1 JOHN 1:5-10 [10-30-11]


Chapter 1, Verses 5-10




1 John 1:4) [KJV] And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

QUESTION: What does John want for his readers?

ANSWER: He wants us to be happy; he wants us to have a deep-seeded joy that will see us through the difficulties of this journey called life.

QUESTION: What three things, according to John, will bring joy in our lives?

ANSWER: Here are those 3 things:

1.       We need to understand that the incarnation was intended to bring us into fellowship with God {current verse}.

2.       We need to walk in the love of God towards one another. {John 15:8-12}

3.       We need to understand the privilege God has given us to come before Him in prayer, and that He wants to answer those prayers. {John 16:23-24}

On To This Week’s Lesson:

1 John 1:5-7) [KJV] This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.   

(MSG) This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.

Regarding the word “message,”

“This word, however, is invariably used in the New Testament in the sense of promise” [Vincent].

NOTE: The Greek word translated “message” is used 53 times in the N. T. 52 of those times it’s translated “promise.”

QUESTION: What does John want us to see here regarding the “message”?

ANSWER: Jesus promises us that there is no darkness in God. We have His Word on it.

6) [KJV] If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

(GW) If we say, “We have a relationship with God” and yet live in the dark, we’re lying. We aren’t being truthful.

QUESTION: How do we live a lie according to this verse?

ANSWER: If we claim to be a Christian, but we choose to live by another standard, then we are lying.

In regards to “walk,”

Walk [peripatéō] is, literally, walk about; indicating the habitual course of the life, outward and inward” [Vincent].

QUESTION: What does “walk in darkness” mean?

ANSWER: When our life choices are contrary to the sound teaching of Scripture we are walking in the darkness.

NOTE: This verse isn’t talking about acts of sin, but choosing to live contrary to the Truth.

ANOTHER NOTE: John is most probably directing this comment at the Gnostics. They claim that they know Jesus, but they claim that Jesus never came in the flesh, and they claim that since the spirit is saved, but not the flesh, that it’s O.K. to sin, because one might learn some valuable lessons that will benefit the saved spirit. They claim to have a relationship with Jesus, but they walk in darkness.

7) [KJV] But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

QUESTION: What are the results of our walking in the light of God’s truth?


1)       Christian fellowship occurs. When we are walking in God’s truth we will love one another.

2)       Also, when we walk in the light of God’s truth we have been, are, and will be cleansed from sin.

Concerning “cleanseth,”

“Note the present tense cleanseth. The cleansing is present and continuous[Vincent].

2 Corinthians 5:19) [KJV] To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

NOTE: Through Christ, God has brought all who trust Him into a relationship with Him. How did He do this? Jesus took the blame for our sins! He then died for those sins! Consequently, GOD NO LONGER COUNTS OUR SINS AGAINST US!!

8) [KJV] If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

(MSG) If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense.

QUESTION: What does this verse affirm?

ANSWER: Every one of us has sinned; consequently, we all stood in need of reconciliation. Our sins separated us from God. Through His Son, Jesus, God has brought all who place their faith in Him back into fellowship with Him.

Pertaining to “if we claim that we’re free of sin,”

As we saw when I quoted UBS in my earlier notes (1 John 1:6), they believe that verses 6, 8, and 10 reflect what errors of Gnostic teaching John is correcting. In other words, those false teaching Gnostics were claiming that they had fellowship with God even though they saw no need to walk in the Light (1 John 1:6), they were claiming that they had no sin in their lives (current verse), and they were claiming that they had never (perhaps since their so-called conversion) sinned (1 John 1:10). They believed that only their spirit was saved and that, consequently, it didn’t matter what the flesh engaged in. Sin was a non-issue to them [Taken From My Commentary].

QUESTION: In what way to some of these Gnostic heresies affect today’s church?

ANSWER: Some modern day Christians don’t believe that, in this day of grace, sin is a big thing. If they choose to live outside of the teachings of Scripture “grace will cover it.”

9) [KJV] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(GNB) But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.

Concerning “confess our sins,”

“Hence, primarily, to say the same thing as another, and, therefore, to admit the truth of an accusation[Vincent].

QUESTION: What are we doing when we confess our sins to God?

ANSWER: We’re saying the same thing about that sin that God says. Without excuse, we’re saying that what we did was sin.

Matthew 7:1) [KJV] Judge not, that ye be not judged.

1 Corinthians 11:31) [KJV] For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

QUESTIONS: What two things should I, as a Christian, do regarding my sins and the sins of others?

ANSWER: I should judge myself as being without excuse for my sinful conduct, but I should intercede/make excuses for others when they sin.

NOTE: In other words, when we sin we should confess our sin to God without excuse [judge ourselves], and when a fellow believer sins we should intercede for that Christian by reminding God of the circumstances surrounding that sin [not judge that individual].

QUESTIONS: What does “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” mean? Does God owe us forgiveness? Does justice demand that God forgive us?


1) God is faithful to His Son! Jesus earned our forgiveness at Calvary. Justice now demands that God forgive us when we enter into agreement with Him.

2) God is faithful to His promises. He promised to forgive us; therefore our confession of our sin, in light of His promises, demands His forgiveness and cleansing.

NOTE: When my wife spends most of a day cleaning her house I had better not tell her that the house is a pigpen. That would be an insult to her cleaning abilities. Yet, when God cleanses us from the stains of sin we walk around thinking we are filthy in the sight of God. That’s an insult to God’s ability to cleanse. AFTER WE CONFESS OUR SINS, WE MUST CONFESS, AND THANK GOD, THAT WE ARE CLEAN AND FORGIVEN.

10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

QUESTIONS: Can we really make God a liar?

ANSWER: Of course not! When we deny the truth of Scripture we are, in essence, calling God a liar!

Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church