2: Fellowship through the Word of Life (1Jn 1:1-4)
This short section if like a
preface to the entire epistle. It tells us the origin, nature, content, and
purpose of the message that the apostle is declaring. Much information and
teaching is packed into these four verses. So take the time to think about the
passage and its significance.
“The life was manifested, and we
have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was
with the Father and was manifested to us” (1:2).
Did You Know…?
1. Fellowship (1:3): “Hellenistic literature uses [this word]
to describe partners in business, joint owners of a piece of property, or
shareholders in a common enterprise.” 9/307
verse 1-5 with John 1:1-18 and write down the similarities and the teachings
understand the first three verses, we need to read the sentence carefully first
and see what it says.
2a. What is the content of the message that
John is declaring?
2b. What is the nature of this message?
2c. What is the purpose for declaring this
does it mean that John has “heard,” “seen,” “looked upon,” “handled,” and is
“bearing witness” to the Word of life?
sentence structure of verses 1-3 is quite unusual. It starts with the object,
and we do not see the subject and verb until verse 3. This is what the sentence
would be like if it was written another way. “We declare to you concerning the
Word of life, which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have
seen….” Why do you thing the author structured his sentence this way?
does the word “fellowship” mean? Read these N.T. passages in which the word is
used and try to provide a definition based on these verses: Acts 2:42; 1Cor
1:9; 5:2 (NIV); 10:20; 2Cor 6:14; 8:4; 13:14 (NIV); Gal 2:9; Phil 1:5; 2:1;
3:10; Phm 6 (NASB).
does John’s description serve as a powerful defense against the denial that
Jesus came in the flesh?
is it important to us, the readers, that what the apostle declares is something
he has seen, looked upon, and handled?
8a. What can we learn from John in his role as
8b. In what ways have you also seen, heard, and
touched our Lord?
8c. The apostle bears witness to what he has
seen. Do you bear witness to what you have seen? Write down things in your
faith that you have seen, heard, and touched that you could witness to others
is the message we have received and share with others the “Word of life”?
10a. How does the writer have
fellowship with his readers?
10b. How is our fellowship with other believers also fellowship
11. Think about or discuss ways we can have fellowship with one another
and with God. You may refer to John’s epistles as your guide.