1:1 That 1 which was from the beginning, which we have a
heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have
looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the b Word of
(1) He begins with the description of the person of Christ who
he makes one and not two: and him both God from everlasting
(for he was with the Father from the beginning, and is that
eternal life) and also made true man, whom John himself and
his companions both heard, beheld, and handled.
(a) I heard him speak, I saw him myself with my eyes, I
handled with my hands him that is true God, being made
true man, and not I alone, but others also that were
(b) That same everlasting Word by whom all things are made,
and in whom only is there life.
1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and
bear witness, and c shew unto you that eternal life, which
was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
(c) Being sent by him: and that doctrine is correctly said
to be shown, for no man could so much as have thought of
it, if it had not been thus shown.
1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, 2
that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our
fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus
(2) The use of this doctrine is this, that all of us being
coupled and joined together with Christ by faith, might
become the sons of God: in which only consists all true
1:53 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and
declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no
darkness at all.
(3) Now he enters into a question, by which we may understand
that we are joined together with Christ, that is, if we are
governed with his light, which is perceived by the ordering
of our life. And thus he reasons, God is in himself most
pure light, therefore he agrees well with them who are of
the light, but with them that are of the darkness he has no
1:7 But if we walk in the d light, as he is in the light, we
have fellowship one with another, 4 and the blood of Jesus
Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
(d) God is said to be light by his own nature, and to be in
light, that is to say, in that everlasting infinite
blessedness: and we are said to walk in light in that
the beams of that light shine to us in the Word.
(4) A digression the matter at hand, to the remission of sins:
for this our sanctification who walk in the light, is a
testimony of our joining and knitting together with Christ:
but because this our light is very dark, we must obtain
another benefit in Christ, that is, that our sins may be
forgiven us being sprinkled with his blood: and this in
conclusion is the support and anchor of our salvation.
1:85 If we say that we have no sin, we e deceive ourselves,
and the f truth is not in us.
(5) There is none but need this benefit, because there is none
that is not a sinner.
(e) This fully refutes that perfectness of works of
supererogation (doing more than duty requires, the idea
that excess good works can form a reserve fund of merit
that can be drawn on in favour of sinners) which the
papists dream of.
(f) So then, John speaks not thus for modesty's sake, as
some say but because it is so indeed.
1:96 If we confess our sins, he is g faithful and just to
h forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all
(6) Therefore the beginning of salvation is to acknowledge our
wickedness and to require pardon from him, who freely
forgives all sins, because he has promised to do so and he
is faithful and just.
(g) So then our salvation depends on the free promise of God,
who because he is faithful and just, will perform that
which he hath promised.
(h) Where then are our merits? for this is our true
1:107 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him i a
liar, and his k word is not in us.
(7) A repeat of the former verse, in which he condemned all of
sin without exception: so much so that if any man persuade
himself otherwise, he does as much as in him lies, make the
word of God himself useless and to no effect, yes, he makes
God a liar: for to why in times past did we need
sacrifices, or now Christ and the gospel, if we are not
(i) They do not only deceive themselves but are blasphemous
(k) His doctrine shall have no place in us; that is, in our