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Finding life in the Word of Life
1 John 1
Phrasing through 1 John
Published November 3rd, 2021; Updated November 4th, 2021
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CH 1
CH 1
1 John 1:1-10
Purpose of Letter
Content #1
which was
from the beginning,
which we have heard,
which we have seen
with our eyes,
which we looked upon
and have touched
with our hands,
concerning the word
of life—
(and) the life was made manifest,
and we have seen it,
Results #1 and #2
and testify
to it
and proclaim
Result #3
to you
the eternal life,
which was
with the Father
and was made manifest
to us—
Content #2
which we have seen
and heard
we proclaim also
to you,
so that you too may have fellowship
with us;
and indeed our fellowship is
with the Father
and with his Son
Jesus Christ.
And we are writing these things
so that our joy may be complete.
Test #1
Principle Stated
This is the message
(which) we have heard
from him
and proclaim
to you,
that God is light,
and ... [there] is no darkness at all.
in him
If we say
(that) we have fellowship
with him
while we walk
in darkness,
we lie
and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk
in the light,
as he is
in the light,
we have fellowship
with one another,
and the blood ... cleanses us
of Jesus
his Son
from all sin.
Principle in Practice
If we say
(that) we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins,
he is faithful
and just
to forgive us our sins
Content #1
and to cleanse us
Content #2
from all unrighteousness.
If we say
(that) we have not sinned,
we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.
What on earth do I do with this? Is this subordinate to the word "life" or the whole phrase "concerning the word of life."
"Kai" is present in greek, so I added it.
I don't know if I'm wrong or not, it's hard for me to determine the relationships here. But it seems that he's telling us something about the "life" aspect of this "word" specifically. Not just that the Word was made manifest, but the "life" associated with the Word was made manifest. He's not just saying, "we've seen the word" but "we've seen the word of life." This is why I made it subordinate to the phrase "of life." It's like he's saying "let me clarify what I mean by "word of life." The emphasis is there, and then he goes on to describe it by use of 4 phrases each starting with kia. They are not relative phrases, but prepositional phrases offering explanation.
Above all things it is the life aspect that is emphasized in this part of the passage! ie. "and the life was made manifest!" Is Jesus the Word of life to me? I know He is objectively, that this is who John declares Him to be, but do I believe it subjectively? Do I act like He is the very heart of life in that, when he communicates (word), His communication is my life? Word of life? How does a person act who really believes that Jesus is the Word of life? Answer: Anything that he would say to me is my life. Anything he would say of me defines my life. His Word is my bread. But since he is the Word, He is my bread.
That explanation is to be chosen is because this statement is explaining the idea of "our fellowship" in the anchor phrase. Put it another way, "well John, if I am fellowshipping with you, what are you fellowshipping in?" "Well, matt, in truth our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son.
Weird, when I arced this, it seemed that 6f and 6g were obviously a series. But now that I look at it in phrasing, the negative positive seems to fit. "Not practice truth, but rather lie. " "Not truth but lie."
Ok, another possibility is definitely epexigetical. Because it could very well be said, "The Word is life." It is not wrong to label it product, because of course the Word produces life also. But is that the fullness of what it is saying?
I almost had this subordinate to the word "That" in 1a and 3a. But I made it subordinate to the main statement "we proclaim also" because it is a reference to what they are proclaiming, and therefore should be associated directly with the word "proclaiming." In other words "Concerning the word of life... "we proclaim" "that..." "to you." We proclaim to you what concerns the word of life, he is that which was from the beginning etc.
Cross Reference. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.... John 5:24 ESV Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life , so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. Philippians 2:14-18 ESV
Andy asks if this is Jesus or not. Or how this phrase relates to Jesus? I just can't think of how this could not be Jesus. What else would it be?
I see here a connection to the phrase "word of life." There are all sorts of things that we can "say" that lead us to death. Lies. Any relationship we have to lies can be safely said to have nothing to do with the word of life. in other words, what is the proper response to seeing a manifestation of the "word of life?" We definitely can release ourselves from the need to say (or prove) anything about ourselves.
My forgiveness ultimately and only depends on God determining to remain faithful to his promise to forgive. This truth keeps me from getting skiddish and starting to allow a question or doubt about his forgiveness into my conscience as a result of my own wavering heart. This truth also keeps me able to live an exposed life, because if confession leads to his faithful and just forgiveness and cleansing, then all the things that I would otherwise have to fear in confession are annulled. All the shame will be covered, all of the fear of continued sin will be brought to nothing. And I think, in order to really reassure me of this promise, he adds that it's not just his faithfulness that confirms this promise, but also his sense of justice. How does this add to the greatness of this promise? Because he is not just resigned to forgive based on his desire to be a faithful God, but even more, he is compelled to forgive and cleanse based on the justice of our case in Christ. In other words, God's justice, in Christ, is not longer working against us as sinners, but for us as sinners. We are talking about God's inner motivation here, and God not only wants to forgive and cleanse us, but, in a sense, has (if we can describe God this way) the impulse of sense of fairness. He wants to (faithfulness) and he must do it (justice) because it is the only fair thing to do in the light of the sacrifice of Christ. Oh how strongly this sets me free to confess, knowing he will be faithful and just, knowing that my future is restoration and cleansing, knowing that there is this guarantee of being able to move forward, away from dirt and into cleansing. The promise overwhelmingly compels me to be free to do the hardest thing we can do, and confess sin, and live in a lifestyle of exposure.
Greek "hoti"
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.