I John - Back to the Basics

  • John, the beloved disciple and a member of Jesus’ intimate company of three, was the author of this epistle. He also wrote II and III John as well as the gospel of John.
  • John was a fisherman when Jesus called him to be one of His followers. His mother Salome was probably a sister of Mary, Jesus’ mother, which would make him a cousin of Jesus.
  • This book was probably written from Ephesus to the Christians who were scattered all over Asia Minor.
  • It was written primarily for believers. It was written at a time when the first days of Christianity had become a thing of habit-the first thrill was gone and the flame of devotion had died to a flicker.
  • The purpose of this epistle is stated in I John 1:3-4: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
  • What he wrote is as appealing as how he wrote. The Apostle John wrote to meet needs, and what he wrote is right on target with what God wants you to know and apply.
  • John’s object in writing this book is at least five-fold:
  1. To promote fellowship (1:3).
  2. To produce happiness (1:4).
  3. To protect holiness (2:1).
  4. To prevent heresy (2:26).
  5. To provide hope (5:13).
  • John had two great things to say about God in this book:
  1. "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1:5).
  2. "God is love” (4:8), and that caused Him to love us before we loved Him.

A possible outline is:

  1. Living in God’s light (chapters 1-2).
  2. Living by God’s love (chapters 3-4).
  3. Living with God’s life (chapter 5).