John wrote his first letter to clarify the differences between the genuine gospel as revealed by Jesus to the apostles and the heretical versions of the gospel spreading in the early church. He gives 2 guiding principles for recognizing genuine believers and false teachers.
Resources: Study Questions, Maps, Outlines & Background
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on February 6, 2019. In his preface, John argues the apostles are the only reliable source of information about the way to gain eternal life because they were intimate eye-witnesses to the life, ministry and teaching of Jesus.
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on February 13, 2019. John begins his summary of the true gospel by saying God is the source of and all life, salvation and holiness. Therefore those who are trust Him will have lives marked by a concern for goodness and a pursuit of righteousness.
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on February 20, 2019. How should we handle theological disagreements among believers? What issues are so critically important that we should draw a line? And, on what issues should we agree to disagree? John gives us a place to draw the line.
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on February 27, 2019. John sets the world and the gospel in opposition to each other. You can’t serve them both. You have to choose. His first exhortation is don’t choose the world.
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on March 6, 2019. John adds a second criteria to the marks of genuine believers: believing Jesus is the Christ.
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on March 13, 2019. No true believer is committed to sin as a lifestyle because God plants in believers a longing for holiness and righteousness which opposes any tendency to rebel. Believers no longer remain committed to a lifestyle of sin.
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on March 20, 2019. 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?
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on March 27, 2019. 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).
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on April 3, 2019. The apostle John explains why self-sacrificing love is a mark of a believer. In a nutshell, self-sacrificing love (as exemplified by the cross) is part of God’s holy character and God is in the process of giving us His character.
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on April 10, 2019. 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.”
Teacher: Krisan Marotta on April 17, 2019. John’s conclusion is you can have confidence about three things: 1) that you have eternal LIFE, 2) that your sin cannot jeopardize that LIFE and 3) that his gospel message is true.
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