My notes from the Letters of John:
I John, Ch. 1 – Jesus is from the beginning (v. 1). Does this mean the beginning of time or the beginning of His introduction by John the Baptizer, or what?
I John, Ch. 2 – Jesus is the propitiation for our sins (v. 2), and not just ours, but for the sins of the whole world. That means everyone. Apparently, there is no Divine choosing or selecting (predestination?). God’s forgiveness is for everyone.
Verses 12-14 give another Biblical outline for a lesson in fatherhood. If we as Christian men are to be like God – Christlike – then we have this to follow:
1. Know Christ. Fathers, confess Him as Lord. Learn everything you can about Jesus. That means living in and by the Eternal Word, Jesus.
2. Overcome Satan. Young men, live for Jesus, not like the devil. Be strong. That means living in and by the Eternal Word, Jesus.
3. Be intimate with your dad. Sons, adore and admire fatherhood, even if your dad is dead or deadbeat. Your Christian father, or at least the knowledge of Biblical fatherhood, can help you overcome the wicked one. Dads, be aware of your Godly responsibility to your son.
Verses 15-17 appear to elaborate more on Godly manhood, both fatherhood and sonship.
Verses 18-19 tell that many antichrists have gone out from “us.” Are these the “disciples” who turned back, no more to follow Jesus (John 6:66)? Whoever they are, they have been plainly known (manifest, v. 19). How do we recognize them?
I John, Ch. 3 – When Jesus comes (again) and believers see Him as He is, we will be like Him. What is Jesus like now, post-resurrection and post-ascension? What will He be like at His next coming.
Jesus not only forgives our sin (and has already) but He also takes it away (v. 2). How does He take it away?
Satan sinned from the beginning (v. 5). Was that before creation? Jesus must – and has – destroyed the works of Satan. He’s the only One who can (or did). What were/are the works of Satan? How much does Satan even know about his ultimate demise?
Satan has children (v. 10)? Who is a son of Satan? Cain is the example (v. 12). He is a murderer, that is, he lacks love for life. The son of Satan has works of evil and lacks love for life.
I John, ch. 4 – The test for an antichrist (verses 1-3):
- He denies that Jesus is God.
- He denies that Jesus is from God.
- He denies that Jesus came in the flesh.
An antichrist cannot know God at all under these denials. Those who deny are deceivers (II John 7). They are ungodly and worldly. These include “religious” people like Jews, Muslims, theists, etc.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God (v. 15). The confessional statement is “Jesus is Lord.” This equates to confessing that Jesus is born of God (I John 5:1).
I John, Ch. 5 – How to overcome the world: Believe that Jesus is the Son of God (v. 5).
II John – Do not compromise Biblical doctrine (verses 10-11). Be spiritually pure. Have nothing to do with false and opposing doctrines (but see I Corinthians 5:8-13).
III John – The greatest joy a man has is knowing that his children walk in the truth (v. 4). These include his own children and his children-in-the-faith.