The Gospel in 1–Three John

This text is a part of the Christ in All of Scripture sequence.

Gospel within the Lifetime of the Church

The phrase “gospel” by no means seems within the letters of John. But it’s exhausting to think about a guide extra intimately linked to the gospel of saving grace in Christ Jesus than John’s first letter, and in every of his different two letters John offers with a sensible concern arising instantly out of a take care of the integrity of the gospel within the lifetime of the church.

In 1 John the themes of fellowshiping with God (1 John 1:3, 6; 2:6, 13; 3:1–2), genuinely believing within the distinctive particular person and work of Jesus (1 John 2:1–2, 22–24; 4:2–3, 10, 14–15; 5:1, 5–6), strolling within the mild (1 John 1:7; 2:9–11), working towards righteousness (1 John 2:4; 3:7–10; 5:3), loving different Christians (1 John 2:10; 3:11–17, 23; 4:7, 11, 20–21), and particularly, being assured of everlasting life (1 John 2:3, 5; 3:10, 14, 19, 24; 4:17; 5:13, 20) are all deeply rooted in gospel actuality, particularly its transformative energy.

John writes his first letter to “you who believe in the name of the Son of God” so “that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Two functions are contained right here: (1) that professing believers would possibly check themselves to see the genuineness of their religion; and (2) that true believers can be assured of their proper standing with God. In these functions John helps all professing believers keep away from a harmful presumption and he helps all real believers keep away from a debilitating uncertainty.

Settlement relating to Christ’s particular person and work is important for church fellowship.

Reality, Obedience, Love

The majority of John’s first letter is taken up with three exams of real religion: (1) the ethical check—do you obey God’s instructions? (2) the doctrinal check—do you consider Jesus is the Son of God? (3) the love check—do you like God and his kids? Early within the letter these exams seem distinctly, however as John proceeds they’re more and more intertwined right into a unified image of the actually gospel-transformed life.

In his second letter John reiterates the identical themes of reality, obedience, and love. However now he particularly addresses the church relating to the hazard of false educating, and particularly educating that denies that Jesus Christ has come within the flesh (2 John 7). From the opening verse his emphasis is on “the truth” (2 John 1–4), and he clearly instructs the church to don’t have anything to do with those that have departed from the reality of the gospel (2 John 10–11). Settlement relating to Christ’s particular person and work is important for church fellowship.

John’s third letter is, to a big diploma, addressing the alternative facet of the difficulty raised in his second letter. Right here the exhortation has to do with how to answer trustworthy ministers of the gospel (versus how to answer the false lecturers addressed in his second letter). John once more emphasizes the precedence of reality for the well being of the church (Three John 3–4), however then proceeds to commend Gaius (and presumably these in fellowship with him) for actively supporting these in gospel ministry, and he encourages all believers to do the identical (Three John 8).

This text is customized from the ESV Gospel Transformation Research Bible. Browse different articles on this sequence through the hyperlinks beneath.

Previous Testomony

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New Testomony

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