My detailed outline of the first section of First John is as follows.
I. John Shares an Introduction and Invitation for his Readers to Know the Embodiment of Right Doctrine and Behavior (I Jn. 1:1-4)
A. John's Introduction to the Embodiment of God - Jesus Christ (1:1-2)
1. As God Jesus Christ is Eternal (1:1)
1). Jesus is in Genesis 1:1
2). Jesus is the Word in John 1:1
3). Jesus' life parallels God's life
2. Jesus Christ is the Source of God's life (1:1)
1). This life is Zoe
2). This life is the work of God - Logos
3). This life is unstoppable - debar
3. John's Testimony about Jesus Christ (1:1)
1). John is testifying against Docetism (a form of Gnosticism)
(1) Docetism taught that all matter is evil
(2) Docetism taught that sin cannot be separated from the material nature of man
(3) Docetism taught that if Jesus Christ was divine and sinless he had to be a spirit who simply appeared in human form.
2). John's testimony is as a credible witness (1:3)
(1) He saw Jesus with his own eyes (beheld, KJV: watched for a long time)
(2) He touched Jesus with his own hands
(3) He heard Jesus with his own ears
(4) Later John writes, "this is how you test if a person/spirit is from God: can they say Jesus Christ came in the flesh" (4:2)
B. John's Invitation for his Readers to Know the Embodiment of Right Doctrine and Behavior (1:3-4).
1. Fellowship is the Reason for the Invitation (1:3)
1) Fellowship refers to relationship
2) Fellowship connotes a mutual sharing of life forces
3) John wants his readers to have fellowship with one another, God, Jesus
2. Fellowship provides complete joy (1:4)
1) A divine joy
2) Complete joy (360 degree - up, in, out, and over)
3. Fellowship means to walk in the reality of truth and revelation
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