I , II, AND III JOHN
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
C Name the author of the books of I, II, and III John.
C Identify to whom each book was written.
C State the purpose for each book.
C Write the Key Verse of each book from memory
C State the Life and Ministry Principle for each book.
In this chapter you will study three books: I, II, and III John. All of these books were written by John the son of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21 ) who was an apostle of Jesus (Matthew 10:2). John also wrote the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation. You have already studied the Gospel of John. The book of Revelation will be the final study in this course. The books written by John fit together in a developing plan of increasing revelation:
BOOKS WRITTEN BY JOHN
Gospel of John:
Speaks of salvation
Deals with the past
Presents Jesus as the prophet
Concerns the cross in the life of believers
Epistles of John: (I, II and III John)
Speak of sanctification
Deal with the present
Present Jesus as our priest
Concern the fellowship of believers
Speaks of glorification
Deals with the future
Presents Jesus as the King
Concerns the crown awaiting believers
Note : The books of II and III John have no chap ter divisions in the Bible . Therefore , on ly the ve rses are listed .
TO WHOM: Christians who were falling into Satanic deception which was breaking their fellowship with God and other believers.
PURPOSE: To explain the standards of true fellowship in Jesus Christ. KEY VERSE: I John 1:8-9
LIFE AND MINISTRY PRINCIPLE: True fellowship with God and fellow believers is based on the standards of God’s Word and maintained by the principle of confession of sin.
MAIN CHARACTERS: The author, John. No other people are mentioned by name.
I. Introduction: 1:1-4
A. John is writing about that which he has seen with his eyes, looked upon, and
handled of the Word of life. He is writing from first hand experience : 1:1
B. The fellowship of which he writes is the true fellowship of believers with God
and one another: 1:2-3
C. His purpose in writing on this subject is that their joy might be full by being
established in this fellowship: 1:4
II. The conditions for true fellowship in Jesus: 1:5-10
A. Conformity to the standard of God’s Word : 1:5-7
B. Confession of sin: 1:8-10
III. The proper conduct of those in the true fellowship of believers: 2:1-29
A. The character of proper conduct is imitation of the spiritual example set by
Jesus: 2: 1- 11
1. The principle of imitation: 2:1-2
2. The pattern for imitation: 2:3-6
3. The proof of proper imitation: 2:7-11
B. The commandment upon which conduct is based is separation: 2:12-17
1. The believers to which the commandment is addressed includes all
levels of spiritual maturity : 2 : 1 2 – 1 4
2. The commandment is separation from worldliness: 2:15-17
C. The creed for our conduct: 2:18-29
1. The necessity for a creed: 2:18-21
2. The nature of the creed: 2:22-29
IV. The characteristics of true Christian fellowship: 3:1-24
A. Purity: 3:1-3
B. Righteousness and love: 3:4-18
C. Confidence: 3:19-21
D. Obedience: 3:22-24
V. Enemies of the true fellowship of believers: 4:1-21
A. False prophets: 4:1-6
1. How to recognize them: 4:2-3
2. How to overcome them : 4:4
3. They are of the world: 4:5
4. We are of God: 4 :6
B. False profession of a loving spirit: 4:7-21
1. Perfect love described: 4:7-17
2. Perfect love contrasted with a false profession of a loving spirit: 4:18-21
VI. The reason for maintaining true fellowship: 5:1-21
A. Faith in Jesus is proven by the conduct we exhibit: 5:1-5
B. Faith in Jesus is proven by the credentials we exhibit: 5:6-12
l. The evidence of the credentials: 5:6-8
2. The effect of the credentials: 5:9-12
C. Faith in Jesus is proved by the confidence we exhibit: 5:13-15
D. Faith in Jesus is proved by conquering sin: 5:16-21
TO WHOM: The "elect lady and her children," which means the Church and its members.
(The Church is always addressed in the feminine gender because she is called the bride of
PURPOSE: To admonish believers to be faithful to sound doctrine and to warn against false teachers.
KEY VERSE: II John 1:9
LIFE AND MINISTRY PRINCIPLE: We must guard against false teachers who cause us to lose the spiritual qualities we have developed and who make us partakers of their evil.
MAIN CHARACTER: John
I. Introduction: Greeting: 1-3
A. From : The elder, John: 1
B. To: The elect lady and her children who John loves in the truth: l-2
C. He sends from God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ: 3
II. Exhortation to love: 4-6
A. Walk in truth : 4
B. Walk in love: 5
C. Walk in His commandments: 6
III. Warning against false doctrine and false teachers: 7-11
A. The confession of false teachers: 7
B. The consequences of believing false teachers: 8-9
1. Losing the spiritual things previously achieved in their lives: 8
2. Transgressing by not abiding in the doctrine of Christ: 9
3. Becoming a partaker of their evil deeds: 10-11
IV. Conclusion: 12-13
A. John has much to write to them but hopes to come to visit them instead: 12
B. John sends greetings from the members of a sister church: 13
TO WHOM: The book is addressed to a man named Gaius. It is written to both him and the
church with which he was connected. There is no way to identify who this man was, as the
Bible gives no further information on him . The truths of the letter are applicable to all
PURPOSE: To commend Gaius and Demetrius for their Christian testimony and to reprove the unchristian behavior of Diotrephes.
KEY VERSE: 1:11
LIFE AND MINISTRY PRINCIPLE: Our lives are examples of either good or evil to others around us.
MAIN CHARACTERS: John, Gaius, Diotrephes, Demetrius
I. Introduction: 1-2
A. From : The elder, John: 1
B. To: The well beloved Gaius: 1
C. John’s wish for him: That he may prosper and be in health even as his soul
II. The believer’s relation to truth: 3-4
A. It should be in them : 3
B. They should walk in truth: 3
C. When we walk in truth it brings joy to our spiritual leaders: 4
III. The believer’s relation to other fellow Christians: 5-8
A. They are to minister to brethren and strangers: 5
B. They should be known to the church for their charity : 6
C. They are to be fellow helpers to the truth : 8
IV. The believer’s relation to good and evil: 9-12
A. Diotrephes as an example of evil: 9
l. Attempted to occupy the leading place.
2. Refused to receive John, God’s appointed leader.
3. Slandered the apostles (leadership).
5. Excluded other brethren (cliques).
6. Attempted to excommunicate believers who did not want to accept the
leadership set in the church by God.
B. The proper response to such evil: 11
1. Follow not that which is evil, because he that does evil hath not seen
2. Follow that which is good, for he that doeth good is of God: 11
C. Demetrius: An example of good: 12
1. Had a good testimony of all men.
2. Was aligned with the truth of God’s Word.
3. Had a good reputation with the God-appointed leadership.
V. Conclusion: 13-14
A. John had many things to write, but he hoped to come to visit instead: 13-14
B. He sends: 14
2. Salutations from his friends to Gaius and the church.
C. He asks Gaius to greet his friends by name: 14