Bible Study of 1 John: Day 11
Monday, May 1, 2017
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Debbie Holt
Lord Jesus, thank you for your written Word. Give me the desire to “accurately handle” your Word and the diligence to give You these few moments of reflection that You so richly deserve. Amen.
1 John 1
Most scholars agree that this epistle (letter) was written by the Apostle John. The general purpose of this letter was stated in 5:13…
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.
John seems to be conveying a sense of urgency concerning a clear understanding of the truth. At this time of John’s life, he was an old man and he knew his time was limited. He also had seen that false teachers were permeating the Church, which was only about 60 years old at this time.
This letter was written around 85-95AD when John was in Ephesus. This was before he was exiled to Patmos, where he wrote Revelation. This was the Apostle of “thunder” who the Lord changed to the Apostle of “love”. You will clearly see this change portrayed in this letter. The historical setting of this letter was a time of persecution for believers and particularly, for Jews.
Rome had destroyed their Temple in Jerusalem in 70AD, and they were dispersed from their homes and the larger fellowship of believers. Divide and conquer has always been a strategy of Satan. John’s mission at this point seems to be to protect his “children” from the false doctrine that had already become so prevalent in the early years of the Church.
The main heresy during this time was Gnosticism, of which there were two main components. The first was the doctrine of the supremacy of knowledge and that only a “select few” could possess this higher knowledge. The second was the doctrine of the separation of spirit and matter, which taught that all matter was evil, and the spirit of man was good and could not be defiled by anything matter (the body) did.
The result of that thinking was that the Gnostics denied the humanity of Jesus, as He could not have possibly had a body of “evil matter”. Also they denied that anything man does in his flesh has any bearing on his spirit, therefore denying the reality of sin and its effects.
Conveniently, this allowed free reign for carnality. Gnosticism mainly focuses on the head and not the heart of man…..which always simply “puffs up”. Also there was a lack of personal responsibility for sin as what one “does” doesn’t affect the true spirit of man. This is the main error that John now refutes.
As you go through this journey in I John, be ever mindful and thankful for our Savior’s gift of salvation AND redemption. He did not come to leave us in the state we were in… lost and separated from the Holy God, Yahweh! Sin DOES separate!
Read through chapter 1 of I John just as you would read a letter.
What was the main thought you gleaned from this chapter? Write a summary sentence.
What did you discern about the author of this book? Make a list. (1:1-3, 4, 8)
What did you learn about the recipients? Again, make a list. (1:2, 3, 8)
Highlight the following key words in the text and list what you learn about them:
Fellowship (1:3, 6, 7)
Sin (1:7, 8, 9, 10)
I praise you Lord Jesus for seeing the wretched state I was in and for reaching down from Heaven to open my eyes and my heart to You and your truth. Thank you for this love letter you sent through John for me! Amen.
What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment below.
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