Study of I John


An Introduction to I John

The Author

John, the son of Zebedee and brother of James, is first encountered in the gospels in Matthew 4:21-22 following the baptism and temptation of Jesus and the call of Andrew and Peter. Matthew 4:21-22 says,

(21) And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

(22) And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

In Matthew 10 John was sent by Jesus on a mission to the lost sheep of the house of Israel along with Simon Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the Son of Alphaeus, Lebbaeus whose surname was Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot. They were then referred to as apostles beginning in Matthew 10:2.

James and John were called sons of thunder by Jesus in Mark 3:17,

(17) And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder.

It suggests that they were thunderous, or perhaps impetuous, individuals. An incident is reported of John in Luke 9:49-50,

(49) And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.

(50) And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

A second incident is reported in Luke 9:51-56,

(51) And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

(52) And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

(53) And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

(54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

(55) But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

(56) For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

In Mark 10:35-45 James and John requested places of authority in Christ's kingdom. Mark 10:35-45 says,

(35) And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

(36) And he said unto them, What would

ye that I should do for you?

(37) They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

(38) But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

(39) And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

(40) But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

(41) And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

(42) But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

(43) But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

(44) And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

(45) For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Eventually, John, along with his brother James and Peter, found himself in the inner circle of apostles and experienced things the others did not experience. In Mark 5:22-43 Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, besought Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter. Peter, James, and John accompanied Jesus to Jairus' home. On the way, the woman with the issue of blood was healed. Mark 5:22-43 says,

(22) And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,

(23) And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

(24) And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

(25) And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

(26) And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

(27) When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

(28) For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

(29) And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

(30) And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

(31) And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

(32) And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

(33) But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

(34) And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

(35) While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

(36) As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

(37) And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

(38) And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.

(39) And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.

(40) And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

(41) And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.

(42) And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

(43) And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.

As part of the inner circle, John also witnessed the transfiguration. Mark 9:1-13 says,

(1) And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

(2) And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

(3) And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

(4) And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

(5) And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

(6) For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.

(7) And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

(8) And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

(9) And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.

(10) And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

(11) And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?

(12) And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.

(13) But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

A third incident involving John and the inner circle occurred in the garden of Gethsemane just before the betrayal by Judas. It is recorded in Mark 14:32-43,

(32) And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

(33) And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

(34) And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

(35) And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

(36) And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

(37) And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?

(38) Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

(39) And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.

(40) And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.

(41) And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

(42) Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.

(43) And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

At the last supper John was seated to Jesus' right. It is indicated by the phrases leaning on Jesus' bosom in verse 23 and lying on Jesus' breast in verse 25. John 13:23-26 says,

(23) Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

(24) Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

(25) He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

(26) Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

John refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved in John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, and 21:20. John 13:23 says,

(23) Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved (emphasis added).

John 19:26 says,

(26) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son (emphasis added)!

John 20:2 says,

(2) Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him (emphasis added).

John 21:7 says,

(7) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea (emphasis added).

John 21:20 says,

(20) Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee (emphasis added)?

After Jesus' arrest, John was able to gain admittance for himself and Peter to the palace of the high priest because he was known unto the high priest. John 18:15-16 says,

(15) And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.

(16) But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.

After Jesus had been crucified but before He died, he entrusted the keeping of His mother to John in John 19:25-27,

(25) Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

(26) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

(27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

On the resurrection Sunday, John along with Peter and Mary Magdalene, found Jesus' tomb empty. John 20:1-10 says,

(1) The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

(2) Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

(3) Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

(4) So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

(5) And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

(6) Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

(7) And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

(8) Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

(9) For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

(10) Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

After the resurrection John was found at the Sea of Galilee along with the rest of the apostles (except Judas Iscariot) in John 21. In John 21:7, when the disciples were out in the boat and Jesus was on the shore, John was the first one to recognize Him. John 21:7 says,

(7) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

In Acts 1:13-14 John, along with the other apostles, was found with a number of others in an upper room praying. Acts 1:13-14 says,

(13) And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and

Judas the brother of James.

(14) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

In Acts 3 John, accompanied by Peter, went to the temple where the healing of the lame man took place. In Acts 4 when evening had come, Peter and John were arrested and put in jail overnight. In the morning Peter and John were ordered not to preach or teach in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ anymore but answered in Acts 4:19-20,

(19) . . . Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

(20) For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

They were threatened some more and then released after which they returned to their company and had a prayer meeting in which they prayed that they might speak God's word with boldness. Their prayer was answered. Acts 4:31 says,

(31) And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

John is found again in Acts 8:14-17,

(14) Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received

the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

(15) Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

(16) (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

(17) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

After Acts 8, John is not mentioned again in the Book of Acts. He is mentioned, however, in Galatians 2:1-10, where the Apostle Paul writes,

(1) Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

(2) And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

(3) But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

(4) And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

(5) To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

(6) But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

(7) But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

(8) (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

(9) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

(10) Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Although some believe that Paul's visit to Jerusalem mentioned in Galatians 2 is the same as his visit to Jerusalem at the Jerusalem Council, this writer has concluded that it is not; rather, it is the same as his visit in Acts 11:27-30 known as the famine visit. For a more complete statement of this the reader should consult the comments on Galatians 2:1-10 in Notes on Galatians by Dr. James A. Qurollo.

Following this passage, John disappears from the pages of the Scriptures. He eventually resurfaces in Ephesus as an old man and writes five New Testament books: the Gospel of John, I John, II John, III John, and the Book of the Revelation. His circumstances during the writing of his gospel and epistles are unknown. He wrote Revelation from the island known as Patmos, where he had been exiled (apparently by Domitian) for proclaiming the gospel.

The Background

Gnosticism was a false philosophy which had become prevalent late in the first century. It was a mixture of various ideas, all of which included the beliefs that matter is evil and that only that which is spirit is good. Matter is anything one can see, touch, feel, or hold in his hands. The human body is also matter, which brings gnosticism into direct conflict with Christianity. This false belief that matter is evil led to the belief that the body is evil. It resulted in asceticism, a denial of any physical pleasure or enjoyment. This was encountered in Colosse and dealt with by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians. At the opposite extreme, it resulted in antinomianism, a rejection of restraints against evil, a subject which is dealt with in the Epistle of Jude. Also in Colosse, the question of how a holy God could create a human body came into play. The gnostics' answer was that He could not, and they proposed the idea that God created a being known as an emanation, which was a little less god than He was, that this first emanation created a second being or emanation which was a little less god than he was, that this second emanation created a third being or emanation which was a little less god than he was, etc., etc., etc. This went on numerous times until one of these beings who was created was so far removed from being God that he could create man without contaminating the holy God Who started the process. These beings or emanations were angels. God could approach man only through this angelic hierarchy, and man could approach God only through this angelic hierarchy. From man's perspective this resulted in his worshiping angels so that they would not prevent his messages from getting through to God. In the Colossian heresy, it was believed that Jesus Christ was one of these angelic beings, somewhere in the middle, who was less than God but greater than man. It is reminiscent of the thinking of Jehovah's Witnesses today.

How a holy God come into contact with a human body also adversely affected the gnostic view of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. How could God become a man? The gnostics claimed that He could not. Two different forms of gnosticism are addressed in John's epistles and in his gospel. One of these is docetism (from the Greek word dokeo, which means to seem to be or to appear to be). Docetists believed that the Messiah did not really become a man but that He only seemed or appeared to be a man. In reality, He was only a phantom but not actually a man. There was nothing really physical about him. Of course, this false teaching adversely affected His dying on the cross and shedding His blood for the sins of all humanity.

To counteract this, John wrote regarding Christ's body, flesh, and blood. In John 1:14 he wrote,

(14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

In John 20:19-20 he wrote,

(19) Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

(20) And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

In John 20:26-27 he wrote,

(26) And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

(27) Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

He also wrote in I John 1:1, 3,

(1) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.

(3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

In I John 1:7 he wrote,

(7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

In I John 4:2-3 he wrote,

(2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

(3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

He also wrote in I John 5:6, 8,

(6) This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

(8) And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

Finally, he wrote in II John 7,

(7) For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

There is no question that John was attacking the heretical teaching that Jesus had not come in the flesh.

Another form of gnosticism is also attacked by John in his gospel and in his epistles. It is known as Cerinthianism because it was taught by a man named Cerinthus, who was supposedly known by John. Cerinthus taught that Jesus was not the Messiah (or the Christ) but that the Messiah (or Christ) Spirit came on the human son of Mary and Joseph at the baptism but left him shortly before the crucifixion; so that the Messiah (or the Christ) was not really crucified, only the earthly, human Jesus. As a consequence John insists repeatedly that Jesus is the Christ (or the Messiah), the Son of God, throughout his gospel and epistles. John 20:30-31 says,

(30) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

(31) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 1:41 says,

(41) He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

John 3:28 says,

(28) Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

John 4:25-26 says,

(25) The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

(26) Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

John 4:42 says,

(42) And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

John 6:67-69 says,

(67) Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

(68) Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

(69) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 11:25-27 says,

(25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

(26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

(27) She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

John 17:1-5 says,

(1) These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

(2) As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

(3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

(4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

(5) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

I John 1:3 says,

(3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

I John 1:7 says,

(7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his

Son cleanseth us from all sin.

I John 2:1 says,

(1) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

I John 2:22-23 says,

(22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

(23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

I John 3:23 says,

(23) And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

I John 5:1 says,

(1) Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

II John 7 says,

(7) For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

II John 9 says,

(9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

John 9:35-37 says,

(35) Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?

(36) He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?

(37) And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.

John 10:34-39 says,

(34) Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

(35) If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

(36) Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

(37) If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

(38) But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

(39) Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand.

John 11:4 says,

(4) When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

John 19:7 says,

(7) The Jews answered him, We have a

law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

I John 3:8 says,

(8) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

I John 4:9-10 says,

(9) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

(10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

I John 4:15 says,

(15) Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

I John 5:5 says,

(5) Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

I John 5:9-13 says,

(9) If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

(10) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that

believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

(11) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

(12) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

(13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

I John 5:20 says,

(20) And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

II John 3 says,

(3) Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

The Date

Although it is impossible to date I John with precision, it is believed that it was written in the vicinity of A.D. 85-95.

An Outline of I John

Although a number of complex outlines of I John have been proposed, none fully satisfies. John was not writing according to these outlines; instead, he seems to jump from one subject to another and then return for fuller treatment to things he has already introduced. The following outline is more satisfactory to this writer.

Prologue - the Word of life - 1:1-4

Believers Walk in the Light - 1:5-10

Believers Should Not Commit Sin - 2:1-2

Believers Keep His Commandments - 2:3-6

Believers Love One Another - 2:7-11

The New Status of Believers and Their Relation to the World - 2:12-17

A Warning Against Antichrists - 2:18-27

Christlikeness: The Hope of God's Children - 2:28 - 3:3

The Sinlessness of God's Children Versus the Sinfulness of Satan's Children - 3:4-10

Brotherly Love Versus Hatred - a Mark of the Believer Versus a Mark of the Unbeliever - 3:11-18

Assurance and Obedience - 3:19-24

The Spirits of Truth and Falsehood - 4:1-6

God's Love and Our Love - 4:7-12

Assurance and Christian Love - 4:13 - 5:4

The Truth Confirmed - 5:5-12

Christian Certainties - 5:13-21