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Volume 13 - Page 50 of 159 Index | Zoom | |
Key-thoughts of I John.
pp. 100, 101
If we compare John's Gospel with his first Epistle, we find several items which, if not
in contrast, yet by their different point of view indicate for us the peculiar key-thoughts of
The Gospel commences with Him Who was IN the beginning, whereas the Epistle
commences with Him Who was FROM the beginning. The Gospel declares that IN Him
was life, the Epistle however tells us that the life was manifested.
"For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you
that eternal life, which was with the Father, and has been manifested unto us" (1: 3).
The words "manifest" and "appear" in this epistle are translations of phaneroo and
phaneros, the former occurring nine times, the latter once, and such is the inimitable
character of the inspired Scripture, that God's supervision of the distribution of single
words is seen to be perfectly planned and harmoniously arranged.
"Manifest" (I John).
A | 1: 2. LIFE manifested.
B | 2: 18, 19. ANTICHRISTS manifested "not of us".
C | 2: 28, 3: 2. EFFECTS of future manifestation.
C | 3: 5, 8. EFFECTS of past manifestation.
B | 3: 10. Children of GOD and the DEVIL manifested.
A | 4: 9. LOVE manifested.
The opening statement of 1: 2 is savourless or powerless without the grand
conclusion of 4: 9. Life may be manifested, yet the darkness comprehends it not. To a
lost world came the Son of God, not to demand the homage of His creatures, though He
was Creator (John 1: 3), not to claim His kingly prerogatives, either as Israel's King, or as
the only rightful occupant of the throne of universal dominion, but He came as the meek
and lowly, the despised and the rejected, the sorrowing, sin-bearing, suffering Son of
man. This leads to I John 4: 9. If life was to be received as well as manifested, love
must be made manifest also. He Who manifested the life manifested also the love of
God, in death, "that we might live through Him". Life can only be fully realized when
righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The fact that God IS love does not
save. The fact that God IS righteousness does not justify. The love must be manifested,
the righteousness revealed, before it can become effective.
How and in what way was the love of God manifested and with what object? The
epistles declares that God's love has been manifested in the gift of Christ. "Because that