Goal this month: Read through and study 1, 2, and 3 John.
Week 1: Read 1, 2, and 3 John in their entirety and An Introduction to 1-3 John
Week 2: Read 1 John once a day
Week 3: Read 2&3 John once a day
Week 4: Read 1, 2, and 3 John in their entirety
An Introduction to 1-3 John
John the son of Zebedee wrote these three letters, probably no later than the 90s A.D. He wrote from Ephesus (in present-day western Turkey), perhaps to church like those mentioned in Revelation 2:8-3:22. John also wrote the fourth gospel and the book of Revelation.
The bulk of John’s first letter is taken up with three tests of genuine faith: (1) the moral test - do you obey God’s commands? (2) the doctrinal test - do you believe Jesus is the Son of God? (3) the love test - do you love God and His children? Early in the letter these tests appear distinctly, but as John proceeds they are increasingly intertwined into a unified picture of the truly gospel-transformed life.
In his second letter John reiterated the same themes of truth, obedience, and love. But now he especially addresses the church regarding the danger of false teaching, and in particular teaching that denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. From the opening verse, his emphasis in on the “truth”, and he clearly instructs the church to have nothing to do with those who have departed from the truth of the gospel. Agreement regarding Christ’s person and work is necessary for church fellowship.
John’s third letter is, to a larger degree, addressing the opposite side of the issue raised in his second letter. Here the exhortation has to do with how to respond to faithful ministers of the gospel (as opposed to how to respond to the false teachers addressed in his second letter). John again emphasizes the priority of truth for the health of the church, but then proceeds to commend Gaius (and presumably those in fellowship with him) for actively supporting those in gospel ministry, and he encourages all believers to do the same.
*Introduction from the Gospel Transformation Bible