1 John

Who, When, Where

Written by Yohannes (John). Yohannes was one of Yeshua's closest disciples. And the disciple whom Yeshua loved. He was a fisherman with his brother James (Yaakov) and Yeshua nicknamed them "The Sons of Thunder". As far as we know John lived longer than all the other disciples and died as an old man on the island of Patmos around 100AD.
We aren’t sure when John wrote this letter. Most scholars think it was later in his life. So probably in the late 90AD’s.
We think 1 John was written from Ephesus. And we only know that it was written to those who trust in the name of the son of God. Not to anyone in any specific location.


It seems likely that 1 John was written to counter some false teaching going around at the time. It identifies several ways to tell a true Christian from a false one.

Before You Read

Instead of using 1 John to work out whether someone else is a true Christian or not, use it to examine your own life as you read through.

Make yourself a list as you read through. Give yourself a score out of 10 for each one.

Key Verses

1 John 1:8-9

If we say that we have no sin we lead ourselves astray, and the truth isn’t among us. If we acknowledge our sins, he’s trustworthy and righteous, so that he’ll pardon us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God will only help us when we admit we need it. When we admit that we have sinned.

1 John 4:19

We love him because he himself first loved us.

Don't be fooled into thinking that your relationship with God was your idea. God came looking for you. Not the other way around. Why do you think he did that?

1 John 5:12-13

The one who has the son, has the life. The one who doesn’t have the son of God, doesn’t have the life.
I write these things to you, to those who trust in the name of the son of God, so that you may see that you have everlasting life, and so that you may trust in the name of the son of God.

Are you saved? You can know for sure.
Can you lose it? Can you lose the son? It's based on what he did, not on what you did. You can't change what he did. You can't lose it.

After You Read

What verses really stood out to you?

How would you summarize this book in a sentence or two? What is it about? What is God trying to say to us?

Which parts of John’s “Test of a True Christian” challenged you the most? Do you need to change anything in your life?

Ultimately the big test is in chapter 5. Do you have to son of God? If you do, you are saved. 100% guaranteed. Your salvation depends entirely on what Yeshua did 2000 years ago. It depends 0% on what you do now. So it is really guaranteed if you are putting your trust in him.
That is a great comfort when you screw things up. Don’t forget it.

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