginning
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

The Apostolate.
"That ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."--1 John i. 3. The apostolate bears the character of an extraordinary manifestation, not seen before or after it, in which we discover a proper work of the Holy Spirit. The apostles were ambassadors extraordinary -- different from the prophets, different from the present ministers of the Word. In the history of the Church and the world they occupy a unique position and have a peculiar
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Character of the New Testament Scripture.
"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full."--1 John i. 4. From the two preceding articles it is evident that the New Testament Scripture was not intended to bear the character of a notarial document. If this had been the Lord's intention we should have received something entirely different. It would have required a twofold legal evidence: In the first place, the proof that the events narrated in the New Testament actually occurred as related. Secondly, that the revelations received
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Communion of Goods.
"If we walk in the light, we have fellowship one with another."-- 1 John i. 7. The communion of saints is in the Light. In heaven alone, in the halls of the eternal Light, it shall shine with undimmed brightness. Even on earth its delights are known only inasmuch as the saints walk in the light. This communion of saints is a holy confederacy; a bond of shareholders in the same holy enterprise; a partnership of all God's children; an essential union for the enjoyment of a common good; a firm not of
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The External History of the Pelagian Controversy.
Pelagius seems to have been already somewhat softened by increasing age when he came to Rome about the opening of the fifth century. He was also constitutionally averse to controversy; and although in his zeal for Christian morals, and in his conviction that no man would attempt to do what he was not persuaded he had natural power to perform, he diligently propagated his doctrines privately, he was careful to rouse no opposition, and was content to make what progress he could quietly and without
St. Augustine—Anti-Pelagian Writings

By the Same Author.
Handley C. G. Moule—Philippian Studies

Reception Christ Met With.
JOHN i. 1-18. In describing the Word of God, John mentions two attributes of His by which His relation to men becomes apparent: "All things were made by Him," and "the life was the light of men." By whom were all things made? what is the originating force which has produced the world? how are we to account for the existence, the harmony, and the progress of the universe?--these are questions which must always be put. Everywhere in nature force and intelligence appear; the supply of life and power
Marcus Dods—The Expositor's Bible: The Gospel of St. John, Vol. I

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