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JOHN the epistles of

Anne O’BrieN

John probably wrote his epistles around AD90, by which time there would be many second-generation Christians who needed good, sound teaching from someone who knew Jesus personally. He focuses very much on reality and truth, writing about false teaching and heresy that had crept into the church. We encourage you to pray before you begin reading that the Lord would open your heart and mind to be receptive and responsive to God’s message contained within this study. There may be times when you find it difficult to reconcile God’s truth to your own opinion or worldview, God’s truth is eternal, it does not change, our 1 understanding of the truth does change as we allow God to work in our hearts and minds.


THE$EPISTLES$OF$JOHN$ John%probably%wrote%his%epistles%(letters%to%the%early%Christians)%around%AD90,%by%which%time%there%would% be%many%second=generation%Christians%who%needed%good,%sound%teaching%from%someone%who%knew%Jesus% personally.%He%focuses%very%much%on%reality%and%truth,%writing%about%false%teaching%and%heresy%that%had% crept%into%the%church.%But%he%begins%in%his%first%epistle%by%reminding%his%readers%of%the%three%‘L’s%–%that%is,% that%Jesus%Christ%is%Life,%Light%and%Love.% %

The$First$Epistle$of$John$

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1$John$chapter$1$ $ GOD$IS$LIFE$=$Read$verses$1=4:$ $ Verses$1&2:%John%stresses%that%he%is%writing%about%Jesus%who%was%and%is%"from%the%beginning"%–%the%eternal% truth.%(See:%Micah%5v2;%John%8v58;%John%17v5%&%24;%Rev%22v13).%The%life%"appeared",%Jesus%wasn’t%created% because%he%already%existed.%And%John's%testimony%was%that%he%saw,%touched,%heard%and%witnessed%the%life% and%presence%of%Jesus.%Jesus%is%the%Word%=%the%expression%of%God’s%Life.% $ Q.$What$is$our%testimony?$Do$we$hear$from$God$and$feel$his$presence,$so$much$so$we$want$to$share$it$ with$others$as$John$did?$ $ Verses$3&4:%Their%practice%was%to%meet%for%fellowship,%teaching%&%prayer%(Acts%2v42),%which%is%why%we%also% place%importance%on%these%things.%When%we%talk%with%each%other%God%is%with%us,%hearing%us%(See%Malachi% 3v16).%% $ Q.$In$what$way$are$fellowship$and$joy$related?$(Remember%the%acronym:%Jesus/Others/Yourself).% % % % GOD$IS$LIGHT$Read$verses$5&6$ % Features%of%light:%splendour,%purity,%revealing%blemishes,%guiding%the%way,%warmth.%Jesus%was%the%Light%at% Creation%(Genesis)%and%is%the%Light%in%Heaven%(Revelation).%And%because%we%have%Jesus%in%our%lives%we%can% say%that%we%have%come%out%of%darkness%into%light.%%Read:%Eph%5v8;%1%Thess%5v4&5;%John%8v12;%% % Features%of%darkness:%John%1v5%=%it%cannot%overcome%light;%%John%12v35&46%=%it%obscures%the%way;%2%Cor%4v6% =%it%brings%chaos;%%Rom%123v12%=%encourages%immorality;%Eph%5v11%=%stops%growth,%therefore%no%fruit;%Jude% 13%–%darkness%is%the%realm%of%Satan.%The%onus%is%on%us%to%walk%in%the%Light%(v7)%if%we%want%to%enjoy% fellowship%with%Jesus%and%with%each%other.% $ LIGHT$HIGHLIGHTS$TRUTH$AND$ERROR$–$Read$verses$7&8% % If$our%actions%do%not%match%our%words,%we%lie.%If%we%believe%God%is%light%we%must%live%by%His%truth.%If$we%walk% in%the%light%we%can%have%fellowship%with%Him%and%one%another.%Real%fellowship%depends%on%agreement% about%truth%and%salvation.%It%is%possible%to%be%part%of%a%church%and%not%live%in%the%light.%Verse%8%says%we%can% deceive%ourselves%–%we%can%convince%ourselves%we%are%walking%in%the%Light,%when%we%are%actually%following% the%ways%of%the%world.% $ Q.$Does$our$personality$affect$our$fellowship$with$each$other?$Should$it?$ $ $ $ 1


GOD$IS$LOVE$–$Read$verses$9&10$ % The%truth%is%we%are%all%sinners%–%we%all%slip%up.%It%would%be%absurd%to%say%we%are%not%(although%some%people% do).%By%saying%we%are%not%sinners%we%make%God%out%to%be%a%liar.%Even%so,%God’s%Love%and%Grace%are%such% that%if%we%humbly%confess%our%sins%he%will%forgive%them.% $ Q.$In$what$ways$do$we$make$God$out$to$be$a$liar?$Are$there$things$we$do$which$we$don’t$examine$too$ closely$(because$“everyone$else”$does$them)$in$case$it$puts$us$in$a$difficult$position$before$God?$ % SUMMARY:$$ $ Walking%in%the%light%gives%us%fellowship%with%God%and%each%other%and%should%help%us%not%to%sin.%Being% human,%we%continue%to%sin.%But%if%we%are%walking%in%the%light%(note%it's%not%how%we%walk%but%where%we%walk)% if%we%confess%our%sins%he%will%forgive%us.%Fellowship%means%communion,%close%harmony;%walking%in%step;% your%spirit%being%at%peace%with%the%one%you%walk%with;%having%the%same%goals;%sharing%the%same%interests;% sharing%love%and%friendship.% $ Q.$Do$we$know$that$we$have$this$kind$of$fellowship$with$God$and$with$each$other?$ $

1$John$chapter$2$

% Read$verses$1&2:$We$have$an$advocate$ % These%two%verses%conclude%John’s%encouragement%to%us%to%walk%in%the%Light.%But%he%knows%we%all%slip%up.%So% that,%the%amazing%thing%here%is%that%when%we%repent%of%our%sin%Jesus%is%the%defence,%and%the%judge,%and%the% one%who%pays%the%penalty%for%us!%The%word%John%uses%for%‘advocate’%in%verse%1%is%the%Greek%word%parakletos% which%means%a%comforter,%someone%at%your%side,%an%intercessor,%someone%who%pleads%your%cause.%And,%of% course,%the%Paraklete%is%another%word%for%The%Holy%Spirit.% $ Q.$How$does$the$Holy$Spirit$help$us$to$walk$in$the$Light?$ $ Read$verses$3=6:$Our$goal$is$to$live$as$Jesus$did$ % John%says%that%knowing%God%can%only%be%proved%by%our%obedience%to%Him,%and%by%us%sharing%his%love.%Only% then,%can%we%truly%know%God’s%love.%John%is%very%forthright%and%“calls%a%spade%a%spade”.%He%says%we%are%liars% if:% •! We%claim%we%have%not%sinned%(1%John%1v10)% •! We%claim%we%know%Jesus%but%do%not%do%as%he%says%(1%John%2v4)% •! We%claim%that%Jesus%is%not%the%Christ%(God’s%Anointed%Son,%The%Messiah)%(1%John%2v22)% $ Q.$In$other$words$–$does$our$walk$match$our$talk?$ $ W.W.Wiersbe(( ( A+slave+obeys+because+he+has+to;+a+worker+obeys+because+he+needs+to;+but+a+Christian+is+to+obey+because+he+ wants+to;+because+the+relationship+between+him+and+God+is+driven+by+love.+ Likewise+small+children+obey+because+they+have+to,+slightly+older+children+obey+because+they+realize+it+is+ worthwhile+for+them+to,+and+older+children+show+their+maturity+by+obeying+because+of+love+for+their+parents.++ It+is+a+mark+of+our+maturity+as+Christians+when+we+obey+Christ+without+feeling+the+need+for+reward.++ + 2


$ Read$verses$7&8:$Walk$in$the$Light$of$Jesus$ % John’s%words%here%at%first%seem%ambiguous.%“I%am%not%...%yet%I%am...”% To%love%one%another%and%walk%in%the%Light%is%an%old%commandment%(Leviticus%19v18)%...%but%it%is%made%true,% and%seen%in%Jesus;%and%should%be%seen%in%us%too%(John%13v34).% % Read$verses$9=11:$Hate$is$representative$of$darkness$ Love%is%the%result%of%light%and%hate%is%the%result%of%darkness.%If%we%are%not%walking%in%the%light%we%can% stumble%more%easily.% $ Q.$Therefore,$when$we$stumble,$should$we$perhaps$examine$ourselves$to$see$where$we$went$wrong?$ $ Read$verses$12=14:$John’s$reasons$for$writing$to$all$Christians.$ $ Children%(i.e.%those%young%in%the%faith):%simply%–%remember%that%you%have%your%sins%forgiven%and%know%the% Father.% % Fathers%(elders%in%the%faith):%Keep%on%with%what%you%have%known%of%the%eternal%truth.%%Be%sincere%and% steadfast.% % Young$men$and$women:$Be%overcomers,%strong%in%the%Word%of%God.% % Read$verses$15=19:%On$not$loving$the$World% The%spirit%of%antichrist%(the%World%system%–%not%the%world%as%created%by%God)%is%struggling%with%the%Spirit%of% God%for%the%possession%of%men%and%women’s%minds%and%souls.% $ Q.$In$what$ways$does$the$spirit$of$antichrist$pull$us$away$from$God?$$ $ Read$verses$20=27:$But$YOU$have$an$anointing$ % The%anointing%is%when%the%Holy%Spirit%comes%into%our%life%to%enlighten%us%and%help%us%to%understand%the% things%of%God%–%even%when%we%first%believe.%It%is%vital%that%our%fundamental%beliefs%are%in%line%with%Jesus’% teaching.%These%things%are:% •! We%know%the%truth%(v20).%Jesus%is%the%Way,%the%Truth%and%The%Life.% •! We%only%know%the%Father%by%knowing%Jesus%(v23)% •! Be%steadfast%and%you%will%remain%in%Jesus%and%the%Father%(v24)% •! He%has%promised%us%eternal%life%(v25)%when%we%trust%in%Jesus%sacrifice%for%us.% •! The%anointing%you%had%will%stay%with%you%and%teach%you%(v27),%i.e%the%Holy%Spirit% $ Q.$Who$are$“those$who$are$trying$to$lead$you$astray”$(26)?$ %%%%%%% (We%will%read%verses%28&29%with%chapter%3)%

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1$John$chapter$3$ $ Read$chapter$2v28$–$chapter$3v6:$Father$and$children$ John%points%out%that%(unlike%any%other%religion)%we%are%not%just%a%group%of%believing%followers%but%we%who% believe%in%Jesus%are%children%of%God.%We%are%a%family%with%a%loving%Father.%Moreover,%if%we%are%his%children% we%are%not%only%privileged,%but%we%are%also%obliged%to%obey%him%and%live%Christ=like%lives.% 3


$ Q.$What$is$the$difference$between$paternity$and$fatherhood?$How$does$the$Fatherhood$of$God$ encourage$our$obedience?$ % God%has%the%right%to%call%us%children%because%he%created%us.%But%we%only%have%the%right%to%call%him%Father% when%we%come%to%him.%When%we%ask%Jesus%into%our%life%(and%his%Spirit%dwells%with%us)%the%Bible%tells%us%that% we%become%adopted%by%the%Father.%See%Romans%8v14=17.%Verse%3%says%that%as%children,%we%should%seek%to% be%pure%as%Christ%is%pure%–%which%sometimes%seems%impossible!% $ Q.$What$is$the$difference$between$innocence$and$purity?$Are$we$innocent$beings$or$are$we$sinners?$ How$then$can$we$be$pure?$ $ Read$verses$7=10:$Children$of$God$and$Children$of$the$Devil$ % It%is%the%seed%of%God%(verse%9)%which%remains%in%us%and%is%the%very%life%of%God%in%us.%Just%as%my%own%(natural)% father’s%seed%in%me%has%given%me%his%genes%and%causes%me%to%be%like%him%–%so%the%heavenly%Father’s%seed%in% us%also%causes%us%to%be%like%him.%And%as%we%grow%we%should%become%more%like%him.%In%his%gospel,%John% likens%it%to%being%a%part%of%the%Vine.%% $ Q.$From$the$beginning$the$Devil$is$the$root$cause$of$sin.$Why$is$it$that$as$sin$in$the$world$increases$it$ becomes$less$acceptable$to$credit$it$to$the$Devil?$What$evidences$of$the$Devil’s$work$do$we$see$in$our$ world$today?$ $ Read$verses$11=16:$Love$and$hatred$ % God’s%message%from%the%beginning%(v11)%is%that%men%and%women%should%love%one%another;%and%he%gives%us% an%example%of%what%can%ultimately%happen%if%love%is%not%in%a%person’s%heart%–%e.g%%Cain%and%Abel%(v12).%Many% persecuted%Christians%around%the%world%today%understand%the%meaning%of%verse%13%and%are%willing%to%suffer% for%Christ%and%yet%–%still%respond%with%love.%Therefore:%purity%and%obedience%are%the%mark%of%a%believer%and% loving%those%who%hate%you%is%also%the%mark%of%a%Christian.%In%John’s%style%of%writing%(which%seems% repetitious)%he%is%gradually%building%up%a%case%for%these%characteristics%of%Christians.% $ Q.$What$is$the$ultimate$sign$of$love$as$demonstrated$by$Jesus$(v16)?$ $ Read$verses$17&18:$More$signs$of$love$in$a$Christian$ % We%should%share%what%we%have%with%those%who%have%less.%If%we%see%a%need%we%should%be%willing%to% personally%do%something%about%it.%Words%don’t%cost%us%anything%–%sometimes%true%love%for%a%person%does.% $ Q.$Is$it$right$for$some$Christians$to$have$more$whilst$their$brothers$or$sisters$going$without?$ % Read$verses$19=24:$Do$our$hearts$condemn$us?$ % How%often%do%we%search%our%hearts?%Only%when%our%hearts%do%not%condemn%us%can%we%truly%have% confidence%in%God%so%that%we%receive%the%answers%to%our%prayers%(v21/22).%Could%a%disobedient%child%who% wouldn’t%share%his%toy%expect%to%be%rewarded%with%sweets%from%the%father?%If%we%don’t%lead%loving,%sharing% lives%how%can%we%expect%God%to%reward%us?%John%reminds%us%again%that%it%is%through%the%presence%of%Jesus% that%we%can%love%others%as%he%does.%And%therefore,%on%that%basis%–%as%the%Holy%Spirit%works%in%us%and% through%us%=%we%can%have%confidence%in%him.% $ Our$belief$is$not$really$belief$unless$it$results$in$action.$ 4


1$John$chapter$4$ $ Read$verse$1:$Test$the$spirits$ % Read%Ephesians%6v12.%For%us%who%live%in%the%West,%we%can%often%forget%the%reality%of%the%spirit%world.%We% keep%our%distance%from%clairvoyants%and%anything%to%do%with%the%occult,%and%never%consider%that%the%spirit% world%might%impinge%on%us%or%try%to%deceive%us.%But%the%devil,%who%is%the%great%Deceiver,%will%try%to%mislead% us%as%he%often%masquerades%as%an%angel%of%light%(2%Corinthians%11v14=15).%Therefore%we%should%not%believe% everything%we%hear%without%testing%it%against%God’s%Word.%John%is%writing%this%in%the%context%of%false% prophets.%% $ Q.$Why$or$how$are$Pentecostal$churches$more$vulnerable$to$false$teaching?$Can$freedom$in$the$Spirit$ and$“Body$Ministry”$be$both$helpful$and$possibly$harmful?$What$is$John’s$answer$to$this?$ $ Read$verses$2&3:$How$to$test$the$spirits$ % Jesus%Christ%is%God%and%was%made%manifest%(appeared%in%bodily%form%on%earth).%He%should%be%the%centre%of% our%focus%and%worship%because%he%is%Lord%of%all.%Any%spirit%that%says%that%Jesus%was%merely%a%good%man%but% does%not%extol%Christ%as%God%is%the%antichrist%–%the%Deceiver.%Some%evil%spirits%even%acknowledge%that%Jesus% is%God,%but%they%will%never%acknowledge%that%Jesus%is%Lord.%(Mark%1v23%and%James%2v19).%% % Read$verses$4=6:$The$Spirit$of$Truth$ % We%recognize%the%Spirit%of%truth%because%he%lives%within%us.%This%is%how%we%know%we%are%born%of%God%and% need%have%no%fear%of%evil%spirits%because%as%verse%4%says:%% $ The$One$who$is$in$you$is$greater$than$the$one$who$is$in$the$world$ $% Jesus%gives%us%a%further%way%of%testing%the%spirits.%In%Matthew%7v16=20%he%says%we%shall%know%them%by%their% fruits.%And%Peter%says%they%will%deny%the%Second%Coming%of%Christ.% $ Q.$When$and$how$have$you$identified$in$your$spirit$that$“something$is,$or$is$not$right?”$ $ Things$to$look$out$for:$ •! Anything%that%confuses%or%twists%God’s%written%Word% •! Anything%that%doesn’t%promote%God’s%Will% •! Anything%that%merely%flatters%% •! Anything%that%promotes%the%speaker%or%adds%to%pride% •! Anything%that%is%spoken%on%behalf%of%a%dead%person% •! Unusual%occurrences%(sights,%sounds,%lights)% •! Anything%uncomfortable%that%takes%away%your%peace% •! Anything%that%destroys%rather%than%builds%up% % Read$verses$7=12:$God’s$Love$ % John%returns%to%his%favourite%theme.%The%evidence%of%us%being%right%with%God%and%knowing%God%(v7)%is%love.% Perfect%love%was%seen%in%Jesus,%who%loved%us%so%much%that%he%gave%up%his%life%for%us.%This%kind%of%love%is% made%perfect%(complete)%in%us%as%we%get%to%know%him,%by%his%presence%in%us%(v12).%We%are%not%to%love%the% world,%we%are%to%be%wary%of%evil%spirits;%BUT,%we%are%still%called%to%love%sinners;%because%it%was%while%we% were%still%sinners%that%Christ%died%for%us%(Romans%5v8).% 5


Q.$To$what$degree$then$should$we$engage$with$the$world$or$separate$ourselves$from$the$world?$ $ Read$verses$13=17:$We$can$rely$on$God$ % When%we%know%that%we%have%God’s%Spirit%in%us,%we%can%rely%on%God’s%love.%And%the%consequence%should%be% that%“in%this%world%we%are%like%Jesus”%(v17).%That%is,%others%should%be%able%to%rely%on%God’s%love%from%us.%It% also%means%that%we%will%have%“confidence%on%the%Day%of%Judgment”.% $ Q.$Where$does$that$leave$anyone$who$does$not$show$God’s$love?$ $ Read$verses$18=21:$Incompatibilities$ % Love%is%incompatible%with%fear%and%hate.%God’s%love%in%us%takes%away%the%fear%of%punishment%for%any% wrongdoing.%Because%we%know%that%if%we%abide%in%his%love%he%forgives%us%and%gives%us%the%victory%over%sin.% This%should%compel%us%to%show%the%same%kind%of%love%to%others,%and%especially%to%fellow%believers.%

$ 1$John$chapter$5$

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This%final%chapter%of%John’s%letter%is%a%kind%of%summary%of%all%that%he%has%said%before;%and%it%gives%his% conclusions%about%all%the%things%we%“know”%when%we%are%a%child%of%God.%It%is%a%good%passage%to%read%if%you% have%doubts%or%if%you%are%unsure%about%doctrine.%%%%%%% $ Read$the$whole$chapter$$$ $ TEN$THINGS$WE$KNOW$ $ 1)%Verse$1:$$ The%only%way%to%know%that%you%are%a%child%of%God%is%by%believing%that%Jesus%Christ%was%born%of%God;%that%is%=% he%is%the%Son%of%God%(and%not%just%a%good%man%or%a%prophet).%There%is%no%other%way%to%salvation%other%than% through%Jesus%Christ.% $ Q.$Does$belief$in$the$deity$of$Jesus$make$it$easier$for$a$person$to$give$their$life$to$him?$Do$we$sometimes$ overlook$this$basic$requirement$when$nurturing$pre=Christians$or$new$Christians?$ % 2)%Verse$2:$$ Loving%God%and%loving%each%other%are%interconnected%and%inseparable%–%the%one%should%prove%the%other.% Jesus%stressed%this%when%he%summarized%the%Ten%Commandments%in%Matthew%22%v%37=40.% $ Q.$Does$Jesus$ask$us$to$go$further$than$the$requirements$in$the$Ten$Commandments?$ $ 3)$Verse$3:$$ We%know%that%we%love%God%if%we%keep%his%commands.%If%we%truly%love%God%we%will%not%see%his%commands%as% burdensome%–%love%and%obedience%are%also%connected%and%inseparable.% $ Q.$How$often$do$we$grumble$about$our$lot$in$life?$Do$our$attitudes$sometimes$reflect$a$lack$of$love?$ $ 4)$Verse$4:$$ If%we%are%born%of%God%through%faith,%then%we%can%be%overcomers.%Victory%is%linked%to%faith%but%only%as%we% believe%that%Jesus%Christ%is%God’s%Son%(v5).%Everything%rests%on%that%–%and%that%is%the%one%thing%that%all%other% religions%and%sects%do%not%believe.%Jesus,%as%God,%overcame%Satan%on%the%Cross;%and%that%same%power%lives% in%us%through%Him.% 6


Q.$Does$it$help$to$strengthen$our$faith$if$we$remind$ourselves$of$these$things?$ $ 5)$Verses$6=11:%% •! Jesus%came%by%water%(baptism)%and%by%blood%(the%Cross)% •! The%Holy%Spirit%is%real%and%testifies%to%this% % If%we%say%that%these%things%are%not%true%we%make%God%out%to%be%a%liar%and%God%cannot%accept%us%until%we% agree%with%his%testimony%(v9&10).% % 6)$Verse$12:$$ As%if%to%clarify%the%preceding%statement%John%reiterates%the%most%basic%fact%–%there%is%no%way%to%God%other% than%through%Jesus%Christ.% $ Q.$What$does$John$mean$by$“life”?$ $ 7)$Verses$14&15:$$ We%know%that% •! We%can%have%confidence%in%God% •! He%hears%us% •! He%answers%prayer% However,%there%are%three%qualifications%to%these%amazing%statements.%One%is%that%we%believe,%the%second%is% that%we%pray%according%to%His%Will,%and%the%third%is%that%our%hearts%should%not%condemn%us%(found%in%1%John% chapter%3v21).%% $ Q.$How$easy$is$it$to$achieve$this$kind$of$confidence$in$prayer?$ $ 8)$Verse$18:$$ We%know%that%when%we%are%born%of%God%Satan%cannot%harm%us%–%we%have%God’s%protection.%We%also%know% that%many%early%Christians%died%for%their%faith,%and%that%many%Christians%around%the%world%today%are%terribly% persecuted.% $ Q.$So,$is$this$verse$talking$about$our$bodies$or$our$souls?$ $ 9)$Verse$19:%% We%know%that%Satan%has%dominion%over%all%that%is%not%subject%to%God.%Therefore%he%does%not%have%dominion% over%us%because%we%are%the%children%of%God.%Jesus,%who%is%in%us,%is%greater%than%Satan%(1%John%4v4).%We%need% not%fear%the%evil%one.% % 10)$Verse$20:$We%know%that$Jesus%said,%“I%am%the%Truth”.%He%came%to%bring%us%understanding%and%to%lead%us% to%God.%His%ways%are%perfect%in%truth.% $ Pray$for$all$those$who$have$not$yet$heard$the$truth,$but$pray$too$for$those$who$have$rejected$the$truth$ and$cut$themselves$off$from$God’s$salvation$and$a$hope$of$eternal$life$ $ John’s+first+epistle,+or+letter,+was+to+the+church+in+general.+It+is+followed+by+two+much+shorter+letters+which+ are+written+to+individuals.+They+may+or+may+not+have+been+written+at+the+same+time,+but+their+message+ carries+similarities+to+the+main+epistle.+These+individuals+appear+to+have+been+elders+and+possibly+leaders+of+ house+churches.+And+it+appears+that+even+these+smaller+gatherings+of+Christians+faced+the+problems+of+ wrong+teaching+and+dissention.+As+we+study+them+we+will+see+John’s+concern+for+the+truth+is+paramount.++

$ 7


The$Second$Epistle$of$John$ $

Read$verses$1=3% % John%writes%to%a%lady%but%doesn’t%tell%us%her%name.%Perhaps%it%would%not%have%been%safe%for%her%if%he%had% done%so%(the%church%at%this%time%was%suffering%a%certain%amount%of%persecution%under%Emperor%Domitian).%% She%was%possibly%a%wealthy%lady%as%she%owned%her%own%house%(v%10)%and%it%appears%she%was%probably%the% leader%of%a%group%of%Christians%who%met%there.%John%pronounced%a%blessing%on%her%and%the%church%and% stressed%the%importance%of%truth%and%love.% % Q.$Why,$2000$years$later,$is$there$still$debate$over$whether$the$church$should$have$females$in$ leadership?$ $ Read$verses$4=6$ % Walking%in%the%truth%of%God’s%Word%means:% Obeying%it,%letting%it%control%our%lives,%not%just%debating%it%but%living%it;%it%means%living%a%life%of%love%for%our% fellow=Christian.%It%made%John%joyful%to%know%that%these%“children%of%God”%were%walking%in%the%truth%–%as,% indeed,%it%would%gladden%the%heart%of%any%Pastor.%It%is%never%right%to%suggest%the%Bible%can%be%rewritten%to% suit%our%way%of%thinking.% $ Q.$What$word$does$John$use$(4$times)$which$shows$that$this$is$not$a$choice$for$believers,$but$ compulsory?$ $ Read$verses$7=11$ % John%reiterates%his%warning%from%his%first%epistle%about%deceivers%and%those%who%twist%the%gospel.%We%need% to%protect%our%unity%in%the%truth%(v8)%by%continuing%to%proclaim%only%the%gospel%as%Christ%taught%it.%If%we% know%the%truth%we%will%discern%a%lie.%We%are%not%to%entertain%or%have%fellowship%with%people%who%promote% any%other%gospel.%% $ Q.$What$reason$does$John$give$for$this?$ $ Read$verses$12=13$ % John’s%desire%is%to%visit%this%church%personally.%Fellowship%is%always%better%than%a%letter!%% $ Q.$Who$could$you$visit$this$week?$

$

The$Third$Epistle$of$John$ $

$ Read$verses$1=4$ % This%time%John%writes%to%a%man%–%a%dear%friend,%Gaius,%who%was%either%a%church%leader%or%elder.%The%theme% of%truth%is%still%prominent.%John%loved%Gaius%in%the%truth%(of%God)%and%commented%on%his%faithfulness%in%the% truth%(of%the%Gospel).%This%brought%him,%as%it%does%many%a%Pastor,%great%joy%(v4).% $ Q.$How$does$the$truth$of$the$Gospel$bind$us$together$in$love?$ $ 8


Read$verses$5=8:$ % In%contrast%to%2%John%verse%10,%John%says%that%we%should%show%hospitality%and%kindness%to%those%who%bring% the%truth%of%the%Gospel.%In%fact,%the%onus%is%on%Christians%to%support%their%Pastors.%Their%support%should%not% come%from%the%State%or%from%Jumble%Sales%or%other%means%(that%is,%not%from%the%pagans%–%v7)%but%from% God’s%people%who%should%give%gladly%and%in%truth%and%love.%% $ Q.$Why$is$it$important$to$give$our$tithe$to$the$church$and$not$to$other$charities?$ $ Read$verses$9&10$ % The%church%at%the%home%of%Gaius%had%a%problem%–%Diotrephes.%He%was%defaming%the%true%brothers%and% sisters%in%Christ,%whilst%putting%himself%and%his%ideas%forward.%This%is%often%the%basis%of%a%church%split%and% can%only%be%destructive%to%God’s%work.%Diotrephes’%motivation%was%not%truth%and%love,%but%pride.%For%the% sake%of%the%truth%of%the%Gospel,%John%was%prepared%to%“Name%and%Shame”%Diotrephes.% % Read$verses$11=12$ % Demetrius%was%an%example%of%a%Christian%who%could%be%imitated%by%others.%He%walked%in%the%truth.%% % Q.$Could$anyone$say$that$of$us?$ % John%finishes%the%letter%as%he%did%the%previous%one,%stating%his%hope%of%visiting%them%soon.% % Gaius$was$an$encourager$and$an$encouragement.$Diotrephes$was$a$dictator$and$a$deceiver.$Demetrius$ was$a$great$example.$Which$are$we?$

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The Estuary Elim Group of Churches are three Essex based Elim Pentecostal Churches in Ashingdon, Rayleigh and Southend on Sea with a shared Leadership team. We are a group of people responding to the love of God and the life changing message of Jesus Christ. Our services are lively with contemporary music, worship and preaching and teaching relevant to the 21st Century. To find out more about us visit www.estuaryelim.church Whether you are new to church, someone with questions or a committed Christian, we want to serve you and help you discover and fulfil God’s purpose for your life. If you would like an opportunity to email or talk to one of the team email your contact details to info@estuaryelim.co.uk and we will get back to you. The Ashingdon, Rayleigh and Southend Elim Pentecostal Churches are branches of The Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance (Registered Charity No. 251549) 2

The Epistles of John  

John probably wrote his epistles around AD90, by which time there would be many second-generation Christians who needed good, sound teachin...

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