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Summary: Introduction to 1 John

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1 John - Knowledge

INTRODUCTION: When John was called he was found mending his nets. John is a mender. His written ministry comes in after the church has been in existence for several decades, and at a time when apostasy had begun to creep in. There was need of a voice to call people back to the original foundations and that is the ministry of the Apostle John. He calls men back to truth. When we begin to drift, when some false concept creeps into our thinking or into our actions, it is John who is ordained of the Lord to call us back, to mend the nets and to set things straight.

I. The Author of the Book – {See note on the Gospel of John}

II. The Recipients of the Book

A. Not addressed to any particular local Church, and so along with James, Peter and Jude has been called one of the “General” epistles from earliest times.

B. Probably first sent to churches scattered throughout Asia Minor where John had ministered (Rev. 1). Evidently the writer was familiar with the first readers. However, it is simply addressed to those “that believe on the name of the Son of God” (5:13).

III. The Date and Place of Writing

A. Date - Probably written about the same time as the Gospel of John: around 90 AD.

B. Place - Probably from Ephesus.

IV. The Purpose of the Book

A. 1st John 5:13 - That we may know that we have life.

B. 1st John 1:3 - That we would have fellowship

C. 1st John 1:4 - That our joy may be full

D. 1st John 2:1- That we sin not

E. 1st John 2:7-10 - That we would love each other

F. 1st John 2:12-14 - That we would grow to spiritual maturity

G. 1st John 2:21 - That we would know the truth

V. The Keys to the Book

A. Key thought - Maintaining Fellowship based on love, righteousness and truth in the Family of God.

B. Key phrase - “These things have I written…”

C. Key verses: 5:11-13

D. Key Words:

1. Know - about 35 times.

2. World - 23 times.

3. Love - 21 times

4. Light - 6 times.

VI. The Outline of the Book -

A. Maintaining Fellowship (1:1-2:17)

1. By establishing fellowship with the Father. (1:1-4)

2. By walking in the Light. (1:5-7)

3. By developing a proper attitude toward sin. (1:8-2:2)

4. By faithfully keeping His commandments. (2:3-11)

5. By growing to Christian maturity. (2:12-14)

6. By rejecting what the world has to offer. (2:15-17)

B. Maintaining Truth (2:18-28)

1. By recognizing the true nature of heresy. (2:18-23)

2. By abiding in God’s Word. (2:24-26)

3. By the anointing of the Spirit. (2:27-28)

C. Maintaining Righteousness (2:29-3:10)

1. By recognizing the source of righteousness (2:29-3:1)

2. By anticipating the future of the righteous (3:2-3)

3. By understanding the true nature of unrighteousness (3:4-5)

4. By establishing proper family ties. (3:6-10)

D. Maintaining Love (3:11-4:21)

1. By obeying God’s age-old command. (3:11-16)

2. By putting your love to action. (3:17-24)

3. By surrendering to God’s Spirit. (4:1-6)

4. By following God’s example of Love. (4:8-21)

E. Maintaining Assurance (5:1-21)

1. By living victoriously (5:1-5)

2. By accepting God’s testimony. (5:6-10)

3. By believing God’s Word. (5:11-13)

4. By continuing in prayer. (5:14-17)

5. By knowing that we belong to God. (5:18-21)


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