Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Testament survey (23): 1 John

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:13-15)


[1] 1 John, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3), How to Have Fellowship With God (PDF), How You Can Have the Assurance of Salvation (PDF), Who is Antichrist? (PDF)

First John has been called the sanctum sanctorum of the New Testament. It takes the child of God across the threshold into the fellowship of the Father’s home. It is the family epistle. Paul’s epistles and all the other epistles are church epistles, but this is a family epistle and should be treated that way. The church is a body of believers in the position where we are blessed “… with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3, translation mine). We are given that position when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Believing on the Lord Jesus brings us into the family of God. In the family we have a relationship which can be broken but is restored when “we confess our sins.” Then “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Read the complete article
[2] Book of 1 John, from (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
The book of 1 John seems to be a summary that assumes the readers' knowledge of the gospel as written by John and offers certainty for their faith in Christ. The first epistle indicates that the readers were confronted with the error of gnosticism, which became a more serious problem in the second century. As a philosophy of religion it held that matter is evil and spirit is good. The solution to the tension between these two was knowledge, or gnosis, through which man rose from the mundane to the spiritual. In the gospel message, this led to two false theories concerning the person of Christ, Docetisn—regarding the human Jesus as a ghost—and Cerinthianism—making Jesus a dual personality, at times human and at times divine. The key purpose of 1 John is to set boundaries on the content of faith and to give believers assurance of their salvation. (Read the complete article)
[3] 1 John, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
WRITER: The Apostle John, as unbroken tradition affirms, and as internal evidence and comparison with the Gospel of John prove.

DATE: Probably A.D. 90

THEME: First John is a family letter from the Father to His “little children” who are in the world. With the possible exception of the Song of Solomon, it is the most intimate of the inspired writings. The world is viewed as without. The sin of a believer is treated as a child's offence against his Father, and is dealt with as a family matter (1 John 1:9; 2:1). The moral government of the universe is not in question. The child’s sin as an offence against the law had been met in the Cross, and “Jesus Christ the righteous” is now his “Advocate with the Father.” John's Gospel leads across the threshold of the Father's house; his first Epistle makes us at home there. A tender word is used for “children,” teknia, “born ones,” or “bairns.” Paul is occupied with our public position as sons; John with our nearness as born-ones of the Father.

First John is in two principal divisions.

1. The family with the Father, 1 John 1:1-3:24.
2. The family and the world, 1 John 4:1-5:21.

There is a secondary analysis in each division of which occurs the phrase, “My little children,” as follows:

1. Introductory, the incarnation, 1 John 1:1,2.
2. The little children and fellowship, 1 John 1:3-2:14
3. The little children and secular and “religious” world, 1 John 2:15-28.
4. How the little children may know each other, 1 John 2:29-3:10
5. How the little children must live together, 1 John 3:11-24.
6. Parenthetic: How the little children may know false teachers, 1 John 4:1-6.
7. The little children assured and warned, 1 John 4:7-5:21.

[1] Key verses: 1 John 1:9; 3:16; 4:4; 5:13

[2] Key words:
  • Know (1 John 2:3-5, 18, 20-21, 29; 3:2, 5, 14-15, 19, 24; 4:2, 13; 5:2, 13, 15-120)
  • Light (1 John 1:5, 7; 2:8-10)
  • Life (1 John 1:1-2; 2:16, 25; 3:14-16; 5:11-13, 16, 20)
  • Fellowship (1:3, 6-7)
[3] Articles of Faith: Of the Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.

Psalm 121:3; Matthew 6:20; 13:19-21; John 8:31-32; 10:28-29; 16:8; Romans 8:28,35-39; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 1:14; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 2:19
[4] Please review our lessons in assurance of salvation and eternal security of the believer / perseverance of the saints

Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Tests of Eternal Life, A Devotional Commentary on the Book of 1 John, by Paul G. Apple

[2] 1 John: Introduction, Argument, and Outline, by Daniel B. Wallace, Th.M., Ph.D

[3] 1 John: A Synthetic Look (7 articles in series), by Jeff Miller, Th.M.

[4] Studies in 1 John, various authors, from

[5] Materials by W. Hall Harris III, Th.M., Ph.D.
Sermons on 1 John (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Pillars of Assurance, by Bobby Earls, First Baptist Church, Center Point, Alabama

[2] Sermons by Jeffrey A. Brown, GracePointe Baptist Church
[3] Things That Accompany Salvation, by Douglas James Wilson

[4] Photokinesis, by Charles Leman Eldred

[5] Salvation Security, by Robby Roberson

[6] 1 John- The 4 tests of assurance pt1, by Michael d'Offay

[7] Sermons by Terry W. Wiese
[8] The Believers Benefit_2, by Mark Hoffer

[9] Blessed Assurance, by David E. Holden

[10] Eternal Security, by Bill Fiess

[11] Sermons by by Timothy McGhee
For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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