Time for a new book in our blog devotion. As a church we have a great desire to see people get into the Scriptures for themselves, and allow the text of the Bible to speak deeply into life. For the next several weeks we will have readings from the New Testament book of 1 John. This is a quick overview of the book. First devotion tomorrow.
Have you ever had doubts about your salvation? Have you ever wondered if you have really trusted Christ, and if He is really there with you? It is natural for a Christian to have times where they struggle with their faith. God knew that we would go through times like this. So he inspired one of Jesus best friends to write a letter to Christians in the First Century to show them how they could know for sure that they were Christians.
I John is that book. The book is written by the Apostle John. John was one of Jesus twelve disciples. He spent at least three years on earth with Jesus, seeing him perform miracles, preaching to people, and touching lives. He also saw Jesus die on the cross. John was one of the first people to see the empty tomb and to see Jesus face to face after His resurrection. Jesus Christ changed the life of this fisherman forever. As a result, John spent his life telling others about Christ and writing about his Savior. John wrote five books in the Bible, the Gospel of John, 3 epistles (letters), and the book of Revelations.
I John was written at a time when there were a lot of false teachings about God and about Jesus. Some people taught that Jesus wasn’t really God at all, but was just a good man who represented God. Others taught that He wasn’t really a man, but only appeared to be a man, like a hologram. John wanted to be sure that people who had accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior didn’t get sidetracked by following wrong teachings, and that they would stay on track as Christians. He wanted to teach them that it was important that they had right beliefs and right actions, proving themselves to be followers of Christ.
John’s purpose in writing this letter was to assure them of their salvation. He wanted people to examine their beliefs and actions, and when they examined them, they could know if their life matched that of a true Christian. It’s kind of like taking a test at school . When a teacher gives a test, his or her purpose is to see if your life matches the expectations he or she has set for you. If you fail, don’t blame the test, or the teacher. An “F” on a test should say that you need to go back to the books and re-examine the material. I John is a test. He wants us to read through and see if our faith is in line with what God wants. But failing this test is much more than a poor grade. Passing or failing the test of true faith determines our eternal home. As you read First John you may understand many of the ideas, and be able to say, “Yes, I see God working in my life in that way.” If so, that is evidence of true faith in Jesus Christ. On the other hand, you may not. If this happens, you may want to ask God if you really know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I John 5:13