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.
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 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.
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).
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?
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.
1 John 2:18-28 tackles the question: how do you know what’s essential and what is non-essential?
John sets the world and the gospel in opposition to each other. You can’t serve them both. You have to choose and his first exhortation is don’t choose the world.
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.
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.
Of all the competing voices out there, how do you know which one is right? Which one is worth listening to? And which ones carry more weight than the others? Who you listen to and why is a major theme of the letter of 1 John. John wrote this letter teach his readers to recognize the difference between the true gospel and false gospels and between true teachers and false teachers.
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.
How can the apostle John say love is a mark of believers and hate is a mark of non-believers? Even a cursory examination reveals that believers hate and non-believers love.
When I was a new Christian, I told another believer that I was struggling with controlling my temper. She told me that I was not a genuine Christian because if I was, I wouldn’t sin. If she is right, not only was I not a Christian then — I still am not a Christian now. When you discover two very different interpretations of the Bible, how do you decide who’s right?
If a local church developed a schism such that it divided into opposing camps, both camps might be tempted to judge the other side using 1 John 2:9-:11. But the Apostle John did not write these verses to be a club to condemn each other.