13 May 2017

Stone 50 - 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John

In this post we will be putting the books of 1, 2, and 3 John together for what I think is an obvious reason.

1 John
My initial thoughts in reading 1John is that we have an appeal to firsthand experience. Right away, the author speaks of "what we have heard, seen with our eyes, observed, and touched with our hands (1John 1:1). This is shared so that we might also have fellowship with God and Jesus (1 John 1:3).

This fellowship with God means walking in the light (1John 1:7). I see this as having multiple points.
**I think of it in this way - To walk in the light is to be seen as opposed to walking in the dark where we can easily hide and not be seen. As Christians, we ought to be visible. As another point, God is light. We need to bask in it. Grow.

John makes many statements about saying one thing and doing another (1:6, 2:4, 2:9, 4:20) and also provides examples of those who are in Him and those who are not.

John gives a piece of advice that is perhaps more difficult than it may sound at first. Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world.
**What a challenge! I admit that I am frustrated by the world but there are plenty of things that I enjoy. But wait, God created the world and the people who inhabit it. Am I not to love them and His creation? Hmm... so of the "world" must have another meaning as it is used here. Perhaps even love has a different meaning in this context. Perhaps I ought not to worship the things that are born of this world - man-made stuff. That seems to fit more logically.

Much of what I take away from this book is that words are empty. Consider 3:18 where John says we must not love in word or speech but in deed and truth. Clearly this applies to Jesus as well. We should do more than simply give lip service to Him but to live out the commands of Jesus. The lifestyle apologetic.

We are called to beware of the false teachers and to test everything - we saw this in Paul's letter to the Thessalonians as well (1Thess 5:21).

In the end, a bold statement (1John 5:12) - "The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn't have the Son of God does not have life."

**Do you have the Son of God? The most important decision you will ever make.

2 John
This very brief (13 verses) letter shares a warning not to beware of false teachers who do not remain in the teaching about Christ (v9).

3 John
This letter is also very brief (14 verses). John sends a warning to Gaius about Diotrophes and praises him for his helpful aid to those who have come as an encouragement to continue doing so.

Please enjoy the excellent video about these three books from our friends over at the Bible Project.

Until next time,

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