The text or topic is taken from I John, one of the five writings of the apostle John. Note that no chapter or verse is listed as part of the text. That is because the word “know” is repeated throughout the five chapters. “Know” is listed 32 times in the New King James Version. “Knows” is listed three times and “known” is listed four times.
Another phrase, “from the beginning” is listed nine times. The phrase, “We write” is listed one time. Another phrase, “I write” is listed seven times, and “I have written,” five times. There are nineteen “if” statements and thirteen times John writes about “commandments.”
These repeated phrases tell us one thing. That is: By word and by written truth John has passed along to us “from the beginning” these truths. This is not anything new he is exhorting to us. Not a new doctrine, not a new idea. We are not about to receive a new revelation to move us to the next level, a phrase a lot of the TV evangelists use all the time. It is simply the same gospel truth that our Lord and Savior conveyed to his disciples from the very beginning. It is the same truth the Old Testament prophets also preached.
You might ask, what are these truths that are being given again to us in this letter from John? Obviously, we have not all understood it or he would not have to preach it to us again. Sooner or later if we hear the same thing that God is trying to speak to us, we may get it. Maybe! Duh!
The whole of this book, five chapters and all 104 verses is that we would learn the joy of being in fellowship with our Lord and Savior. That cannot happen if we fail to walk in the way He has told us. To walk holy and blameless, which is our “reasonable service.’
Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
What hinders us from walking in the way He has told us to walk? John tells us we often take our eyes off God’s Word and listen to what the world/our culture tells us. He gives us warnings.
1 John 1:4-9 – And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to 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 practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 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.
1 John 2:1-7 – My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
A big part of walking in the right way, according to John, is to stay based in the love of God.
1John 3:1-3 – Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
1 John 3:11 – For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
1John 3:16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1 John 4:7-11 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 5:19-20 – We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.