The apostle John does two things in this important epistle. First he offers various evidences of grace so that God’s child may have assurance. Secondly, he poses various tests of discipleship so that the professed believer may examine himself whether or not he is truly “in the faith.”
First John is a family letter. John possesses a genuine pastoral affection for his readers, calling them “little children” on nine different occasions. He wants them to think of God as “Father” and to think of fellow believers as “brethren.”
It is also a book of contrasts. John distinguishes between light and darkness, truth and error, love of world and love of God, children of God and children of the devil, the Spirit of God and the spirit of antichrist, and love and hate.
First John will help us to distinguish the authentic gospel from the synthetic so that we may exchange substitutes for the real. It says to us, “Reality is defined by the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore, stay away from every idol.”
by Michael L. Gowens
198 pp Paperback
Published by SGP 2013