May 29, 2016

The Word of Life

When John speaks of eternal life, he is not referring to life that lasts forever; he is talking about the very life of God, to which we are invited.

  1. This letter was given in a historical situation, and it was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  2. The authorship is attributed to the apostle John due to similarities with the gospel of John as well as the record of the early church and early manuscripts.
  3. Despite James and John being known for being hot-headed, Jesus loved John, and John was loyal to Jesus to the end.
  4. When John wrote this letter he had matured and reflected on Jesus over several decades of ministry.
  5. The recipients of John’s letter were being disturbed by itinerant false teachers who were making them doubt God’s promise of eternal life.
  6. John wrote to assure the churches of their eternal life in Christ, and to remind them of its implications of fellowship and brotherly love (cf. 1 Jn. 3:23).
  7. When John speaks of eternal life, he’s not referring to life that lasts forever. He is talking about the very life of God, to which we are invited (cf. 1 Jn. 5:11-12).
  8. Eternal life is to abide in the life of the Father and the Son (1 Jn. 2:22-24).
  9. The ethical outworking of abiding in God is truth, righteousness, and love.
  10. To abide in love is to obey the commandments. We are to treat each other in terms of what God’s law says.
  11. If we belong to the communion of God then our lives will reflect certain ethical aspects (cf. 1 Jn. 2:17).
  12. Communal life with the Triune God is eternal life.
  13. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the eternal fellowship of the Father and Son was made manifest in the incarnate Christ.
  14. The presence (glory) of God in the temple was eclipsed by the personal presence of Jesus in human flesh.
  15. John testifies to the eternal life that was in Christ.
  16. The apostles witness to the very presence of God and the source of eternal life. The shared life of the Triune God was revealed to the apostles that they may preach it.
  17. The basis of our communion with the Father is our shared humanity with the Son of God. The Spirit of God proceeds from the Father and the Son to be with us.
  18. We are cleansed from all unrighteousness through abiding in fellowship with God.

Application Questions:

  1. How does Jesus speak of His relationship with the Father?
  2. Define “eternal life” as it’s used in John’s letter.
  3. What are the ethical implications of being joined to the life of God?
  4. What is the basis of our communion with the Father?
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