From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in - we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands.
The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we're telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us.
We saw it, we heard it, and now we're telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.
Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!
This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there's not a trace of darkness in him.
If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we're obviously lying through our teeth - we're not living what we claim.
But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God's Son, purges all our sin.
If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense.
On the other hand, if we admit our sins - make a clean breast of them - he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.
If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God - make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus.
When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good - not only ours, but the whole world's.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)