Summary of the Book of 1 John
Author: The Apostle John
Date Written: 90-95 AD
Major Theme: A reminder to remain true to the fundamentals of Christianity.
The apostle John is now advanced in age, writing from Ephesus to remind and encourage the church to remain faithful to the basics of Christianity. While the letter does not mention or introduce him, early believers who knew him ascribed this letter as from him because of the clear authority demonstrated. It also has many similarities with the gospel of John. The Apostle writes to combat teachings that later became Gnosticism. He writes in a very black and white style with absolutes using repetition of similar themes throughout the letter, emphasizing the fundamentals of genuine faith.
1 John 1 - The Word of Life
1 John 1 opens with a beautiful reminder that the writer witnessed first hand everything being declared about Jesus, the Word of life. The intent of this letter is to remind that eternal life comes only through the Son, who was with the Father in the very beginning. John reminds that true believers walk in the light and cannot remain in darkness because the Son lives in us and purifies from all sins. This chapter ends with a biblical view of sin and a reminder that God is faithful to cleanse us from sin and unrighteousness when we confess.
1 John 2 - Christ is Our Advocate
1 John 2 finishes the thought about sin, reminding us of our advocate in Jesus, who was the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. Because of this, true believers respond in both obedience to Word of God and love for one another. Next, we are reminded not to love the things of the world, because they will pass away. This chapter ends with warnings against antichrists, who have come, who denied Jesus as the Christ. John reminds twice that believers have the Holy Spirit to remind of the truth and to teach us in all things.
1 John 3 - Obedience & Love
1 John 3 starts with a beautiful reminder of the greatness of God’s love toward us in making us His children. Then this chapter moves on to give reasons not to sin. Jesus appeared to both take away our sins and to destroy the devil's work. John notes that true children do not continue to sin because they have been born of God. This chapter ends with a reminder to follow in Jesus’ example of love, which expresses itself in truth and actions. We are then encouraged to not let our hearts condemn us, because God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
1 John 4 - The Need For Sound Doctrine
1 John 4 encourages the testing of every spirit to see if it is from God. What later became known as Gnosticism was infiltrating this church dethroning Jesus from His rightful place. John encourages to test these teachings, learning to recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. He then switches gears reminding us to love one another, which stems from God proving His love to us in Jesus.
1 John 5 - Overcoming the World
1 John 5 begins by explaining that everyone born of God overcomes the world. This victory comes from faith. This chapter then moves on to reassure us of the promise of eternal life in Christ. A reminder that we have confidence before God and that we can ask Him of anything according to His will and He will hear and answer us. John closes by reminding that the Son living in us gives us understanding so that we may know what is true.
As you can see this is an amazing book and will bless all who read, understand and enjoy this wonderful message of love, obedience and victory in Jesus.
May you be blessed and inspired as you read and study the book of 1 John.
I’d love to hear from you!
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