The Apostle John is probably one of my favorite authors of the Bible. He manages to say the most profound things in the simplest of terms. I had the privilege of teaching a group of teenagers through the book of 1 John, and the following is a handful of tips for reading 1 John:
- Pay attention to the way John uses contrasts in his letter, i. e. light and darkness, sin and righteousness, love and hate, life and death, God and Satan, faith and unbelief, the true apostle and the false teachers.
- Notice that John circles around three key themes: sin & obedience, love of God and neighbor, and sound doctrine and he examines each theme from different angles and with different emphases.
- Learn to follow his train of thought as he transitions from one theme to the next. How does one bring him to the other?
- Observe the many hints at the return of Jesus and how it adds urgency and depth to his message.
- Note the many ways in which John describes the believer’s relationship with God, such as “knowing”, “walking”, “abiding”, “born of”, etc.
Now, much more could be said, but I want to keep it useful so you can read this with your morning cup of coffee and don’t have to pull out Strong’s Dictionary.
If you think something else is key to read 1 John, leave a comment, I would love to learn with you!