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First John A Test of True Faith


First John A Test of True Faith Howard Buck Overview 11/7/10 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: First John A Test of True Faith

First JohnA Test of True Faith
  • Howard Buck
  • Overview 11/7/10

  • The book of 1John was written by the Apostle John
  • What books did he write?...
  • The gospel of John, 1, 2 3 John and Revelation.
  • John is special among the Apostles for a lot of
    reasons, he is referred to as the Apostle of
  • John was very close to Christ
  • He lived the longest of all the Apostles
  • He was very humble only mentioning his name in
  • the book of Revelation
  • John The Lord is gracious or Grace of the Lord..

  • John is the youngest son of Zebedee Salome
    (brother is James the Apostle)
  • He is the youngest disciple, probably in his
    early 20s when called by Jesus
  • John came from a well-to-do family, his father
    was the owner of a large fleet of fishing boats
    and they had servants Mark 119-20
  • His father was probably influential as evidenced
    by Johns entry into the inner court of the high
    Priest John 1815-16
  • His mother was a follower of Jesus Matt. 2756
  • He was aggressive showing little tolerance for
    the un-righteous Luke 954
  • He grew up in Bethsaida John 144..

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  • With these facts what picture can you draw of
  • Led the good life having money and servants
  • Was a fisherman used to early mornings, long
    hours and hard work
  • Was a good Jew (how else would he have access to
    the priests courtyard?)
  • As a member of the family business he would have
    been exposed to business management and
  • John was a common hard working man, without
    higher education..

  • We noted before that John was a special apostle
  • He was one of the first disciples called by Jesus
  • He showed great faith in leaving all that he knew
    and all of his worldly riches to follow Jesus
  • He was called the one whom Jesus loved
  • John 131-2
  • He was of the inner circle of Apostles with
    James Peter and as such he

  • Witnessed the raising of the daughter of Jairus
  • Was at the transfiguration
  • Sat at a few feet away from Jesus as He prayed at
  • Made the arrangements for the last supper
  • Laid his head on the bosom of Jesus at the last
    supper John 1323
  • Was the first apostle to go to the empty grave
  • Was the first to recognize Him at the meal at the
    seashore after the resurrection John 217..

  • John was called a pillar of the church by Paul
  • Gal 29
  • Johns writings have universal appeal and are a
    reflection of love, tenderness and

  • Later in life John was exiled under arrest on the
    island of Patmos. He was eventually released and
    returned to Ephesus where he died and like Moses
    was buried in a place only known by God
  • When you study John you will see a progression in
    his spiritual development
  • 1. Disciple of John the Baptist John 135-40
  • 2. One of the first called Matt. 421-22
  • 3. Was a special disciple of Jesus John 2120
  • 4. An apostle for over seventy years Luke

  • So his spiritual progression is one of
  • Seeking repentance by following John the Baptist
  • Immediately following Jesus upon His call
  • Then, being so devout, so unconditional in his
    love of Christ that he becomes especially loved
    by Jesus
  • Responding to Jesus teaching and His call to
    spread the gospel by continuing to teach until
    his death..

  • Based on the life of John, what application can
    we apply to us?.....
  • We can see that after he responded to the call of
    God, (just like you have) a spiritual progression
  • That is where we are today, on a Spiritual
    journey, a progression of faith and drawing
    closer to God..

  • In summary
  • John is a simple man from a hardworking
    background, lacking higher education who went
    from being aggressive and quick to judge to being
    called the Apostle of love who writes about love
    and tenderness along with forgiveness and
  • He became totally humble refusing to use his own
    name in all of his books except one.
  • If God can take a man like John and give him the
    kind of trust and ministry that John had how much
    more can He do with US!!

  • I. Introduction The purpose of the Letter 1
    1 - 4
  • II. Conditions of Fellowship 15 - 22
  • A. Conformity to a Standard 15 - 7
  • B. Confession of Sin 18 - 22
  • III. Conduct in Fellowship 23 - 27
  • A. The Character of our Conduct -
    Imitation 23 - 11
  • B. The Commandment for our Conduct -
    Separation 212 - 17
  • C. The Creed for our Conduct -
    Affirmation 218 - 27
  • IV. Characteristics of Fellowship 228 - 324
  • A. In Relation to our Prospect Purity 228 -
  • B. In Relation to our Position Righteousness
  • and Brotherly Love 34 - 18
  • C. In Relation to our Prayers Answers 319 -
  • V. Cautions of Fellowship 41 - 21

If you examined a hundred people who had lost
their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many
of them would turn out to have been reasoned
out of it by honest argument? Do not most
people simply drift away? (C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity, p 124)..
  • We are somewhere around 85-90 A.D.
  • Many of the people who knew Jesus in the flesh
    are dead
  • The founders of the church in general, had also
    died and Christians began to drift away from
    their beliefs
  • They were falling prey of, or as the Word in Life
    Study Bible says they were being seduced by
    competing doctrines
  • These second and third generation believers began
    to be cold in their love for each other and their
    commitment to the truth began to die out..

  • John writes to refute the heresies being taught
    and to encourage the believers to return to their
    first love, Jesus Christ
  • John will issue a series of tests for us in the
    areas of Doctrine, Morals and Social.
  • Theme
  • Fellowship with God the Father and with the Son
  • 1John 13 what we have seen and heard we
    proclaim to you also, so that you too may have
    fellowship with us and indeed our fellowship is
    with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ..

  • 1 John is a letter of edification in that John
    chooses to build us up in our faith as he
    corrects our errors in doctrine, morals and
    social behavior
  • Written to long time Christians probably in the
    Roman providence of Asia which is in modern day
  • The letter specifically refutes three heresies
    circulating during this time
  • Gnosticism
  • Docetism (doe-set-ism)
  • And a similar belief taught by a man named

The Area of Johns Letter, Modern Day Turkey
  • Gnosticism has its origin in the Greek word
    gnosis which means knowledge
  • The Gnostic says that spiritual and material are
    sharply distinguished
  • Matter is impure and knowledge is supreme..

  • Ryrie says of the teachings of Gnosticism
  • 1. Knowledge is superior to virtue
  • 2. The non-literal sense of Scripture is correct
    and can be understood only by a select few
  • 3. Evil in the world precludes Gods being the
    only Creator
  • 4. The incarnation is incredible because deity
    cannot unite itself with anything material such
    as a body
  • 5. There is no resurrection of the flesh..

  • This belief system, these teachings led to low
    ethical standards
  • They felt that their superior knowledge made them
    better, almost in a different and better class
    than the typical believer
  • It led to separation..

  • Docetism (doe-set-ism) teaches that Jesus
    humanity was not real He only appeared to have a
  • Cerinthus was a man who lived in the area where
    this letter was first circulated, Roman Asia
  • He opposed John and taught that Jesus was a man
    on whom the divine Christ descended at the
  • This divine Christ departed just prior to the
  • John summarized his feelings of these teachers by
    calling them Antichrists..

  • What modern day beliefs fit some of these
  • Catholics believe that only the church leadership
    can truly understand the scripture
  • New Age teaches the spiritual Christ conscience
  • The Mormons and JWs both have hidden ceremonies
    and practices that you can only know about if you
    are enlightened by their belief..

  • John will build a case proving that we need to
    possess and action faith rather than a knowledge
  • As John develops his case he will say
  • You know that
  • God is light -- do you walk in the light, obeying
    Gods commandments?
  • You know that
  • God is righteous -- do you live righteously as
    one born of God
  • You know that
  • God is love -- do you show it by loving our
    brothers even as we love God..

  • One of the true beauties of these letters is the
    fact of Johns black and white stand on Biblical
  • There is no gray in his presentation
  • The Word in Life Study Bible offers this

  • The choices presented in 1John
  • Either Or Text
  • Light Darkness 15-7, 29-11
  • Truth Deception 18-10
  • Keeping Gods Commandments Not keeping
    them 23-6
  • A new commandment The old command 27-8
  • We love God We love the world 215-16
  • Christ The Antichrist 218,22
  • Truth Error 220-21, 41-3
  • Child of God Child of the devil 31-10
  • Righteousness Lawlessness 34-9
  • Life Death 313-15, 511-12
  • Love Hate 315-17, 420-21
  • Spirits confessing Christ Spirits not
    confessing 41-3
  • We are of God We are not of God 44-11
  • Love Fear 418-19

  • The study Bible goes on to say that this letter
    is built on the principles of binary mathematics

  • A binary system breaks down choices into two, and
    only two alternatives
  • On or off, plus or minus, yes or no
  • I think all of Christianity is this way, a right
    choice and a wrong choice -- there is no gray!!

  • A commentator, Stott makes this observation
  • Today we live in an age of fundamental
    insecurity. All things are changing - nothing is
    stable. New nations are constantly being born.
    Social and political patterns are continually

  • Stott continued
  • The survival of civilization is in doubt due to
    nuclear threat.
  • We are insecure. Even the message of the church
    is softened and weak and is spoken without
    conviction. Christians are filled with
    uncertainty and confusion and a lack of

  • Stott continued
  • Then comes the letters of John - assurance -
    knowledge - confidence - boldness all adding up
    to Christian certainty.
  • John teaches us to perceive - to know with
    confidence of attitude and boldness of speech..
    (John Stott)

  • As we study this book we will have our true faith
    tested and reviewed
  • One thing for sure, when we finish we will know
    beyond doubt if we are true believers or not!!

  • Notice how the book opens, no hi how are you
    just a straight to the point opening where John
  • Unfolds the purpose of God from eternity to
  • That which was from the beginning so that our
    joy may be made complete
  • Contrasts another beginning
  • Gen 1 beginning of time
  • John 1 beginning of the incarnation
  • 1John 1 beginning of the gospel (word of life)..

  • As chapter one continues John explains that we
    have fellowship (koinonia) with
  • The Apostles
  • God
  • Fellow Christians
  • And that we are continuously being cleansed from

  • Chapter 2 opens the Christian testing John will
    put each of us through
  • Moral Test 23-6
  • Social (love) Test 27-11
  • Doctrinal (belief) Test 218-27
  • These areas of our Christian walk, our Christian
    belief will be visited over and over throughout
    the rest of the book..

  • As these tests develop John will ask
  • Do you keep his commandments 23
  • Do you love your brother 29
  • Do you profess Jesus as the Christ 222..

  • Then, just when we take a deep breath thinking we
    possibly have at least achieved a passing grade
    on these 3 tests, John comes right back at us
  • Moral Test 228-310
  • Social Test 311-18
  • Doctrinal Test 41-6..

  • So, as John refutes Gnosticism, Docetism and the
    teachings of Cerinthus he uses the opportunity to
    constantly and consistently force us to examine
    our own heart and weigh our lifestyle and our
    believe system as compared to what it should be

  • HBs summary of the book of 1John
  • Jesus came in the flesh, He is God and eternal
    life is in Him alone
  • Our walk will show obedience to Gods morals and
    His righteousness.
  • Our walk will demonstrate total faith in Jesus as
    evidenced by our love and acceptance of our
    brothers in Christ..

If we all come out of this book with this
understanding, we have taught well and the Holy
Spirit has successfully opened our minds and
hearts to Gods message for each of us!!!!!
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