1 John 1:1-4
1 “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was revealed to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.”
John is addressing heretical philosophers known as Gnostics. Gnostics did not believe that Jesus came in the flesh. Therefore, John uses sensory descriptions to make the argument that Jesus did come in the flesh. This affirms the physicality of Jesus and that He literally dwelt among humans. Because of this we were able to hear Him, see Him, and touch Him. In order to have fellowship with God (be saved), this concept needed to be received. This means that John was speaking to a mixed group of people-believers and unbelieving Gnostics or people who were being influenced by Gnosticism. The “we” in the passage is a general designation of the people he’s addressing. Those in the group who commit the Gnostic heresy are not true Christians and therefore need to repent for salvation.
Word of Life: Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is the full expression of God in tangible, human form. This physicality of Jesus demonstrates God’s compatibility with our humanity.
You too may have fellowship with us: John is writing these words so that his audience has fellowship with fellow Christians and apostles. This fellowship is also with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. When we believe in Jesus we join a community of people who have been united with the Trinity.
Joy may be made complete: Nothing would make John happier than to see these false teachers turn from their heresy and believe the truth. In this we see the heart of God for His lost creation.