1We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.
John introduces this letter very much like he does in his Gospel (John 1:1-2). John walked with Jesus and knew him personally, so this letter is an eye witness account of who Christ is. He can confirm the fact that existed, died, rose again and came back in the flesh.
2This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.
John is defining eternal life in terms of Christ himself. This means that eternal life is not only a future hope but also a present reality and we can begin to experience this from the time we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus ourselves. True life is only found through obedience in faith in Jesus Christ.
3We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
The word fellowship in the Greek (koinonia) literally means "having in common", sharing and participating with other believers. Here John is sharing with us what he has seen and that he has shared in the Glory of God through Jesus. He is letting know that is why he is telling us, to share the true joy of Jesus. He wants everyone to have what he has found through his faith in Jesus Christ.
Living in the Light
5This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.
"Walking in darkness" means to live outside of God's very truth. It means you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When we know Jesus, there is no darkness, our light comes from our fellowship our relationship in Christ. You can't say that you "have fellowship" (anything in common) with Christ if you are walking in the dark and not practicing the truth that is taught.
7But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
When you believe and accept God's truth, then you are living in the light. It is then you have a common bond with Christ and it is then that you are in fellowship with Jesus and other believers. It is only then that we can know we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus for our sins. Although he died for all of us, the knowledge and the truth are clearly revealed to us when we walk in light. Without the light of Christ, in our darkness we can not see clearly what Jesus has done for us.
8If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.
Don't fool yourself into believing you are living for Jesus when you know you are living a lie. Don't lie to yourself about your motives and thoughts.
9But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
The good new is this though; you can find the light. Confess your sins, your motives and thoughts, and ask for forgiveness. We are promised that He will bring us into the light by forgiving us of our our wicked ways. What a loving and amazing God we have.
10If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
This means that you can not believe the false teachers out there. Those that will tell you that the immoral things of this world are not really sin. That it is okay. They can't be okay or that would make God a liar and we know that God is truth and God is love.