The Epistles of John

By Dr. Mark Spitsbergen, ThD, MS

The Epistles of Saint John - One, Two & Three.

The First Epistle of John - The Epistle of Proofs

Chapter 1

1 The opening statement of The First Epistle of John is similar to the Gospel of John, and reaches back to the words of Genesis 1:1. Jesus was the One that was there at the ‘arche’ (άρχή / the beginning). That which was from the beginning does not refer to God’s beginning, but to the beginning of creation and its redemption. The beginning more specifically refers to the time before the creation of the world. John refers to Jesus as the Eternal Word, Who was there at the beginning when the heavens and the Earth were created. Yet, more importantly, He is the Eternal One Who has no beginning. John avoids using the name of Jesus, which is the name given to the Word of Life at His incarnation, thus further emphasizing that He is the Eternal One Who has no beginning. He is the Life from which all life was derived. The first occurrence of ‘arche’ in the Septuagint is in Genesis 1:1 – its Hebrew counterpart is ‘resheet’ בּרְ אֵ יִ֖ שׁ) ת ), which is the first word of the Bible in Genesis 1:1.

2 The Word was heard and seen. The Word was incarnated into flesh, and the very voice of God was heard in the ears of all who would listen and His body presented for everyone to see. He was not only seen, but gazed upon (θεάομαι / theaomai). Men would not only be allowed to see the One Who the seraphim must veil their faces before, but to gaze steadfastly into His glorious countenance. The apostles not only handled Him before His death and resurrection, but also afterwards. After He had risen from the dead and appeared to the apostles for about 40 days, He told them to handle Him and see – for a spirit has not flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).

Surely, John wanted to emphasize the certainty and accuracy of the message that he was about to deliver in this epistle. He would with absolute words, distinguish between those who know the Lord Jesus and those who are liars. He would leave no room for darkness, sin, and iniquity to remain justified among the community of the church. He would absolutely reveal the deceivers and those who refused the gospel as it was spelled out to him by Christ Jesus, Whom he heard, saw, and touched.

3 The Word of Life is the pre-incarnate Christ, Who is from everlasting to everlasting, the Word made flesh, and is called Yehoah’s Salvation or ‘Yehoshua’ַ יהְ וֹ )ֻע֣ שׁ / Jesus). Still, He will continue to be called the Word again throughout the ages (Revelation 19:13). God the Word was the One by Whom God created all things (John 1:3, 10, Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:2-3). He became flesh and was called the only begotten Son, so that as a man, He might redeem mankind (John 1:14, 1:18, 3:16, 1:18, Acts 13:33, 2 Corinthians 8:9, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:5, 5:5, 1 John 4:9). The Word became flesh so that all flesh might become one with the Word. He Who knew no sin became the sin offering so that He might restore man to His life of holiness and purity (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Word of Life became Christ Jesus to speak the words of life, so that His life could be imparted into us. God is passionate for us to receive His life and return to union with Himself. It would be impossible to imagine a more perfect and complete union than the one that God has given to us in Christ Jesus, for the very life of Christ was imparted into us (John 14:21, 23, 17:21).

Before the revelation of the Word, Christ Jesus, redemption was a mystery ministered through types and allegories. But now, John reveals that Jesus and all of His glory may be heard, seen, and touched. Redemption and an unimaginable intimacy provided with the Eternal God has been made available to us. It is an intimacy and union that all creation cries out for, but few are willing to believe. Many who have been redeemed, who are born of God and made heirs and joint-heirs with Christ, long for such fellowship, but fail to lay hold of it, only because they fail to accept what the Word of Life has revealed.

Our eyes must be fixed upon Him, even as all eyes in Heaven are on Christ Jesus. He has been exalted above everything in Heaven and Earth, and we must exalt Him too (Isaiah 45:23, Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:9-11). As Father has honored Jesus with a name above every name, we must also place His name above all authorities and interests. We must exalt Him above all principalities, powers, mights, and dominions that might attempt to influence us in this world. Should we step into such adoration and exaltation of Jesus, surely we would begin to see Him like we have never seen Him before. Through this devoted fellowship of love and admiration, we would begin to adore Him like never before. Should we hear and see and handle the Word of Life, we would stand in awe of Him and the inhabitants of the Earth would see the glory of the only begotten Son of God.

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The Epistles of John

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