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The First Epistle of John An Introduction. Outline Author Opening Words Getting to Know the Apostle John Outline Style of 1 st John Purpose of the Book.

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Presentation on theme: "The First Epistle of John An Introduction. Outline Author Opening Words Getting to Know the Apostle John Outline Style of 1 st John Purpose of the Book."— Presentation transcript:

1 The First Epistle of John An Introduction

2 Outline Author Opening Words Getting to Know the Apostle John Outline Style of 1 st John Purpose of the Book False Teachers? Themes Comparison with Paul’s Writings Questions Answered

3 Author 1, 2, 3 John and the gospel of John do not directly name the author or the audience Gospel of John: the author is “the one that Jesus loved” John 21:20-24 Early church unanimous: gospel of John and 1 John written by the apostle John Why? – Style and vocabulary – Similarity of major themes and emphases

4 How the Book Begins 1. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life-- 2. the life was made manifest, and we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life--3. that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ…. 1 John 1:1-3 The incarnate Jesus Christ, the basis of eternal fellowship with the Father, from the perspective of a seasoned eye witness

5 Getting to Know the Apostle John James & John, sons of Zebedee, well connected, wealthy Capernaum fishermen Salome, ambitious mother; Mary’s sister (Jesus’ mother), Mat 27:56, Mk 15:40 Follower of John the Baptist, then Jesus James & John nicknamed “sons of thunder” by Jesus Mk 3:17 Request to sit on left and right of Jesus in glory Mat 20:20-24

6 Getting to Know the Apostle John (Cont) One of the three in the inner circle of disciples (Peter, James and John) Along with Peter prepared the Passover Lk 22:8 Disciple whom Jesus loved, leaned back on Jesus at the Passover; John 13:23-25, 20:2, 21:7, 20 At the cross with Mary, Jesus’ mother. From that time on John took Mary into his home John 19:25-27 Ran with Peter to the empty tomb John 20:2-10 Recognized Jesus after huge catch of fish John 21:7

7 Getting to Know the Apostle John (Cont ) Named in Acts three times, takes back seat to Peter Paul mentions John just once: John along with Peter and James were pillars of the Jerusalem church Gal 2:9 Then silence until the books attributed to John Around 75-90 A.D. Early post apostolic men like Polycarp, and Papias (A.D. 100) cite 1 John in their writings According to church fathers, shortly before Jerusalem was destroyed (A.D. 67), John moved to Ephesus where he lived a long life

8 Getting to Know the Apostle John (Cont) In Ephesus, John wrote: – His gospel; to the Jews and gentiles – Epistles; to the churches in the Ephesus area, – Book of Revelation; to the seven churches Many date 1 John late in the 1 st century, others make a case for an earlier date Bottom line: John intimately knew Jesus, and was an eye witness of events recorded in the gospel of John and Acts

9 An Outline of 1 John - NIV The Word of Life1:1-4 Walking in the Light1:5-2:14 Do Not Love the World2:15- 17 Warning Against Antichrists2:18-27 Children of God2:28-3:10 Love One Another3:11-24 Test the Spirits4:1-6

10 An Outline of 1 John NIV - (Cont) God’s Love and Ours4:7-21 Faith in the Son of God5:1-12 Concluding Remarks5:13-21

11 Style of the 1 John Nontraditional letter; no author/recipients noted – The readers knew John Intimate family letter – Frequent use of “I” and “we” – “My dear children” 2:1,12,18,28; 3:7,18; 4:4; 5:21 Letter is written to Christians 2:21, 5:13 – To John, the church was a family, sin is a child’s offense against her/his Father Writes with authority; states a truth without proof No quotations from the OT Pastoral heart evident

12 Style of the 1 John (Cont) Presentation is not linear but circular, goes from subject to subject and often returns to previous subjects; tough to outline; Examples: – Godly people love their brothers 2:10, 3:10, 11, 14, 16, 18, 23; 4:7, 11, 21 – Christians cannot keep sinning 2;17, 3:9,22 Multiple use of the same word -- “fellowship” 1: 3,6,7 -- “if we” 1:6,7,8,9,10 Use of opposites (no “gray”): dark/light, love/hatred, truth/lie, death/life, God/Devil Generally, simple words and short sentences but deep concepts

13 False Teachers? Many commentators think John wrote 1 John, in part, to address the problem of false teachers 2:18-27, 4:1-6 Many varieties in John’s day: – Gnostics: special knowledge led to salvation rather than faith in Christ. Dualism; body/matter evil, spirit pure. No contact between the two. Denied that Christ was God incarnate; instead a phantom, man in appearance only – Docetism: Jesus’ humanity was not real, only appeared to have a body – Cerinthus: Jesus was only a man and the divine Christ only came upon Jesus at his baptism and left Him before his crucifixion Which one? Can’t say for sure – “many antichrists” 2:18, “many false prophets” 4:1

14 False Teachers? (Cont) 1 John states clearly that salvation is only through the God man Jesus Christ, and results in moral transformation 1 John clarifies the true gospel and reassures believers of their salvation One thing is clear the central importance of the genuine Jesus Christ. One way to get to the heart of any teaching, or know exactly where a person stands is to ask, “What do you think of Jesus Christ?”

15 Purpose of the Book “We are writing these things that our joy might be complete.” 1:4. “I am writing you these things so that you may not sin.” 2:1 “I have written these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.” 2:26 “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 5:13

16 Key Concepts God is light, love, life and truth Jesus is God’s son (21x) and accepting him and His sacrifice leads to fellowship with God the Father (12x) and other Christians, and ultimately, eternal life Christians love God, love their brothers, walk in the light, obey His commands, run from darkness and the world, do not continue in sin, and enjoy protection from the evil one When Christians sin, Christ is their advocate and upon confession, He forgives Antichrists and false teachers, reject Christ as God’s son in the flesh, and are lawless

17 Comparing with Paul’s Writings Church is a body, each member has gifts to build the body; order, organizational aspects highlighted Christians’ testimony/interface with non Christian world highlighted Moving the church past Judaism, and opening up the church to gentiles, much conversation about Jews and Gentiles Logical argument with proofs Many quotations from the OT

18 Questions Answered in 1 John How do we have fellowship with God, each other? How are we saved/become children of God? How can we identify children of God? How do we know that Christ lives in us and have assurance of salvation? Do Christians sin and what is the remedy? How do you recognize the Spirit of God, Spirit of truth? How do we recognize antichrists & false teachers?


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