A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
John was a disciple, the son of Zebedee.
He was a first cousin of Jesus and also wrote the Gospel which bears his name and the book of Revelation. He along with Paul are the writers of almost two-thirds of the New Testament. The author does not identify himself by name, but from the very beginning of the church, Christian leaders have unanimously attributed this letter to John.
The date of writing is probably sometime between A.D. 85 and 95.
John died about 95, and refers to my little children
in a way that indicates advanced age. Such a date is also supported by the fact that the letter seems to build on themes already mentioned in the Gospel and that book was written rather late.
The recipients were clearly believers, but no attempt is made to identify where they live
, or anything about the circumstances of their lives. Because no one is mentioned by name (as in all of Paul’s letters), it appears that this was a general letter intended for widespread circulation.
It seems clear that John’s purpose is -fold:
1) to encourage believers in their faith; 2) to urge love as the basic building block in the church; 3) to warn against false teachers and give advice on how to recognize and deal with them; 4) to assure believers of their salvation.
Chapters 1 and 2, present John’s credentials, and then urge believers to live faithfully
not devoting themselves of focusing their attention on the world, but seeking God and rejecting all who are false in their pretended devotion to Him.
Chapter 3 continues the warning against false teachers and urges love
as the hallmark of Christian relationships.
Chapter 4 and 5 drive home the need to test the spirits
to be sure that God is being truly followed and that believers are supported in their certainty of salvation through Christ. It is fascinating that John’s last injunction is that Christians “keep yourselves from idols.”
Are you living in the confidence of your salvation?
Do you know that because of Jesus Christ your place in God’s eternal Kingdom is secure? Once this becomes a reality, far from freeing us to pursue all sorts of ungodly goals, we are motivated to honor God and share His love with the world. One way to test your faith is to ask if you ever become excited about witnessing for Christ. We are all different in our emotional and personal skills; we are the same when it comes to the desires God plants in our hearts.
If you sense God’s desire for you to share the Good News of His love, ask Him to Help you.
If you do not have such a desire, ask God to build your faith and open your heart more and more to His Spirit. God always answers such prayers.
8 A. Eugene Pearson 2010