1-3 John Study Notes

1,2,3 John: The Love of the Kingdom

Intro: John wrote near the end of his life, also when he wrote the gospel of John; 1 John meat as a circular letter to be shared among the seven churches mentioned in Revelations; 2-3 John are letters to individuals / specific church;

Error addressed: False teachers were saying that Christ only appeared to be a man and was not part of the material world; logical conclusion then is that we live however we want in gross sin because what does the body matter anyway if Christ didnt really have a body?

1 John Theme: In 1 John the author calls readers back to the three basics of Christian life: true doctrine, obedient living, and fervent devotion. Because God is light (1:5), Christ’s followers overcome evildoers who seek to subvert them. The one who lives in and among themGod’s Sonis greater than the spirit of the antichrist now in the world (4:34). To believe in the name of the Son of God is to know the assurance of eternal life (5:13). (ESV)

Purpose: Why does John say that he is writing to these churches? He is writing to ensure that there is a correct and appropriate assurance of salvation among those who are believers, but no false assurance among those who are not(D). All these purpose statements fit under main theme of assurance of our faith; John tells us who we are in Christ he is writing because:

  • your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
  • you have known him who is from the beginning.
  • you have overcome the evil one.
  • you have known the Father.
  • you have known him who is from the beginning.
  • you are strong,
  • and the word of God lives in you,
  • and you have overcome the evil one.

Main Question: Are each of us in the Kingdom? John provides three tests of faith, three criteria in order to determine whether or not they [these
churches to whom John writes] had experienced the love of the Kingdom and whether or not they were remaining in it(D).

I. Test ONE: What is the content of our belief?

v Said in the Positive: 4:2 only the gospel saves

v Said in the Negative: 2:22

II. Test TWO: What is the quality of our obedience?

v Positive: 3:10 we will not walk in total perfection here on earth;

v Negative: 1:6 – we have a good lawyer, Jesus Christ pleads for us 1:7-2:1

III. Test THREE: What is the character of our love for one another?

v Positive: 3:14, 24 same message of John 13:12-17; love as overflow

v Negative: 4:20 we do not love to get God; we love because we have God;

2 John Theme: The focus of 2 John is living in the love of God in accordance with the truth of Jesus Christ. This love extends not only to God but to other people. It is also discerning; it does not go on ahead of biblical revelation (v. 9), and it does not lend aid to enemies of the gospel message (vv. 1011). Instead, Christ’s followers walk according to his commandments (v. 6) and through faith win a full reward (v. 8). (ESV)

v Verse 10: do not give any support to false teachers

3 John Theme: The theme of 3 John is steadfastness in the face of opposition. The recipient of the letter, Gaius, faces a troublemaker named Diotrephes. By walking in the truth (vv. 3, 4), Christians can embrace and live out the apostolic message that John conveys in all his letters. (ESV)

v Vs 5-8: hospitality: if 2 John was written not to accept false teachers, 3 John is to accept right teachers, extending hospitality;

Application: 1. Are we living with a deep satisfaction of the assurance that we are saved? JC Ryle talks about it this way in his Holiness book: Which farmer will be more productive? The one who has to leave the field every hour to drive into town to look at his name of the deed for the property, or the farmer who knows and remembers by faith that his name is still on the deed and keeps his shoulder to the plow? May the HS lead us in strong assurance: Rom 8:16-17

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