As I stated at the beginning of this series, John’s pastoral heart sets out to protect, correct, and connect. He seeks to protect us from false teachings about the person of Jesus; to correct anyone who claims obedience is not important; and to connect us to one another through theContinue Reading

Having just summed up all three tests for authentic Christianity (5:1-5), John emphasizes the doctrinal test again in 5:6-10. As he moves toward the end of his letter, John stresses belief in Jesus because he wants to show the priority of belief in Jesus as God’s full and final testimonyContinue Reading

As a synopsis or summary of the entire epistle, John combines belief in Jesus, love for one another, and obedience to God in 5:1-5. The words “believe” or “faith” occur in vv. 1, 4, 5; “love” in vv. 1, 2, 3; “obey” or “commands” in vv. 2, 3. Together, allContinue Reading

John moves from right belief about Jesus (4:1-6) to right conduct toward one another (4:7-21). For the third time he commands us to love one another (cf., 2:7-11; 3:11-18). The word “love” occurs twenty-seven times in this passage. In between admonishments to love one another, John illustrates God’s love forContinue Reading

Throughout 1 John three tests are employed to identify authentic Christianity: Moral (obeying God, 1:6-7; 2:3-6, 28-29; 3:4-10; 5:3) Doctrinal (believing the truth about Jesus, 2:18-27; 3:23; 4:1-6, 15; 5:1, 5, 10, 13) Social, (loving others faithfully, 2:7-11; 3:11-18, 23; 4:7-12, 19-21; 5:1-2). In this 1 John 4:1-6 the doctrinalContinue Reading

From 1 Jn. 3:1-9 we learned that because of the Father’s love for us and his image in us, our new life in Christ will be evident. 1 John 3:10-24 speaks to what the evidence looks like: Sacrificial love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Verse 10 JohnContinue Reading

Continuing with our study in 1 John of this series 3:1-9 can be seen in two parts: The Father’s love for us (vv. 1-3), and the Father’s image in us (vv. 4-9). Having mentioned being “born of Him” (2:29), John’s thought is triggered by some astonishing implications of our newContinue Reading

A resolve to believe the truth about Jesus provides assurance of eternal life is a major theme in this letter. John begins by insisting there is a clear distinction between truth and error (2:18-21). Next, he outlines the nature and effect of the error about Jesus (2:22-23) providing two safeguardsContinue Reading

John spoke about our sinful nature and sinful acts  in 1 Jn. 1:8-2:2. In this passage  our inspired author gets more specific and spells out how it is that sin manifests itself, namely in disobedience, hatefulness, and materialism. Primarily he is addressing Christian readers telling us that these vices cannot beContinue Reading

This passage is a classical “bad news/good news” scenario. The bad news is that sin is present and powerful. The good news is that God has provided a solution. And, upon confessing our sin, we gain steadfast assurance that we have eternal life. By way of review, John’s letter givesContinue Reading