1 john

Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 45): 1 John 5:2-3

The Epistles of John (Part 45): 1 John 5:2-3

1 August 2009 Biblical Studies

Some may read this, growl at their screens, and say, “Nuh uh! What is all of this business about commandments? I thought that we were interested in community and fellowship.” It’s true, I really think that the heart of God, as expressed in 1 John is about two things: community and idolatry (we’ll see idolatry especially in the final sentence of the epistle). However, part of that community and part of avoiding idolatry is obedience, willfully submitting to the commands that he has written on our hearts.

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Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 44): 1 John 5:1

The Epistles of John (Part 44): 1 John 5:1

25 July 2009 Biblical Studies

The author here is interested in community and in community he sees family. When we confess that Jesus is Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One, King, Liberator, Savior, etc.) we are “born of God.” This is a powerful statement. God is taking us under his wing, so to speak.

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Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 43): 1 John 4:20–21

The Epistles of John (Part 43): 1 John 4:20–21

19 July 2009 Biblical Studies

Again the author is stressing the importance of love. It is by the love that we show to our “brothers” that we will be recognized — not by words, but by the love that we have, the love that we share.

This leads me to two questions:

  • What is meant by “brother” in this passage?
  • What is this type of love that we are talking about?
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Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 42): 1 John 4:18–19

The Epistles of John (Part 42): 1 John 4:18–19

15 July 2009 Biblical Studies

By telling us why we love, 1 John 4:18–19 sets right the nature of the relationship between humans and God. The difficulty, of course, is the word “fear” which has been an important term in Christianity from the get-go, mostly due to the phrase: “fear of God.” While it is healthy for us to have a certain type of fear (e.g., a reverence or respect for God’s awesome power), it is not healthy for the believer to live in constant fear.

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Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 41): 1 John 4:16–17

The Epistles of John (Part 41): 1 John 4:16–17

13 July 2009 Biblical Studies

The Day of Judgment is not something that we like to talk about. We look at depictions of it, such as the one by Michelangelo to the right, and are enthralled by the severity of God’s punishment of the wicked. We are appalled by the reality of Hell and the notion that an all-loving God could even conceive of something such as judgment.

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Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 40): 1 John 4:15

The Epistles of John (Part 40): 1 John 4:15

7 July 2009 New Testament

I chose to set this verse aside for its own examination, even though it largely deals with themes found in the previous chunk, because of one word: confess (ὁμολογέω). This word has so many meanings in English, and I think it’s appropriate that we try to nail it down and understand it within the context of Early Chistianity.

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Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 39): 1 John 4:13–14

The Epistles of John (Part 39): 1 John 4:13–14

7 July 2009 Biblical Studies

We have talked at length in this series about abiding in God. We have talked less about how he abides in us. Therefore, I’d like to spend a little time wrapping our minds around this idea to see if we can make sense of it.

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Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 38): 1 John 4:11-12

The Epistles of John (Part 38): 1 John 4:11-12

6 July 2009 Biblical Studies

Now comes the moral imperative. After learning that God is love, that that love was made manifest in Jesus Christ, and that this love has made things right between us and God, we are called into action with a very simple command:

Love one another.

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Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 37): 1 John 4:10

The Epistles of John (Part 37): 1 John 4:10

5 July 2009 Biblical Studies

So often we make the mistake that John’s congregation might have made: we think about what it is that we have done. The Gospel is not at all about what we have done; rather, it is about what God has done for us.

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Thumbnail image for The Epistles of John (Part 36): 1 John 4:9

The Epistles of John (Part 36): 1 John 4:9

1 July 2009 Biblical Studies

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” — 1 John 4:9

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