Read 1 John 1 at Bible Gateway.
1 Joh 1:1-7c chiastic structure
1a.1) 1 Joh 1:1-3a, That which was from the beginning – the Word of life – we have seen + heard + declare to you;
1a.2) 1 Joh 1:3b, That you also may have fellowship with us/ our fellowship is with the Father + His Son Jesus Christ;
central axis) 1 Joh 1:4, And these things we write to you that your joy may be full;
2a.1) 1 Joh 1:5a, This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you;
2a.2) 1 Joh 1:5b-7c, If you walk in the light you have fellowship with Him + one another;
1a.1) 1 Joh 1:5b, That God is light and in Him is no darkness at all;
1a.2) 1 Joh 1:6a, If we say that we have fellowship with Him;
1b) 1 Joh 1:6b, And walk in darkness;
central axis) 1 Joh 1:6c, We lie and do not practice the truth;
2b) 1 Joh 1:7a, But if we walk in the light;
2a.1) 1 Joh 1:7b, As He is in the light;
2a.2) 1 Joh 1:7c, We have fellowship with one another.
1 Joh 1:7d-10 chiastic structure
1a.1) 1 Joh 1:7d, And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin;
1a.2) 1 Joh 1:8, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us;
1b) 1 Joh 1:9a, If we confess our sins;
central axis) 1 Joh 1:9b, He is faithful and just;
2b) 1 Joh 1:9c, To forgive us our sins;
2a.1) 1 Joh 1:9d, And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness;
2a.2) 1 Joh 1:10, If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
The problem of sin. The fact of the matter is, no one can say that they have not sinned. But if we confess our sins, He will forgive them, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This cleansing is a process the New Testament calls “sanctification.” Every person who says he has fellowship with God – who has entered into a relationship with Him through the open door of Jesus Christ – ought to be continually increasing in walking in the way of light – His way – and decreasing in walking in the way of darkness. If that is not happening in a person’s life, then they are lying and not practicing the truth. Now I suppose it is true that everyone slips and sins even when they are walking the sanctification road. But what is the consistent practice of their life, all taken together? Light, or darkness? That is our clue so that we know with whom we fellowship. John is not saying to shun anyone – but he is giving us guidance as to who we invite into our homes and with whom we share our lives and hearts.
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