No church in the New Testament is more like our modern churches than the Corinthian church.
John concludes his letter saying believers can have confidence about three things: 1) that you have eternal life, 2) that your sin cannot jeopardize that life and 3) that this gospel message is true.
How many letters did the Apostle Paul write to the Corinthian church? The answer is not as easy as it sounds. We have two letters to the church at Corinth in our Bible, but both of these letters mention another letter. Many scholars believe Paul wrote four letters to the Corinthian church but only two of them survived. If they are right, the chronology of Paul’s correspondence and visits to Corinth might look something like this.
John tells us genuine believers will confess that Jesus is the Christ — the Jesus who was confirmed by three witnesses: “water”, “blood” and “the Spirit.”
In Paul’s time Corinth was the 2nd most important city in the Roman empire. Corinth was an exceptionally wealthy and important city in Greece.
In 1 John 4:7-19, John explains why self-sacrificing love is a mark of a believer: this other-focused love is part of God’s holy character and God is in the process of giving us His character.
I can spend 20 hour a week in Bible study without complaint but I’d rather shovel rocks than sit through most 20 minute sermons. Transformation without information has all the nourishment of whipped cream.
The Apostle John says we can identify false prophets two ways: by the content of what they say (4:2) and by the origin of what they say (4:6).
The Apostle Paul divides humanity by one thing: those who belong to God and those who don’t. It is the only distinction that matters.
How can John say that love is a mark of believers and hate is a mark of non-believers when we know believers who struggle with hate and non-believers who genuinely love others?