Pastor Dick LaFountain READING THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT IN 260 DAYS, ONE CHAPTER PER DAY.
The Letter of First John was written by the Apostle John. John and James were brothers. Their father was Zebedee and mother was Salome. They were also cousins of Jesus. Jesus called them Sons of Thunder. John was the youngest apostle and leaned on Jesus at the last supper. He was known as the disciple Jesus loved. He made a point to tell us he outran Peter to get to the empty tomb. John wrote the Gospel of John, 1, 2, 3 John, and the Revelation. He lived to be 100 year old. He took Jesus mother into his home in Ephesus were he lived for many years. James, his brother, became the head of the church in Jerusalem and wrote the book of James.
There are many similarities between quotes from the Gospel of John and those comments in 1st John. John in writing to help believers know that they are really saved.Throughout the letter he emphazied, "I am writing to you because..." Note how many times you see that phase. Also he used the word "know" 22 times. He was giving themassurance of salvation but also combating the Gnostic heresies that said Jesus was not real flesh and blood, and that he was not truly God incarnate. He used the phrase"this is how we know"... or "by this we know..." They were the proofs that believers could use to assure their hearts before God.
He called the recipients of the letter "his dear children" or "beloved." Some translations just say dear friends, but that does not carry the weight of "Beloved." 1st John chapter 3-4 are about the LOVE OF GOD and how that love spreads abroad in a true believer's heart so that he cannot hate his fellow man. The love of Godwhen we are truely born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit oozes out in our every day life and conversations. You'll find John's exposition of John 14:21-24expanded in this little letter. He says you cannot love God and not love his word and his commands. You cannot love God and hate his commandments. Your love forGod shows in the way you love his word and obey it.