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Commentary On The Book of First John

Introduction to the Book of First John

I will do the First John Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment, it is NOT Scripture.


John’s three epistles are called ‘letters,’ yet First John is not in the form of a letter. There is no salutation to a person or group, nor greeting at its ending. It is much more like a sermon rather than letter.

This epistle views the ‘world’ (unbelievers) as antagonists (opponents, enemies) of the church and its operations (1 Jn.2:2,15-17; 4:3-5; 5:4-5,19). It warns against heresies (false doctrines) which deny the deity or humanity of Christ Jesus (1 Jn.2:18-26; 4:1-3; 5:6-10). Persecution, from the outside, was NOT the enemy of the church; it was seduction, from the inside. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mat.24:24). There were “grievous wolves” in the midst of the church, then and now! (Ac.20:29-30). Christianity there (Ephesus and other Gentile congregations) was not in danger of being destroyed, but it was in much danger of being changed, in a drastic way; then and now! The church needed the words that John penned in 60-100 A.D., and it most certainly needs them today!

John wrote this ‘letter’ for five reasons:

  • #1. . . 1 Jn.1:3, that we have fellowship with God, with Jesus, and with other believers.
  • #2 . . . 1:4, that our joy be full.
  • #3 . . . 2:1, that we sin not.
  • #4 . . . 5:13, that we might know we have eternal life.
  • #5 . . . 5:13, that we might believe in God’s Son.

John stresses the concepts of love, truth and abiding in Christ. As an elder in the church, he wrote this ‘letter’ to ‘my little children’. He highly encouraged spiritual growth in the church, then and now! God’s Word is timeless. What applied to those in John’s day, applies to us today. It would do us well to take heed to John’s words!

First John

Ch.1 . . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5

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