In this eight-week summer study, we read John’s letter to a community in turmoil where John reminds his people and us of the good news of God’s unmerited Love and our calling to demonstrate that love towards others. For background on this study, I have used Ben Witherington’s Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, Luke Timothy Johnson’s The Writings of the New Testament, and Oliver Clement’s On Human Being. This summer study covers six to eight weeks.
1 John 1 – The Introduction
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life
1 John 1 – Light and Sin
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 2 – Atonement and Love
If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2 – The Antichrist
The anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.
1 John 3 – Sin and Perfection
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are.
1 John 3 – To Whom do we Belong?
Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.
1 John 4 – Whom do we Serve?
Little children, you are of God, and have overcome the spirit of the antichrist, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4 – God is Love
God is Love.
1 John 4 – God’s Love
In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another .
1 John 4 – Love and Fear
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.
1 John 5 – Water, Blood, Spirit
There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree.