Chapter 1

Fellowship with God made Possible:  1 John 1:1-4.   
The epistle of first John begins with the historical account of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. John was an eyewitness of Jesus Christ. Christ who existed with God the Father from eternity has entered human history as a real human being (1 John 1:1-2,14).  God became man so that the life that was in him might be revealed. John wrote this letter so that all who receive his testimony may have fellowship with God (1 Corinthians 1: 9). This fellowship is what Jesus prayed for when he was on earth (John 17:3). True joy only comes through fellowship with God. These things are written so that believers may fully share the joy apostles had. Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It is the by-product of our fellowship with God and other Christians. The world is not capable of providing this deep seated joy and satisfaction in Christ. The joy God gives is the lasting joy which no one can take away from us ( Heb 11:25; Psalms 16:11). The Apostles were not ashamed of sharing this wonderful news. The foundation of Christian fellowship is the person of Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross. Christian fellowship is not sitting around a table and sipping coffee. Fellowship means close relationships, joint participation and having things in common. Those who are saved are the partakers of His divine nature.  God desired fellowship with us.  Through Christ God made it possible.  John explains the secrets of fellowship with God and with other Christians in his letter. Someone has said “Fellowship is two fellows in one ship”. The gospel is the good news of what God has done in history by sending his Son to rescue us from the judgment of sin we deserve. The essence of eternal life is to be in fellowship with the Father and with Jesus Christ or to know them (John 17:3).   Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?  If not, why not today? 

The Basis of Fellowship:  1 John 1:5, 6. 
Christian fellowship starts with communion and partnership with Christ. John gives two word pictures for moral purity and evil here. God is light and in him is no darkness at all. God is absolutely righteous and there is not even one bit of darkness in Him. A person who says he is saved and habitually lives in sin is lying and he is not in fellowship with God. False teachers claimed that they were in fellowship with God and at the same time continued to live according to the world standards. John concludes that it is impossible. Christians are cleansed by the blood of Christ and have a new nature. Since we have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, we can live in righteousness. When we have fellowship with God we desire to live in fellowship with one another. The basis of fellowship is the atoning death of Jesus Christ for our sins. It is sad that many believers do not enjoy fellowship with God. Living in fellowship with God is the proof that we are saved and have a right relationship with him. To walk in darkness means to live in sin apart from God who is light.

How to deal with Sin: 1 John 1:7-10. 
Sin is a fact of life and it must be dealt with. The correct way to deal with the sin is not to deny it, but to confess it and allow God to cleanse us. Confess simply means to acknowledge or agree with God when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins. When we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all  unrighteousness  (1:9; Psalms 130:3-4). When God says He forgives our sins, we must be willing to forgive ourselves. Sad to say some believers find it difficult to forgive their past sins after being saved. If we claim we have never sinned, we make God a liar and His Word is not in us (1:10).  Christians are the children of God and they should reflect their new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17).  God’s standards are perfect and He cannot condone sin. He knows our nature and made provision for our failures (Psalms 103:14; 1 Corinthians 10:13). In this passage, John reminds us that believers are cleansed by the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7).  Jesus paid the penalty of our sin. But we fail in many things and in need of cleansing daily. His death is sufficient to save the whole world but is efficient to save those who believe in Him.  The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to cleanse us from our sins (John 17:17). Someone has said "In salvation God takes initiative. What we contribute toward salvation is our sin". If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and we are not truthful.  When a sinner believes in Jesus Christ he is forgiven from all his sin. Sin breaks fellowship with god. When believers confess their sins God is faithful and just to forgive their sins and to restore them to fellowship with him.  They will  be cleansed from all unrighteousness (1:9). So people need to hear the gospel to be saved and live in obedience to his Word. To live in fellowship means to be honest with God and with ourselves.  Ask God to protect you from sin and live for his glory. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and not honest with God and ourselves (1 John 1:10). In verse 8, it is a matter of fooling ourselves and not living in truth. In Verse 10, it is a matter of denying that we have ever sinned at all.  God forgives our sins and cleanses us from all sins. Are you saved and living in fellowship with God?