Main point summary
We are testifying to you about what we observed so that you may join us in our fellowship and in our joy.
1 John 1:1-4
a That which was b from the beginning,
(I am writing to you about) that which was there, existing in the beginning,
c which we have heard,
and which we have heard with our ears,
d which we have seen with our eyes,
and which we have seen with our very eyes,
e which we looked upon
and which we have considered (with our minds),
and f have touched with our hands,
and which we have even touched with our very hands.
concerning the word of life—
(I am writing to you) concerning the word which is life (and brings life).
g the life h was made manifest,
This life about which I speak was made flesh.
and we have seen it,
As a result, we have seen this life
and i testify to it
and now testify to the life
and proclaim to you the eternal life,
and proclaim to you not a mortal life that ends like ours but an eternal life,
a which was with the Father
which was with the Father from the beginning
and h was made manifest to us—
and was then made flesh so that we could observe it and know it ourselves.
c that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you,
We are telling you about things that we witnessed with our very eyes and heard with our ears
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
in order that you may have fellowship around this same life with us;
and indeed j our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
and truly, this fellowship about which we speak is a fellowship with God the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And we are writing these things
The reason we are writing all of this to you
so k that our 1 joy may be complete.
is because your participation in these joyful truths increases and completes our joy.
The reality of Jesus Christ is a tangible truth . He was not an immaterial spirit. He was a person. He had a body. He lived among other people and could be seen. He talked among other people and could be heard. He spent time with his disciples and could be touched. The eternal life about which John speaks was tangible. And this should give us great confidence in our faith. We are not relying on someone's recounting of a dream. We are not relying on someone's recollection of a spiritual experience. Jesus came to earth in flesh and blood. He was seen by thousands. Our beliefs are founded upon eyewitness testimony. May that give us confidence in our faith! Jesus' coming was a tangible expression of God's pursuit of fellowship with his people . God has always pursued his people. This began (by promise) in Gen 3:15. It continued in God dwelling with his people in the tabernacle, in the temple, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, and one day face to face. God has been pursuing fellowship with his people, and Jesus' coming was part of that pursuit. True fellowship with God comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ. And this is the foundation of all fellowship between believers. Our shared joy in a relationship with God through Jesus is the bond of our fellowship. Our joy increases as we share our joy with others. C. S. Lewis, in "Reflections on the Psalms" says, "I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed." I think John is expressing something similar here. Their joy is made complete in sharing their joy with the readers. And the reader's joy in the same truths will only serve to increase John's joy. In this way, God's people should be a "joy factory" in their relationships with one another, continually expressing more reasons to each other to take joy in who God is and what he is done. And this is the foundation of our evangelism as well, sharing our joy with those who have not yet experienced the same joy.