Study of 1 John 1 | Inductive Bible Study | Bible Study | 1 John

What Happens when Declarations are Made – A Study of 1 John 1

Inductive Bible Study is designed to help you get more out of the Word of God than a casual reading would produce. This is where we dig in to gain a deeper understanding of God’s Word. We are starting the first of five studies covering the book of First John. Today we look at 1 John, chapter 1 as we find out what happens when declarations are made. 

While this series is not planned to take you through a step-by-step inductive study, we will touch on the elements of studying inductively. You can still work through it with me, so, let’s grab our gear, Bible, sticky notes or notebook as you may want to jot down a few things. Oh, and your tea or coffee…or water!


Surroundings. I would advise you to remove distractions while you are studying. Turn off the phone, put the computer to sleep, and anything else that would take away from your focus.

Are you ready? Let’s begin!


First things first – Pray

As with all Bible Studies, the first thing we want to do is pray. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to direct our study time and to keep us focused. We need Him to teach us the truth of His Word.

You may be familiar with 1 John but this time, it may be that the Spirit has something for you to “see” that could be your, “I didn’t know that was there” moment. Otherwise known as a God-moment.

So, let’s pray: Father God, we love You and we are so grateful that we can sit at your Son’s feet and learn of You. As we study First John, we ask that You would open our eyes to see the truths found in Your Word. We ask that the Holy Spirit would guide us and direct our thinking as we ponder your truth. As Paul prayed, may the eyes of our understanding be enlightened so we may know your truth. As we finish this chapter, Lord, may we be encouraged by Your Word in our everyday lives. We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus, Your precious Son. Amen.



After you have prayed and removed distractions from your surroundings, get comfortable to read the first chapter of 1 John. Take your time as you don’t want to rush through it as you may miss some nuggets.

{pause to read, it’s a quick 10 verses}


Study of 1 John 1 | Inductive Bible Study | Bible Study | 1 John


Chapter 1

The first thing we notice in chapter 1 is that there is no real salutation. The Apostle Paul most always began his letters with his name and he identified who the recipients were but John did not start his letter off in the same manner.

It’s been said that the reason why John didn’t identify himself or who his recipients were is because his readers knew him personally. John left Jerusalem before the destruction began in AD 70 and went to Ephesus and the surrounding areas. The seven churches that are mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3 were part of his ministry. So this letter, 1 John, was probably written to the churches in and around Ephesus.

The first verse is very specific without naming names, about who “we” are. “We have heard”, “we have seen with our eyes”, “we have looked upon” and “our hands have handled” the “Word of Life”.

Who is the “Word of Life”? Verse two states “the life was manifested” and “we have seen it and bear witness”. Based on what we know about the 12 disciples, we can say that the “we” refers to the disciples of whom he is one of them.

The Word of Life is the Son of God who was manifested in the flesh as Jesus Christ.

So, then, how do we know the author is John? It could be another disciple. If you are a history buff or you study Biblical history, you would have learned that the style and vocabulary of First John are similar to the writings of the Gospel of John. Most scholars agree that this letter is written by the same person.

You and I are probably alike in that we don’t study Biblical history as Bible scholars do so we’ll more than likely rely on their findings, right?



Verse three is interesting as it speaks to the readers having fellowship with the disciples and with the Father and Son. When we think of “fellowship”, what comes to mind? Gatherings? Church luncheons? Study groups? But “fellowship” with the Father wouldn’t be those activities, would it?

John is encouraging readers to have fellowship with God and since He dwells within us when we get together with other believers in any type of activity, we are also having fellowship with the Father in those activities.

However, fellowship with God is more than that. We have the assurance of God dwelling in us through our relationship with Him. Fellowship with God is time spent with Him in prayer, study, or quietness. Meditating on His Word is also fellowship as are our conversations with Him.



Why is He Writing?

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. Verse four gives us one of many reasons why John is writing this letter. This verse, however, comes right after mentioning fellowship with God. Do you think it safe to say that the joy that we might have would be the fellowship with God? Would that give us full joy? Have you thought of it that way before?

The message that John wants his readers to know is that God is light and in Him is no darkness. Can you imagine that? Light, full, brilliantly bright light. A light that dispels everything less than it. Dispels darkness with a tiny flicker. This is our God! Everything He is displaces evil, darkness, hatred, all things opposite of Him. This is the God who lives in us! We want His light to shine through us, to search us, to dispel anything that is not holy, not acceptable to Him. We want others to see Christ in us so that they too would want to meet this Man who died for them.

Is this another reason why our joy would be full?


Fellowship and our Walk

If God is the light that He is and we have fellowship with Him, then believers cannot walk in darkness. Can they? Why not? Because light dispels darkness.

What happens when an unsaved person thinks about getting saved? They often say things like, “I can’t get saved now, I’ve done this sin or that sin” or, “God can’t love me, I’m too dirty” or “I’m not ready yet as I’m still having fun”. Oh, and there’s this “do I have to give up all my fun activities to get saved”? Why do the unsaved think like this? It’s because deep inside them, they know that they are in darkness and God is light. They know the two don’t mix, like oil and water, like righteousness and unrighteousness.

Believers cannot walk on the wild side and the narrow path at the same time. It is impossible for either we will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon, Matthew 6:24. If we say we have a relationship with the Father, that He is our God, but yet we still walk on the broad road, then we are lying and deceiving ourselves.

When we make a decision to follow Christ, we leave behind the old desires and sins of the carnal nature and take on the new nature that leads to holy living. Holy living is walking in the light and as believers, we are walking in the light together, fellowshipping with each other as we enjoy the presence of the Lord.


Forgiveness of Sin

We all sin. Either by commission or omission. We either willfully sin or unintentionally sin. Whichever way, it doesn’t matter as we all sin. If a believer says she doesn’t sin, she has been deceived as the Bible says the truth is not in her. She needs to hear the truth so that she can repent and correct her beliefs.

I’m so thankful that John said that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Daily I need to confess my sins and faults and iniquities to the Lord. And daily I receive His mercy and forgiveness.

Living the Christian life is not always easy. The narrow path that few people find is uphill and rocky. It requires that we deny our own wants and desires and that we learn what pleases the Father so that we desire the things that He wants us to have.

Even with the adversity that life brings us, we can still have the joy that James speaks of in James 1:2. This is a joy that is deep and abiding and is ours when we trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding.


That’s a Wrap

Next time we will look at chapter 2 where we will learn more of why John wrote to these believers and what “we know”. It’s going to be exciting! Follow this blog site to ensure you don’t miss the next study.

So, as always, I invite your comments. Did you find any nuggets in this first chapter of 1 John? If so, please leave a comment telling me what you learned. I look forward to hearing from you!

Don’t forget to leave your comment below!

What Happens when Declarations are Made - A Study of 1 John 1 1

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