1 John 1:1-4

Talks for Growing Christians

The Basis of Christian Fellowship

1 John 1:1-4

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Lesson Number 1

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Christ is the basis of Christian fellowship.
  2. Joy is the result of Christian fellowship.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s worship the Lord who became man forever.


  1. What is the only basis of Christian fellowship?
  2. What is the theme of the epistle of 1 John?
  3. Who is the author of 1 John?
  4. What other books of the New Testament did he write?
  5. When did the author write 1 John?
  6. What was the author’s purpose in writing this epistle?


  1. Christ Himself and Christ alone.
  2. Christian fellowship.
  3. The apostle John.
  4. The epistles 2 John and 3 John, the gospel of John and the book of Revelation.
  5. Sometime between 95 and 100 A.D.
  6. When John wrote this epistle, false teaching and false teachers had already infiltrated the Christian church, and a number of people had followed these false teachings. John wanted to warn the church about these false teachings and to refute the false teachings. He wanted to give true believers assurance of their salvation.


  1. False teaching and false teachers had infiltrated the Christian church. John was concerned that the church would be drawn away from the truth that Christ and Christ alone is the basis of Christian fellowship. The false teaching, later called Gnosticism, denied truths about Christ as the Son of God - they denied that He was pre-existent and they denied that He became incarnate. See 1 John 1:1-2. Are you aware that there are false teachers today who perpetuate these false teachings? Other false teaching.
  2. Consider three points of the false teaching of Gnosticism: a) it wrongly taught that Christ was not fully God, but that He was only an emanation from God that came upon the man Jesus, b) it wrongly taught the material world was intrinsically evil, and only the world of the spirit was good, and c) it wrongly taught that salvation was only for the enlightened ones, those who had gained certain mystical knowledge or gnosis. Consider how you could refute this false teaching.
  3. “These things we write to you that you joy may be full.” (1 John 1:4). Apart from Christian fellowship there can be no true joy, because apart from Christ there can be no true joy. Apart from Christ, you may have temporary happiness, but no real lasting joy. The essence of Christian fellowship is intimate communion with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. To experience the joy of Christian fellowship, you must meet with other believers. Don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together. See Hebrews 10:25. Is your joy full?


  1. Do you fully understand the implications of the incarnation? It took place at conception in Nazareth, not a birth in Bethlehem. Before conception, the eternal son of God was 100% God and 0% man. After conception, he was 100% God and 100% man. Now, after our Lord’s death and resurrection and ascension He still remains 100% God and 100% man forever. For our sakes, the eternal Son of God became man forever. Is your response one of worship?

Key Verses

  • “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3 “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4

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