Here we are again! So glad you could stop by for a summary study of 1 John as I felt there was much left unsaid in this study series. In case you missed the first five studies, here they are, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5.
The DIG – Deep in God – Bible Study is designed to help you get more out of the Word of God than a casual reading would produce. This study is based on the Inductive Bible Study Method. Background material is available for the “how to” of the Inductive Method on the menu tab Insiders Pod Library.
There are a few things not on the 1 John Worksheet that you can add in your notebook or in your Bible, such as the chapter themes and “contrast.” Let’s review the chapters to determine the themes.
John mentioned the first of several reasons why he was writing to the church. It was so “that your joy may be full.” This statement is right on the heels of mentioning “fellowship” with the Father. This may have been one reason why our joy is full.
This chapter focuses on fellowship with God, God is light and in Him is no darkness, forgiveness of sin and the “truth” that we walk in.
We also see our first “contrast” mentioned in this chapter and that is the contrast between “light” and “darkness” as stated in 1 John 1:5-7. This contrast is God versus darkness.
To determine the chapter theme, we would keep in mind the keywords (mentioned above) and come up with a possible theme. As I review the chapter, my theme is Fellowship with God and Each Other. If there is space in your Bible, you can pen this in right above the start of the chapter.
Most of the keywords are present in this chapter. In fact, all but one keyword can be found in these 29 verses.
The two major areas covered, and should be noted on your worksheet, are
- John’s reason for writing
- what we “know”
“Abide” or “abideth” is mentioned often and teaches us that God abides in us and whoever does the will of the Father will abide forever. Also, whoever loves his brethren, abides in the light, that is, God. That is good news, don’t you think? Oh, and look at verses 1 John 2:20, 27, which speaks of the anointing of the Holy Spirit who abides in us. We are so blessed to have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwelling in us!
Sometimes a chapter can have more than one theme. You will see that often in Bibles that already have themes in them. This chapter, for me, has three themes: Abiding in God, What We Know and Purpose in Writing. What did you come up with?
1 John 3:1 begins with Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us…
And here, begins the subject of “love”. We learned in the study on Chapter 3 that the Greek words for our English word “love”, is two words: agape and agapao. Agape is a noun (affection or benevolence) while agapao is a verb (to love in a social or moral sense). John teaches us to love each other and if we don’t love each other then it is impossible to love God. That’s it in a nutshell.
We also learn about “sin” in this chapter. Those who are born of God cannot continue to habitually sin. Yes, we sin, because we are sinners, but our love for God supersedes any desire to habitually sin. According to the Scriptures, we cannot do both, habitually sin and say we love God. That’s like trying to mix oil and water together, they just don’t mix.
Another contrast is introduced and it is “children of God (or light)” and “children of the devil.” In 1 John 3:10, we see that the children of God are easily recognized compared to the children of the devil. What sets the two groups apart? One group sins while the other group does not sin.
After studying this chapter again, my observations lead me to determine that the chapter theme is Love God, Love the Brethren. Did you come up with something like that too?
Love, ah, what a wonderful word! John speaks much about love throughout this book and in this chapter alone, he mentions “love” 27 times! Would you say that this is a book telling us how to love one another?
It’s easy to determine the chapter theme and I just mentioned it above, Love One Another.
Do you think as Christians we have trouble with that? Are we good at loving our brothers and sisters in the Lord? Or do we harbour grudges, unforgiveness, and ill will against a select few? I’m so glad that God is a forgiving God. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, we can repent and receive forgiveness. The next step is to turn to those same people and love them as God loves them.
The last chapter of this book focuses on “sin”, what we “know” and “love.” It also introduces a new thought with the mention of “witness” and “record” in 1 John 5:6-12. We don’t have these listed as keywords but it is important to note what this is about. John is teaching us of the divinity of Jesus who came to us by water and blood and the Holy Spirit continually bears witness to this. Just like John tells us that we cannot love God and not our brethren, we also cannot say that Jesus is the Son of God and not believe in God.
The wonderful thing for believers is that our belief in the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, gives us the gift of eternal life (verses 11 and 12).
The purpose of the whole book is summed up in 1 John 5:13 as I [have] 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 initially thought my chapter theme would be Faith and Trust in Jesus but I have added a second theme of the Divinity of Jesus Christ. What about you? Would you agree with that?
Don’t forget to write the chapter themes in your Bible or in your notebook if you have one started for this study.
Well, that’s it for wrapping up the details though I would like to leave you with a few questions.
This book gave us criteria for “knowing”. How can you know whether or not you have eternal life?
John taught us about Jesus Christ. Does your faith in Him match what John taught about Jesus?
Don’t forget to answer the final two questions on your worksheet: what you are now confident in and what you need to do to have more of God.
If you have any questions about this study, you can connect with me through the Contact page or leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!