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Introduction to 1 John

CHRISTIANS HAVE NO DOUBT ABOUT SALVATION

 

The first epistle of John was written around 85AD. It could be 5 years earlier or later but let us say around 85AD. John is also known as the apostle John, not to be confused with John the Baptist. John was one of the youngest disciples of Jesus, known as the beloved one that was leaning on the bosom of Jesus; it was John that was the only disciple who witnessed Jesus crucifixion.

John is the author of several books in the New Testament. He not only wrote 1 John but also the Gospel of John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation.

It is interesting that John was the only disciple of the twelve that died a natural death. All the other disciples were martyred for their faith. There is a tradition going around that people tried to kill the apostle John but were not able to because of God’s protection on his life. People tried to burn him in a pot with oil, but John didn’t suffer anything…

 

 Before we study 1 John in detail I need to give some brief outlines on this awesome and powerful book that can change your life forever. When you read through 1 John there are 2 main verses – 1:4 & 5:19.

 

John starts of in 1:4 with stating “and these things we write to you hat your joy may be full.” The main reason for John to write this letter is to instruct us as Christians how to experience the fullness of life. John wants us to experience the joy that is available for all who follow Jesus. However to experience this joy that John is talking about we have to understand to whom John is writing this letter.

 

1 John 5:19 “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”

 

As you look at this verse notice that every Christian is called to be different. It is not possible to be a Christian and still be part of the worldly system. Christians need to be in the world but not part of the world. Be aware that John is not saying that we have to become monks or nuns. John is not saying that we have to leave the world, but that we should not be part of the world.

There is an amazing revelation in this verse. Notice that those who are Christians know their God. Christians don’t have to be in doubt about their salvation. Christians know they will be going to heaven. When people doubt about their salvation that is because they are not saved yet or lost their salvation. This shows us also that John wrote First John to believers and not to unbelievers. As he was writing he was expecting the people to be saved who were reading it.

 

Besides the Christian knowing their God and that they will be going to heaven there is another truth that Christians know and that is that the world is under the power of Satan. This explains why the world is as it is with it recessions, poverty, wars, drugs, sickness, etc., however, the good news is that those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior are no longer under the power of Satan. We are part of the Kingdom of Heaven. Satan has no longer a grip upon us. We don’t have to be part of recessions, poverty, wars, sickness, etc. We are set free through Jesus Christ. However, this principle only applies to those who know their God and know without a doubt that they are saved. Ask yourself if you would die today would you know 100% for sure you will be going to heaven to be with Jesus? If not don’t waste any time, repent and turn away from all wickedness and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior in your life and start following and obeying HIM in all things.

 

 

 

SMALL GROUP STUDY GUIDE

·        Start with 1 or 2 Icebreaker(s) if necessary

o       What is your favorite T.V. program? How does it influence you?

o       What examples would you like others to follow about you?

1.       1 JOHN 1-5 These coming few months we will be studying the book of 1 John together. Believing that it can and will transform your life if you are willing to accept the life changing teaching of the apostle John.

2.       Who is John? (John was one of Jesus disciples. He was the youngest but called the beloved. He was the one that leaned on the bosom of Jesus. He was the only disciple that witnessed Jesus crucifixion.)

3.       What books did he write? (Gospel of John, 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation)

4.       When was 1 John written? (Most likely around 85AD. This means that John was an old man full of experience how to live out the Christian life. This letter is written to his children in the LORD.)

5.       What was the purpose for John to write this letter – 1 John 1:4? (That we as Christians might experience the joy of the LORD in a difficult and corrupt world.)

6.       There are 2 main passages in this book. Starting in 1 John 1:4 and ending with 1 John 5:19. Before we are going to go through the book verse by verse I like to highlight these passages so we can have a better understanding of the whole book. Let us go to 1 John 5:19 and read that passage several times in as much as possible different versions as possible and share with each other what the passage is saying to you….

7.       1 JOHN 5:19 – while looking at the passage try to answer the following questions: what is the first thing you notice about Christians and the world? (We are called to be different.)

8.       Ask yourself what is your position in the world? What is the difference between you and the world? Is there any difference?

9.       What is your attitude toward the things in the world? Are you pursuing the things of the world or the things of HIS kingdom?

10.   Since we are in the world and not part of the world, how should we behave ourselves in the world?

11.   Ask yourself when you face difficulties, what do you do? Response in a worldly way or Godly way? Panic? Rejoice? Worry? Pray?

12.   Before we continue what was the reason for John writing this letter – 1 John 1:4? (That our joy may be full.)

13.   Do you notice that 1 John 5:19 says “We know that we are of God”, what does this mean. When we know, it shows that we are not in darkness or doubt about belonging to the Kingdom of God. Christians are people who are certain. Christians are people that know without a doubt, 100% that they are saved and will go to heaven. Ask yourself do you know that you go to heaven? Or do you sometimes doubt? If you doubt you can be sure you are not going to heaven. Every Christian can know for 100% that they are going to heaven. If you have any doubt you are definitely not going to heaven. Do you know you are saved and belong to God? Open up for discussion….

14.   Another thing we know is that the world is under the power of Satan. Sometimes I find it funny how Christians get upset about everything that is happening in the world. Of course everything that is happening in the world is bad and it will only get worse. What can you expect, Satan is in control. Satan has nothing good in store…However the good news is that those who accept Jesus are set free and no longer live under the bondage of Satan. Look at John 10:10… open up for discussion….

15.   So what is John trying to teach us? Does John suggest we should change the world? Does John suggest we should turn our back to the world? Withdraw from it? Neither of these, the Christians need to make sure that they know who they belong too and not be influenced by the world but still be in the world. Though we are in the world we should be free of the world. We are made to be more than conquerors and given the opportunity to live a life of joy, peace, kindness, etc…. Our lives should reflect that of Kingdom principles and not that of worldly principles. Share your thoughts on today’s teaching…

Open up for ministry time if necessary…..

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