A verse by verse bible commentary in the book of 1 John by Pastor Chuck Smith


Bible Study: 1 John 1

Three times the Bible speaks of the beginning. In Genesis 1:1, He speaks of the beginning of the universe. Not the beginning of God. It’s not the original beginning. It’s the beginning of the universe.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Just how long ago that was, we don’t know. When I was in school, I was taught that it was four billion years ago. Now they say it was fifteen billion years ago. That means I was in school eleven billion years ago. I’m older than you think. There are some scientists that believe that the universe is much younger than what the estimates are. There are those who postulate a young earth, rather than one that is fifteen billion years old.

Bible Study: 1 John 2

Let’s turn now in our Bibles to First John chapter two. The first part of chapter two is a continuation of chapter one. Because in chapter one, John has been talking about fellowship with God and we know that the thing that breaks fellowship with God is sin. And so John is saying, “If we say we have no sin, we’re deceiving ourselves, the truth isn’t in us. But if we confess our sins, He’s faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And if we say we have not sinned, then we make Him a liar, His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10).

So John then opens up chapter two with this word, teknia, in Greek which is a word that is, little children but it is a very tender, loving word. We really don’t have an English equivalent for it but it is my lovely little child or my beautiful little child. It’s like a grandfather, might express to his little granddaughter. Oh my sweet little child or my beautiful little child. And so John now is, of course, an old man. And rather than becoming a cranky old man as some do, there’s still that beauty, that love.

Bible Study: 1 John 3

This seems to be something that John is emphasizing. It’s a truth that he just felt was overwhelming. In his gospel, he tells us that, “As many as received Him [that is, Jesus], to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on His name. Who were born, not by the will of man, or by the will of the flesh, but born of God” (John 1:12,13). He tells us of the conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus in which Jesus said, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us.” The love of God so great, so rich, that He sent His only begotten Son in order that by your believing in Him, you might become a son of God. Adopted into the family of God and made an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. I don’t know if we fully apprehend this truth. To apprehend it is to, with the disciples and the apostles, just sort of stand in awe of it. To think that God loved me so much that He sent His Son. “Greater love, Jesus said, has no man than this, that man would lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.”

Bible Study: 1 John 4

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (4:1).

So we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit that He has given to us. But it’s important that we try the spirits to see if they be of God. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount warned of false prophets. He said they will “come to you but they are wolves, but they are dressed in sheep’s clothing.” And He said, “By their fruit ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:15,16). Throughout the New Testament, each of the writers warned of the false prophets that would come. Jesus said, “In the last days, many deceivers would come.” And so it’s important to try the spirits to see if they are really of God. And what is the test by which we try the spirits?

Bible Study: 1 John 5

Let’s turn now in our Bibles to First John chapter five. We finish First John this week and next week, we take the little epistle of Second John. Just one chapter long and only thirteen verses but he does tell you how to deal with Jehovah Witnesses. So Second John next week. John tells us,

Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Messiah is born of God (5:1):

Jesus spoke of being born of God. He said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:3). Telling him that it was necessary for him to have a spiritual birth if he wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven. In John’s gospel chapter one, John says that “as many as received Him, He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to those who believed on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12,13). Speaking of the new birth, the spiritual birth.