3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. But I can only do them as I make myself available to him, depending upon him to come through from his side, making himself available to me. In John 1:1–4, John clearly identifies Jesus as the Word: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That verse encompasses the very dawn of creation and it is impossible for us to tell how far back it is. All God's Word For You Bible Studies are written from a reformed, conservative, evangelical perspective that upholds the historic fundamentals of the Christian faith. This verse also refers to Jesus using the second of John's seven names for Jesus: "The Light." So John writes, "I write this that your joy may be full," answering the fear and problem of loneliness. If you read through the letter, as I hope you will many times while we are studying together, you will find there are four different reasons John gives for writing this letter: One is in the passage just read, Verse 4. This ‘with’ infers a relationship, an interface, an interaction, between two distinct persons. Home, to the family! Again John refers to the eternal existence of the Word, and his close and eternal association and relationship with God, indicating at the one time an essential distinction and a perfect unity. Teach us this in practice, we pray. Why? And here John anticipates a highly important truth: that ‘light’ – that is, revelation, knowledge of God, knowledge of absolute, objective, spiritual truth, – is ‘in him’, in the Word. Here John comes to the most beautiful thing about family life -- fellowship, companionship: ...that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us... (1 John 1:3a RSV). All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. But we are still to love one another. John says, "I write this in order that you might have assurance," be secure, free from failure. The key words are grace and truth. 3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. You must renounce your confidence in yourself and recognize that God, working through you, can do far more than you could ever do by confidence in yourself; that there would be an eternal effect if it is God at work in you. Then in Chapter 2, Verse 1, he says, "My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin." This is the great secret of fellowship. Both agree that this Logos is the starting-point of all things.’ [Quoted by Morris (p.123) from Temple. This is what that wonderful word, fellowship, means. Here he is dealing with another great threat to human happiness, the problem of guilt. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Subject to permissions policy, all rights reserved. By this simple introductory phrase John throws us right into the debate which permeates his Gospel: Did Jesus Christ have the right to make the claims he made, or did he not? First John 1:1–4 introduces this letter written by the apostle John. Oh yes, with many pressures! In Chapter 3, Verse 8, "He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning." It is into the intimacy of the family circle, now, that the Apostle John takes us. It must be from the beginning. EXEGESIS: JOHN 1:1-18. In focusing on the Logos concept we must also be careful not to overlook the word ‘was’ which speaks of continuity of existence. They do have something in common -- the same ship. There is nothing more helpful in curing loneliness than a family circle. Message transcript and recording © 1966 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the author. His written ministry comes in after the church has been in existence for several decades, and at a time when apostasy had begun to creep in. And here we must stop and ask: is John alone in this perception that the Word, Jesus Christ, is the Creator of all things, upon whom all things depend for their existence? No matter how religious you may be, you do not have life if you do not have the Son, you are not a Christian. 1:4 ‘… and that life was the light of men’. In him was life. What do all of these facts about Jesus mean? It is difficult to locate this beginning, is it not? Indeed Christ is the life. Over and above all, this site affirms that God, in a manner totally contrary to how we would think and act, has provided in and through Jesus Christ his eternal Son, a way of forgiveness in which we can live in his presence guilt free, acquitted and at peace. Here in John 1:1 John repeats this divine ‘in the beginning’, affirming the eternity and the deity of Jesus Christ. It is not that here is Jesus Christ and there is something which he created as a living thing which can now exist apart from him. Literally, this phrase is ‘the Word was towards God’; the thought is repeated in verse 2. That I have physical life at this moment is completely dependent on this fact: that life exists in Jesus Christ. The greatness of God, the wisdom, the power, the glory of his might -- all is made available to me, when I make myself available to him. © 2001 - 2020 Copyright God's Word For You - Rosemary Bardsley. He is a builder. If we want to straighten out the horizontal relationship, that of getting along with our fellow Christians and fellow men, we must be sure that the vertical one is straight. Here he sets the scene for all that he is about to record in his Gospel about the true identity of Jesus. He keeps saying, "I don't do these things, it's not I who accomplishes these works, it is the Father who dwells in me," John 14:10). But each of the apostles has a specific function in laying this foundation. This verse identifies the Logos, the Word, as the agent of creation, and in doing so again identifies the Word as God. God will tell you secrets about yourself, about life, about others around you, about everything, imparting these to you because that is part of fellowship. That Gospel begins with these words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," (John 1:1 RSV). 767f. That is worth listening to, is it not? It is poetic prose—prose with the soul of poetry—prose that, like poetry, packs layers of meaning in a word or phrase. But it must all begin with this matter of relationship, for John is concerned first about the family of God. I learned early that in order to be a success I had to have self-confidence. And in this is a miracle and a manifestation of incredible and unexpected grace: that the Word, Jesus Christ, continues to sustain our physical existence, despite the fact that we, from Genesis 3 onwards, have insisted that we exist and live apart from him, independent of him, as autonomous, self-supporting, self-sustaining, self-determining beings. Have you ever thought of this, that God desires you to be his friend? The purpose of the letter: to bring you into relationship with God. We looked at him, we heard him, we touched him, he actually appeared in history. What does John 1:4 mean? I became one of the top players in my league, and I did it by being self-confident. It is not simply that life was created by Jesus Christ, but that life exists in him. 1:1-4 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. What does he mean by it? The forces which seek to overthrow Christian faith today try to undermine our confidence in the facts of Scripture, these great historical truths about a Person who appeared in time. The revelation of Jesus Christ is spiritually manifested. 1 John 1:1–4. He is not a distant, remote God, but a God who comes and speaks to us. Compare it with John 1:4 How does this verse confirm the deity of Christ? You tell him secrets. 1 John 4:1-21—Read the Bible online or download free. While the spiritual, eternal dimension of life is not absent from this verse, John is here writing primarily of physical life. Here John does not mean either the time of creation or the unbeginning beginning, the timeless beginning. That is the unbeginning beginning, the beginning that is eternal. In some ways it is not as descriptive and accurate a term as joy is. ‘In the beginning …’ immediately brings to the reader’s mind the ‘in the beginning’ of Genesis 1:1, where God is assumed to exist in unique, independent, absolute, unconditional, eternal self-existence. No, take all the pressures and the problems, but with them that wonderful feeling down inside that God is at work, and he is at work in you. Joy is an excellent word here, but perhaps it will be more helpful for us to understand what John means if we use the word, excitement. It relates to him who is from the beginning. Jesus Christ is God saying ‘Here I am. Philo sometimes spoke of the Logos as a ‘second God’, and sometimes as the one God in action. Firstly, from seeing Jesus, the Word, merely as an expression, emanation or manifestation of God, in any Unitarian sense. John is preparing us here for truths he plans to emphasise. Jesus said to his disciples, "I have not called you servants, but I have called you friends," (John 15:15). He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. To the mind steeped in the Old Testament John’s statement here is just as confrontational and disturbing as his previous statements affirming the eternal existence of the Word. That is what John is talking about, life, as life was intended to be lived, filled with joy. Context Summary. Children are related to their parents, and parents to their children. He made things. John reminds us frequently, go back to that which is from the beginning. We are finite creatures and we must always have a starting point. What Does 1 John 1:4 Mean? Secondly, this ‘was with God’ prohibits us from seeing no distinction between the Father and Son. Then I discover that I can do what I want to do. These things we are writing, he says, "that your joy may be full." John 1:1 QUESTION: John 1:1 - What does it mean? He calls himself "a wise master-builder" and to this man, this mighty apostle, was committed the task of building the great doctrinal foundation upon which the Christian faith rests. To him was committed the keys of the kingdom by which he could open the door to the new things God was introducing. "This life was manifest," John says, "and we are going to tell you about it, we are going to proclaim it to you." As John is about to teach us, Jesus Christ, the Word, reveals to God to us. Watchman Nee, in his very helpful book, What Shall This Man Do? If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father." That work of fishing for men is characteristic of the Apostle Peter. A. (1-2) John begins with the center of relationship: Jesus Christ. Having first prevented us from merging the Word and God by the phrase ‘the Word was with God’ he here prevents us from seeing the Word as a lesser being. Make a list of the truths from John 1:1-4 that are significant for you. 4 fIn him was life,1 and gthe life was the light of men. In other words he is writing to protect us, in order that we might be free from deception. That simply means "the beginning I am experiencing right now." We have stressed this before in the writings of the Apostle Paul. Any such erroneous redefinition here, right at the beginning of John’s Gospel, has the potential to affect our understanding of the claims of Christ made consistently throughout this Gospel. It is that life that John is talking about, a new way of living, a new way of reacting to situations in dependence upon God. | 5,381 … Last Saturday night in Southern California a Christian man came up to me and said, "I've been a professional baseball player all my life. I want that which is from the beginning." He calls men back to truth. That is what I have, and now I put them at his disposal. Now that is where John begins. But, also, …. John is a mender. We cannot believe merely in ideas, doctrinal statements. These are all the same thing, but they are viewed from three different aspects. Jesus did not come to show us God, he came to show us man related to God. Contributed by C. Philip Green on Apr 25, 2019. based on 1 rating. The Old Testament teaches clearly that God is the creator of all things, yet here is John stating boldly, and in such a way that he cannot be misunderstood, that the Word, whom he will soon identify as Jesus Christ, gave existence to everything single thing that exists. But it will be as you are able to bear these secrets. In other words, Christian faith rests upon great facts, the acts of a human being in history. The Word was, and is, nothing less than God. Neither science nor Scripture answers. That beginning goes back before creation. Before there was anything at all, there was the Word. This site affirms that God has provided in and through Jesus Christ his eternal Son, a way of forgiveness in which we can live in his presence guilt free, acquitted and at peace. Here is another great problem area of life: Where do we get answers? In the Navy we used to say it was two fellows on the same ship, and there is a sense in which that is true. A chapter by chapter and verse by verse study of John taught by Pastor Paul LeBoutillier of Calvary Chapel Ontario, Oregon. John will spend much more time later in his gospel explaining Jesus' role in bringing life to mankind. How do you find your way through life successfully? Do not believe every spirit: John warned against believing every spirit; that is, we are never to assume every spiritual experience or every demonstration of spiritual power is from God. This makes them one and that is the basis for the appeal of Scripture to live together in tenderness and love toward one another. John 1:1 is the first verse in the opening chapter of the Gospel of John.In the Douay–Rheims, King James, Revised Standard, New International, and other versions of the Bible, the verse reads: . In Jewish Targums there is such a sense of awe of God that they avoided using his name, and often substituted ‘the Word’ for his name. The Son, the Logos, is distinct from the Father. Science suggest it was millions of years ago, and Scripture is quite ready to accommodate that. I have known women who have discovered how exciting it is to have God at work in their neighborhood, using their kitchen, and their coffee pot, that they have not been able to sleep at night. Most of us share American citizenship in common. Throughout his Gospel John presents Jesus Christ as the one in whom spiritual, eternal life is to be found. Note a few places where he uses it and you will see how he uses it: In Chapter 2, Verse 7, he says "Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning." I replied, "It's very simple. That Word was a Person, and he was with God, and he was God. Again he says, "I write this to you about those who would deceive you." He is continually reminding people that he says only what the Father is saying through him that they are not his words, he simply looked to God and trusted God to be working through him, leading him to think the thoughts and to say the things that God wanted him to say. We need to notice here that John does not say ‘and the Word was divine’ or ‘the Word was like God’. The fellowship is based upon the relationship. I told him, "I know you do. Now he says this one from the beginning is a Person, and he has been seen and heard and handled. The rest of the book is a record which was written to show "that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." It was Peter's task to talk about the kingdom of God, Paul about the church of God, but John is concerned with the family of God. They are together in will, in purpose, in choice of action. How do you do this?" John 1:1-5 . When we know him, we know God. Make us to understand what these words are describing. But it is not only partnership, there is also friendship. He is an historical being. There is a dear girl in this congregation that cannot relate what the Lord does without literally bouncing as she tells it. With this message, we begin a study of the first letter of the Apostle John. He is not a being that God created, not someone who has a beginning. That is what John is writing about. John and Peter and Paul all have different ministries, as I have suggested. Website © 2021 by Ray Stedman Ministries. Now that is about as far as we can go in understanding that, for this is a timeless beginning that is right now, an eternal now. [List all the names and titles used.]. That which was from the beginning, he says, is a real Person. When Paul was called he was a tentmaker. The first beginning is the beginning of creation. And that is what makes a Christian, to share the life of God by relationship to a Person, the only Person who has that life, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Who of us is not concerned with that? 1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. Thirdly, though more subtly, this ‘with God’ [this ‘towards’ God’] also prevents us from setting up any thought of antagonism or difference of purpose between the Father and the Son. Here we find the ultimate answer to the question ‘Where does life come from?’ – it comes from Jesus Christ, the Word. In this remarkable letter, John tells us the truth about relationships – and shows us how to have relationships that are real, for both now and eternity. The explanation of that one unforgettable life is that he demonstrated what it means to walk in continual dependence upon a God who dwelt within him.". He tells us what he himself experienced. THE PROLOGUE TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. Not because we are inherently wonderful people or remarkable personalities, or that we are naturally gracious, kind, loving, and tender all the time -- for at times we are grouchy, scratchy, and irritating to others. For the article with the predicate see Robertson, Grammar, pp. The disciples were aware of Jesus' conflict with Jewish authorities and the danger that it presented. We have to start with A in order, eventually, to arrive at Z, and it is that A which John is describing in the Gospel. In Verse 14, he says, "I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning." 4 f In him was life , 1 and g the life was the light of men . It is that simple. If you think about these four reasons for a moment you will find something remarkable about them. But it is the way that was manifest in the Lord Jesus himself. But John is different than both of these. He took that life and laid it down in order that we might have it. When I do I discover something most remarkable. In this verse, the “word” and “wisdom” are seen as the creative force of God, but without being a “person.”. In between the prologue (1 John 1:1-4) and the conclusion (5:13-21) these two major themes appeared repeatedly in three major sections: A. The Word ‘was’ – the Word was in a state of continual existence, the Word existed continually, in the beginning. When you have something in common with another you can have fellowship with him. 3. This verse contains the truth behind the story of the angels and shepherds and the Wise Men and the journey to Bethlehem that first Christmas morning. He built things. “Word” here is translated from the Greek logos. It has been available for all time, but you only began it when you came to know Jesus Christ. But John is talking about that unique fellowship which is only the possession of those who share life in Jesus Christ together, who have this different kind of life, this new relationship. RayStedman.org/permissions. That is the basis of fellowship for essentially this word means "to have all things in common." Now fellowship there means exactly the same thing it means elsewhere. There was life in the word with respect to himself; a divine life, the same with the life of the Father and of the Spirit; and is in him, not by gift, nor by derivation or communication; but originally, and independently, and from all eternity: indeed he lived before his incarnation as Mediator, and Redeemer. This ‘with’ or ‘towards’ protects us from three errors. The very fact that John identifies the Logos as ‘in the beginning’ indicates that John is affirming the true and complete deity of the Logos, for it is God, and only God, who exists in and from the beginning. These are tremendously important verses. IN JOHN'S GOSPEL. In Jewish thought, it relates to the ‘and God. That is what friends are for. Here we come to the most remarkable thing about Christian life, communion, or fellowship with Christ. Three things are highlighted for us in this introduction: A relationship, a fellowship, and a joy that follows. We must come down at last to factual things, facts, acts of God in history. Well, what do I have? How do these New Testament scriptures affirm that Jesus Christ is the Creator? There is a distinction. All that I have is put at his disposal. He not only lays the foundation, but he builds upon it. Because they share the same life. Why? He gave it to us through the cross and that life is what makes us part of the family. That has nothing to do with becoming a Christian. I have me. He is the One who was there ‘in the beginning’ – before everything else. We knew him, we had fellowship with him, we lived with him, we ate with him, we slept with him, we heard his words, we have never forgotten them. This means that he makes available to me that which I desperately lack, wisdom and power, the ability to do. That is his point. 2 He was with God in the beginning. This, then, was the ministry committed to the Apostle Paul. That is why it is not at all unimportant that we should believe the story as it is recorded in the Gospels. That is the beginning of the material creation, of matter. There are at least three "beginnings" in the Bible: The Bible opens with the phrases, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," (Genesis 1:1). We share human life in common. Life does not exist apart from him. And we are writing this that our joy [or, your joy] may be complete. You find that characteristic of this man all through his written ministry. 4We write this to make our joy complete. The first five verses of John's gospel say quite a lot about Jesus. They all have a very important task, but God commits something original to each of these men to be passed along to us. “All things were made through Him. John 10:10: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:28: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.” So I think it is clear that when John says in John 1:4, “In him was life,” he means spiritual life, eternal life, life that saves from judgment. We humans have to start somewhere in our thinking. Read Psalm 36:9. John references Jesus’ eternal existence, and His identical nature to God the Father. We will find that to be his ministry particularly in these letters. What do these references teach us about the eternality of God? Because this is what results when we really experience the fellowship that John is talking about. That is what we are called to. 3 eAll things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. Rather it is this: that here is Jesus Christ, and if he did not exist, neither would, neither could, anything else exist. The Incarnation of Jesus: 1 John 1:1-4 Part one In Blogs by David M. Levy December 22, 2017 Leave a Comment I t’s Christmas time and many of us are busy with last minute gifts, family get-togethers, and for Christians, remembering the reason we celebrate this holiday: God coming down and dwelling among us. He was in the beginning with God. Click to enlarge. It is here that the Arian controversy of the early church and some contemporary pseudo-Christian cults deviate from the biblical perspective. The cults today say, "Look, we have something different, additional, something that has come along much later in history than the Bible; we have as additional revelation to give you." We live in families. suggests that these three ministries of John, Peter, and Paul can be distinguished by, and are characterized by, the tasks that each of these men were performing when they were called of God: Peter, for instance, was called as a fisherman, and we are told in the Gospels that the moment of his call occurred when the Lord found him casting a net into the sea. When we see him, we see God. He is always beginning things, initiating new programs. This half of 1:4 leads us to realise that John has more than physical existence in mind. I had to be confident to be able to do things. When you get lonely where do you want to go? First, he is talking about a relationship: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life -- (1 John 1:1 RSV). Describes what the Lord Jesus himself lot about Jesus a definite matter here for uses! 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