In our sixty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, our tour guide Pastor Skip will take us through the book of 1 John. John writes to define and defend the nature of the person of Christ against heretical teachings affecting the early church. As John addresses the heretical teachings of the time, he also addresses the preeminence of God's love for us, and our duty to love others in return. The key chapters to review are 1 John 1-5.
DESTINATION: 1 John
First John is a general letter telling people to live the Christian life through faith in Jesus Christ, and in accordance with the Gospel they have been taught. John warns his readers about the ways of the world and false teachers, and proclaims the preeminence of love--God's love for us, and in response, our duty to love each other.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
c. 85-95 A.D.
Epistle of 1 John written
John writes to define and defend the nature of the person of Christ against heretical teachings affecting the early church. The name given to the heresy which John addressed was Gnosticism, from the Greek word for "knowledge." Gnosticism taught that only the spiritual was good and matter was evil. This was a direct attack on the person and work of Christ, because if matter was evil Jesus could not become a physical man, and so the Gnostics denied the incarnation.
In contrast, John sets forth the deity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The theme is best described in 1 John 5:13: "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."
PLACES OF INTEREST:
Ephesus - Located on the west coast of Asia Minor. It hosted one of the seven churches of Asia, addressed in the Book of Revelation. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis.
PEOPLE OF INTEREST:
This book is unique in that it doesn't mention anyone by name.
First John is a "circular letter" to the church at large.
Only in John among the biblical writers does the word "antichrist" occur. It is mentioned in 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3 and 2 John 7. Anti means "one who takes the place of, or opposes or stands against."