John's words point to the vivid recollection of the person of Jesus that John still had in his old age. For John those memories were permanently etched on his mind as if the events had just happened. He uses terms such as "we have heard" "we have seen" "we have looked upon" and "our hands have handled" that strongly affirm the physical reality of the incarnation of Jesus.
John's personal testimony refutes the false teachers who boasted arrogantly and wrongly about the Christ they had never seen or known. John wanted his readers to be partakers with him in possessing eternal life. We can have fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, which ultimately produces a fullness of joy.
John sums up all he had learned from Jesus in the message: " ... that God is LIGHT, and in Him is no darkness AT ALL." Light in the Scriptures is the emblem of perfect purity, truth, knowledge, prosperity, and joy. In Him, there is NO darkness at all, not even a pin-prick. Where there is pure light, there is pure love. On the other hand, darkness is the absence of light. When people stray from believing in God and having love for others, they step back into the darkness and act in ways that are inconsistent with His character. Darkness represents what is sinful and evil. God is untainted by any evil or sin. Because "God is light" He alone can guide people out of the darkness of sin and unbelief.
1 John 1:6-10
As the oldest living apostle and chief leader among the churches, John had the right to address the believers as his "little children." He is writing to ensure they don't fall into sin by disbelieving in Christ. The intention of the antichrist is to get them to doubt that Jesus was the Christ - to move them to unbelief! John assures them that this sin of unbelief can be conquered through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus not only paid the price for the sins of the those who believe, but for the sins of the whole world. We have an advocate as a friend, a Comforter who has access to the Father, who by the Spirit, abides with us, showing that we have not lost ground but are His - and this Comforter confirms this to us.
John describes three stages of spiritual growth in God's family:
1) Fathers, the most mature spiritually and knowledge.
2) Young men, not yet spiritually mature, but do know sound doctrine. They are strong against sin.
3) Little children, have only the basic awareness of God and need to grow.
All that is in the world is based upon the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. These are objects sought by the people of the world; these are not objects to be sought by the Christian. It is not the nature of true religion to seek these things. The sincere Christian has nobler ends.
The lusts are so much the object of desire, which will eventually disappear forever. But he that doeth the will of God has built his happiness on a basis which is secure, and which abideth forever.
John is warning the children of the faith that the end was at hand. Spoken by an apostle of the Lord with such directness that there could be no doubt. He absolutely believed it was the end of something, and since we are still here we know the end he was talking about was the utter and absolute end of Jerusalem - the Nation, the temple, the Law, the geneologies - the end of it all. John uses the term "antichrist" to describe those who oppose the doctrine of Christ. These antichrists who once professed Jesus, showed through their apostasy they never had known Him and were therefore never really part of the body. Since the little children of the faith had been anointed by the Holy Spirit, they knew the truth.
The antichrists were claiming faith in God while denying and opposing the Son. To do, John says, is impossible. Because Jesus is God's Son and the Messiah, anyone who denies the Son doesn't have the Father either. And, anyone who confesses the Son also has the Father. Many cultists today call themselves Christians, but they deny the deity of Jesus Christ.
True believers, who had been begotten of God had received the Holy Spirit to help the discern truth and reject falsehood. They didn't need another teacher. Persevering in the relationship with Christ ensures that believers will remain faithful.