Monday, February 6, 2012

Christianity 101: 1 John

John's (the beloved disciple) first epistle to the churches in Asia Minor appears, at first glance, to be a general "how-to" as such relates to treating one another in Christ' body. God is love an interweaving theme. It is, indeed, that. However, after preaching "through" this epistle recently, I (intentionally) went backwards for the sake of a thematic "review". I was overjoyed to discover the gospel in a nutshell throughout 1 John.

I would encourage you to read through this very short letter. Then, with pen & paper, go back and do a general overview of the topics presented. I believe you'll find an encouraging, challenging, outline of the life of the Christ-follower.

Often, new Believers are encouraged to begin their journey into God's Word starting with the Gospel of John, and that is well. But I would dare say that as an equal portion of that prescribed diet ...a new Believer should read John's own encouragement to the early church of who we are in Christ, how we faithfully serve a "loving" God, how to discern false teachings, the Christian worldview, and basically how to live the Christian life.

By no means "conclusive", I have provided my own recent review, with very brief topical headings below. Also, I have referenced supporting passages along with each theme / idea provided.....

The Gospel In A Nutshell:
We Sin & We Are Sinners:
 (1 John 1:8), (Romans 3:23)

Sinners Can Have Forgiveness:
(1 John 1:9), (Romans 5:8)

Believers Can Have Assurance of Forgiveness:
1 John 2:3), (John 10:22-30)

Believers Cannot Love God & Hate Others:
(1 John 2:11), (Matthew 22:34-40)

Believers Are Changed Creatures:
(1 John 2:15), (2 Cor 5:16, 17)

Believers Have Eternal Hope:
(1 John 2:17), (John 15:18, 19)

Christ is Part of the God Package:
(1 John 2:23), (John 10:30)

Believers Need To Be Consistent, Not Flawless:
(1 John 2:28), (Luke 9:24-26)

God Hates Sin, But Practice, In Righteousness, Makes Perfect:
(1 John 3:8), (Matthew 7:21-23)

All Godly Roads Lead Back To Love:
(1 John 3:11), (Mark 12:30, 31)

Hate = Murder:
(1 John 3:15), (Exodus 20:13)

Love Is Opposite Hate:
(1 John 3:16), (Romans 5:8)

We Can Spot True & False Believers:
(1 John 4:2, 3), (Matthew 7:15-20)

Confession + Consistency = Christ‐likeness:
(1 John 4:15), (Romans 10:9)

Believers Have Mutual Identity In Christ:
(1 John 5:2), (1 Corinthians 13:12, 13)

We Are In A Life Or Death Situation:
(1 John 5:12), (John 14:5, 6)