Breaking News
Home > New Testament > 123Joh Lesson 1

123Joh Lesson 1

 

Return to Syllabus

I JOHN
LESSON # 1
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

HISTORICAL AND SPIRITUAL BACKGROUND:

THE HISTORICAL SETTING FOR THIS BOOK IS LATE IN APOSTOLIC TIMES IN THE AREA OF EPHESUS.THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS WAS AT A LOW LEVEL OF SPIRITUALITY. REMEMBER JOHN WROTE TO THECHURCH AT EPHESUS IN REV 2:4 THAT THEY HAD LEFT THEIR FIRST LOVE. THIS CHURCH HAD GROWNCOLD IN THEIR FAITH. THE CHURCH WAS IN DANGER, NOT FROM EXTERNAL PERSECUTION, BUT FROMINTERNAL FALSE DOCTRINE. CHRISTIANITY WAS IN DANGER OF BEING CHANGED, NOT DESTROYED.

“GNOSTICISM”

GNOSTICISM WAS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS BELIEF. IT WAS A COMBINATION OF EASTERN MYSTICISMAND GREEK PHILOSOPHY. IT MIXED IN JUST ENOUGH CHRISTIANITY TO MAKE IT A DECEPTIVECOUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY. THIS DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHY WAS PROMINENT IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE. ITWAS INVADING THE CHURCH AND BECOMING A PART OF CHRISTIANITY. THE IDEA WAS NOT TO DESTROYCHRISTIANITY BUT TO CHANGE IT ENOUGH TO MAKE CHRISTIANITY BETTER. TO UNDERSTAND THE NEWTESTAMENT, WE MUST UNDERSTAND GNOSTICISM.

GNOSTIC BELIEF:

1. THE WORD “GNOSTICISM” COMES FROM A GREEK WORD “GNOSIS” WHICHMEANS = KNOWLEDGE.

2. SECRET KNOWLEDGE WAS THE ONE CONDITION FOR SALVATION AND THE TEST OF FELLOWSHIP WITHGOD.

3. FAITH WAS INFERIOR TO KNOWLEDGE BECAUSE ENLIGHTENMENT WAS THE WAY TO SALVATION.

4. EVERYTHING THAT WAS MATERIAL OR MATTER WAS EVIL. THE ONLY THING GOOD WAS SPIRIT.

INSIDE THE HUMAN BODY, MADE OF EVIL MATTER, WAS A TINY GOOD SEED OF THE SPRIT LIVING INDIRTY SOIL. IF THAT TINY SEED WOULD GROW, IT WOULD EVENTUALLY GET RID OF THE EVIL OF THEHUMAN BODY. THERE WERE TWO METHODS OF CAUSING THIS GOOD SEED TO GROW.

A. STOICISM = KEEPING RIGID RULES AND SELF DISCIPLINE.

B. EPICUREANISM = THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE, LIKE THE GREEK OLYMPIC GODS, WAS THE PURPOSEOF LIFE. BECAUSE THE BODY AND THE SPIRIT WERE SEPARATE, IT DID NOT MATTER WHAT YOU DIDWITH YOUR BODY BECAUSE IT WOULD NOT AFFECT YOUR GOOD SPIRIT.

5. THIS BELIEF DENIED THAT JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH. IT DENIED THAT JESUS WAS GOD COME INTHE FLESH. GOD COULD NOT UNITE HIMSELF WITH ANYTHING EVIL LIKE A HUMAN BODY. SOME THOUGHTJESUS WAS NOT REALLY HUMAN BUT ONLY “APPEARED” TO BE HUMAN. HE BECAME THE SPIRITOF CHRIST AT HIS BAPTISM AND THAT SPIRIT LEFT HIM JUST BEFORE HE WENT TO THE CROSS.

WRITTEN BY:

BECAUSE THERE IS NO AUTHOR’S SIGNATURE ON THIS LETTER, SOME THEOLOGIANS HAVEDISPUTED THAT JOHN WAS THE AUTHOR. HOWEVER, THE MAJORITY OF THEOLOGIANS CLAIM IT WASWRITTEN BY JOHN, THE DISCIPLE JESUS LOVED. HE IS THE SAME JOHN WHO WROTE THE GOSPEL OFJOHN AND THE BOOK OF REVELATION.

WHO WAS JOHN?

HE WAS CALLED “THE SON OF THUNDER” BECAUSE OF HIS EXPLOSIVE PERSONALITY. HISFATHER WAS ZEBEDEE AND HIS MOTHER WAS SALOME, WHO MAY HAVE BEEN A SISTER OF MARY, THEMOTHER OF JESUS. JOHN HAD A BROTHER NAMED JAMES WHO ALSO FOLLOWED JESUS. JOHN WAS EITHERFROM CAPERNAUM OR BETHSAIDA IN GALILEE, BUT MOVED TO JERUSALEM LATER IN LIFE. STILL LATERIN HIS LIFE, HE PASTORED THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS. HIS FAMILY WAS IN THE FISHING BUSINESS.THEY WERE UPPER MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE WITH SERVANTS. THEY ALSO HAD POLITICAL CONNECTIONSWITH THE HIGH PRIEST. HE IS THE ONLY DISCIPLE WHO LIVED A LONG LIFE AND DIED A NATURALDEATH,

DATE: ABOUT 85 – 100 AD

IT IS DIFFICULT TO ASSIGN A DATE TO THIS BOOK. IT OBVIOUSLY WAS WRITTEN AFTER JOHNWROTE THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. FOR MANY YEARS IT WAS THOUGHT HE WROTE THE BOOKS OF I, II, IIIJOHN BEFORE HE WROTE REVELATION. HOWEVER, MORE RECENTLY, IT IS NOW BELIEVED HE WROTE I,II, AND III JOHN AFTER HE WROTE REVELATION IN PRISON AND THEN WAS RELEASED. OUT OF PRISONHE WENT TO EPHESUS TO PASTOR THE CHURCH AND WRITE THESE THREE LITTLE BOOKS TO SURROUNDINGCHURCHES. THIS MEANS THESE WERE THE LAST NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS WRITTEN, HAVING BEEN WRITTENAT THE END OF JOHN’S LIFE.

WRITTEN TO:

THIS LETTER WAS WRITTEN TO BOTH AN INDIVIDUAL AND TO A GROUP OF CHRISTIANS, THOUGH THELETTER ITSELF DOES NOT REVEAL ANY SPECIFIC PERSON OR PERSONS BY NAME.

1. THE INDIVIDUAL = A LADY AND HER CHILDREN (2JO 1:1)

PROBABLY, THIS WAS A LADY WHO HAD A CHURCH IN HER HOUSE.

IN THE EARLY CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES, THERE WERE NO CHURCH BUILDINGS. ALL CHURCHES METIN HOMES.

OFTEN WOMEN WERE THE LEADERS OF THESE HOUSE CHURCHES BECAUSE THE HOME WAS THE DOMAIN OFTHE WOMAN. LATER IN CHURCH HISTORY, THESE CHURCHES GRADUALLY MOVED OUT OF HOMES AND INTOCHURCH BUILDINGS. IT WAS THEN THAT MEN BEGAN TO TAKE OVER THE LEADERSHIP OF INDIVIDUALCHURCHES.

2. CHRISTIANS IN GENERAL (5:13)

LITERARY STYLE:

THE STYLE OF THIS LITTLE BOOK IS IN THE FORM OF A LETTER. HOWEVER, IT DOES NOT HAVE THEUSUAL GREETING OR CLOSING LIKE A LETTER. IT WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT A SERMON BUT A WRITTENMESSAGE TO INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE.

FREQUENT WORDS AND PHRASES:

KNOW (MORE THAN 30 TIMES)

REMEMBER THE MEANING OF GNOSIS = KNOWLEDGE

LOVE / HATE

LIGHT / DARKNESS

LIFE / DEATH

BEGINNING

MANIFEST

TRUTH

ABIDE – DWELL

PURPOSE AND THEME:

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN WAS WRITTEN FOR EVANGELISM PURPOSES, BUT

1 JOHN WAS WRITTEN TO STRENGTHEN THE FAITH OF THE BELIEVER.

THERE ARE 5 ASPECTS TO JOHN’S PURPOSE FOR THIS BOOK:

1. THAT YOU MAY HAVE FELLOWSHIP (1JO 1:3)

2. THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL (1JO 1:4)

3. THAT YOU WILL NOT SIN (1JO 2:1)

4. THAT YOU WILL KNOW YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE (1JO 5:13)

5. THAT YOU WILL BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD (1JO 5:13)

THE THEME OF THE BOOK IS TO BE A REAL CHRISTIAN IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AND OTHERCHRISTIANS..

A. SOME PEOPLE PLAY AT BEING A CHRISTIAN LIKE THEY PLAY A GAME. WHEN THE GAME GETSROUGH, THEY TAKE THEIR BALL AND GO HOME.

B. SOME PEOPLE ARE HALF-HEARTED CHRISTIANS. THEY DON’T WANT TO GET TOO COMMITTEDIN CASE THEY HAVE TO GIVE UP TOO MUCH OF THEIR OWN DESIRES.

C. SOME PEOPLE ARE SHOW WINDOW CHRISTIANS. THEY COME TO CHURCH SO OTHERS WILL SEE THEM.

D. SOME PEOPLE ARE “PICKY” CHRISTIANS. THEY WANT TO PICK AND CHOOSE THE PARTSOF CHRISTIANITY WITH WHICH THEY ARE COMFORTABLE.

THERE IS A TEST IN THIS BOOK. THE TEST IS TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE A “REAL”CHRISTIAN. THE TEST IS MORAL, SOCIAL, AND THEOLOGICAL. IT WILL TEST YOUR BEHAVIOR, YOURLOVE, AND YOUR BELIEFS.

SOURCES FOR OUR STUDY:

FIRST JOHN BY J. VERNON MC GEE

I, II, III JOHN BY DAVID SHEPHERD, ED.

BE REAL BY WARREN WIERSBE

I, II, III JOHN, JUDE BY WILLARD C. PEIRCE

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ON 1 JOHN BY JOSH HUNT

THE WAY OF AGAPE BY CHUCK AND NANCY MISSLER

THE LAYMAN’S BIBLE STUDY NOTEBOOK BY IRVING JENSEN

MISC. NOTES

OUTLINE:

I. GOD IS LIGHT (1:1-2:2)

A. INTRODUCTION (1:1-2)

B. FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD (1:3-2:2)

1. WALKING IN LIGHT (1:3-7)

2. CONFESSING SIN (1:8-10)

3. THE ADVOCACY OF JESUS CHRIST (2:1-2)

II. GOD IS LOVE (2:3-4:21)

A. FELLOWSHIP WITH EACH OTHER (2:3-14)

WALKING IN LOVE

B. NOT LOVING THE WORLD (2:15-28)

C. KNOWING EACH OTHER AND LIVING TOGETHER (2:29-4:21)

1. THE FATHER’S LOVE (2:29-3:3)

2. THE TWO NATURES OF THE BELIEVER IN ACTION (3:4-24)

3. WARNING AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS (4:1-6)

4. GOD IS LOVE SO WE WILL LOVE EACH OTHERS (4:7-21)

III. GOD IS LIFE (5:1-21)

A. VICTORY OVER THE WORLD (5:1-5)

B. ASSURANCE OF SALVATION (5:6-21)

HOMEWORK

1JOHN 1

THIS IS A SELF-STUDY. PLEASE DO NOT SEND HOMEWORK ANSWERS TO THE TEACHER FORCORRECTION.

APPLICATION OF INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND:

WHAT KINDS OF FALSE TEACHING EXIST TODAY THAT IS VERY MUCH LIKE GNOSTICISM?

PREPARATION FOR 1JO 1

READ 1JO 1:1-10 GOD IS LIGHT

WHAT IS THE WORD OF LIFE? (GIVE 2 ANSWERS)

READ JOH 1:4 AND JOH 14:6

ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, HOW DOES LIGHT RELATE TO LIFE?

WHAT IS JOHN’S MOTIVE FOR TELLING HIS READERS THESE TRUTHS?

(VS. 3)

HOW IS GOD IDENTIFIED (VS. 5-7)?

WHAT DO YOU LEARN ABOUT FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD?

IF YOU BELIEVED IN GNOSTICISM, WHAT WOULD BOTHER YOU THE MOST IN THIS PASSAGE?

MEMORY VERSE: 1JOHN 1:9-10

Print Friendly

About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

Check Also

123Joh Lesson 4

Return to Syllabus 1JOHN 2 –continuedLESSON #4GOD IS LOVE 1JO 2:7-17 MEMORY VERSE: JOHN 13:34 …