I'm really excited some of you decided to do this. And I pray we all get more than we ever imagined out of it, as well as it staying with us for the rest of our lives. I'm hoping to be able to post some of the thoughts and insights that may come as I am memorizing this. I would love to hear what you have gotten out of it as well, either through a comment, post on your blog, email or even a guest post on here. I started memorizing today (well I have to admit I memorized a bit yesterday but I was officially starting today) and got through the first 10 verses. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.
To start let me give you a little bid of information and background on the book of 1 John.
Author: John the son of Zebedee (wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation)
Date Written: Between A.D.85-95
Recipient: To all believers, probably a circular letter.
The recipients of this letter at the time were being confronted with a new form of Gnostic teaching.
The main belief in Gnosticism was that the spirit is entirely good and matter is entirely evil. From this five main messages came
1. The human body, since made of matter, is evil.
2. Salvation is really escape from the body achieved by special knowledge (not by faith).
3. Christs true humanity was denied in two ways a. some said that Christ only seemed to have a body, a view called Docetism and b. others said that the divine Christ joined the man Jesus at baptism and left before he died, a view called Cerinthianism.
4. Since the body was considered evil, it was to be treated harshly
5. And at times this dualism gave way to no moral standard and with people ignoring any legal restraint. In this view, since matter was evil and not breaking the law, then breaking God's law was of no moral consequence/
Because of this it seems John wrote the letter for two main reasons the first was to expose false teachers (2:26) and the second was to give believers assurance of salvation (5:13). Through those two reasons John covers quite a bit in this book but most of the content in this book is really focused towards what the Christian walk should be like and why.
Now that you've gotten a little bit of an over view
Here are the first ten verses (also the first chapter) of 1 John.
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 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— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowshipis with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
I love the predicament John puts us in with that last verse. Either we are sinners, or we are calling Jesus a liar and in that refusing Him and what He said. We are sinners, but verse 7 and 9 sums it up, if we walk in the light there is way out for us. Walking in the light, John says it later in a different way "if we confess our sins" walking in the light means the we are out in the open for all to see, we are accepting that we are what we are and in this case we are asking for a new body and new life in Christ. One aspect of this that struck me was the fact that walking in the light is not just a quick step out then back in so we can say we did it, but a continual journey.
For me that means I should be continually accepting that I'm not perfect but instead a sinner, someone who has done something and been something that crossed Gods standard of holiness and I can neither fix it, nor hide from it, but instead say yes to the person who loves me and cries out for me to accept Him and let Him cover over me and conquer it and create me anew.
Am I striving in my life to walk in the light, am I on that journey? Are you?
What are your thoughts? I would love comments on what you are thinking.