Scofield Reference Notes
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, of the Word of life;
SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES (Old Scofield 1917 Edition)
The First Epistle General of John
WRITER: The Apostle John, as unbroken tradition affirms, and as internal evidence and comparison with the Gospel of John prove.
DATE: Probably A.D. 90
THEME: First John is a family letter from the Father to His "little children" who are in the world. With the possible exception of the Song of Solomon, it is the most intimate of the inspired writings. The world is viewed as without. The sin of a believer is treated as a child's offence against his Father, and is dealt with as a family matter (1Jn 1:9 2:1). The moral government of the universe is not in question. The child's sin as an offence against the law had been met in the Cross, and "Jesus Christ the righteous" is now his "Advocate with the Father." John's Gospel leads across the threshold of the Father's house; his first Epistle makes us at home there. A tender word is used for "children," teknia, "born ones," or "bairns." Paul is occupied with our public position as sons; John with our nearness as born-ones of the Father.
First John is in two principal divisions.
I. The family with the Father, 1. 1-3. 24.
II. The family and the world, 4. 1-5. 21.
There is a secondary analysis in each division of which occurs the phrase, "My little children," as follows:
(I.) Introductory, the incarnation, 1.1, 2.
(II.) The little children and fellowship 1.3-2.14
(III.) The little children and secular and "religious" world 2.15-28.
(IV.) How the little children may know each other, 2.29-3.10
(V.) How the little children must live together, 3.11-24.
(VI.) Parenthetic: How the little children may know false teachers, 4.1-6.
(VII.) The little children assured and warned, 4.7-5.21.
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
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.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
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.
What it is to "walk in the light" is explained by 1Jn 1:8-10. "All things. . .are made manifest by the light" Eph 5:13 The presence of God brings the consciousness of sin in the nature 1Jn 1:8 and sins in the life 1Jn 1:9,10. The blood of Christ is the divine provision for both. To walk in the light is to live in fellowship with the Father and the Son. Sin interrupts, but confession restores that fellowship. Immediate confession keeps the fellowship unbroken.
See Scofield Note: "Ex 27:20"
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.