Key Themes of 1 John
Ch 1: The true child of God will LIVE in the light and not in the dark.
Ch 2: The true child of God will LOVE one another and not the world.
Ch 3: The true child of God will LIVE like Jesus the Son.
Ch 4: The true child of God will LOVE like God the Father.
I. The Introduction (vv.1-5)
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Faith --> Love for Brother and Sister --> Love for God --> Obey His Commands --> Power to Overcome --> Faith
It starts and ends with Faith in the Son of God.
II. The Testimony (vv.6-9)
6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
A. Three Witnesses
1. Water: Baptism
I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. (John 1:32)
2. Blood: Crucifixion
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. (John 15:26)
B. One Testimony
One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (Deu 19:15)
9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.
III. The Arguments (vv.10-12)
10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
A. Inconsistency of the Prosecution
22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:22–23)
B. Certainty of the Conclusion
11 ... God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son!
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
IV. The Concluding Remarks
A. BE CLEAR that You Have Eternal Life
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
B. BE CONFIDENT When You Pray
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
C. BE CONCERNED For Others
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
31 Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. (Luke 22:31–32)
D. BE CONVINCED of The Truth
1. KNOW that Jesus Keeps Us Safe From Sin
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.
2. KNOW that God Calls Us His Children
19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
3. KNOW that This God is the True God
20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
E. BE CRITICAL of What is Taught
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
Reject the false and embrace the real.
Every teaching and instruction John gives in this epistle finds its roots in 1 thing - Our Faith in the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.