1 John Video Study Series
Video (Abridged) Transcript
Hello, this is Mark again.
We are taking a look at the first epistle of John. We looked a little bit previously at the purpose, the goal of this letter. He says it real clearly, we looked at it:
It says that our joy may be complete (v.4). We are writing these things, that our joy may be complete. That is the purpose, the goal of this. That, you and I, the reader, may have this joy in our life.
We need to take a little look at the readers in the original context just so that we understand a little bit more the background or we’ll kind of get lost. This is kind of an introduction and we need to see it.
It appears that these readers knew him well. Now that being stated, what was John talking about? Being lured away. As we read this epistle, we are going to see him talk about worldliness, a number of different topics about being grounded. He calls them beloved children because he knew them and he knew what they were going through. He talked about a little battle between the world and faith. So, apparently, they are being lured away. I would suggest today, as a personal application for all of us. There are a lot of different voices out there trying to lure us away from the faith. Trying to get us to go in a different direction.
To understand this correctly in context we have to deal with a difficult topic. Getting lured away by worldliness and false teaching.
What is this false teaching that was there? That false teaching of that day was what’s called Gnosticism.
Gnosticism taught that matter was inherently evil. That the divine being could not take on the human form. This is important as we look at this and what John writes in this letter. They made a distinction between the man Jesus and the spiritual Christ. Gnosticism says that there is a special understanding of a hidden knowledge that comes to the spiritual elite.
The whole point is that this teaching that was growing in that day is that there are special elite people who can be dynamite spiritual people. And those are the people we all need to listen to and if you don’t have that you are kind of a lower form. They are teaching also that Jesus was a man, not God and that God came on to this man at a certain time. And then, this man who is filled with this God then experienced life in the way that he did. And before Jesus died God left him.
This is not what the Bible teaches. It is a false teaching. It began to take grounding in that period of time. Here is John, be aware of it, writing to them, saying ‘hold on’. Let me respond to it. And he is going to. And that is the theme. Ok, how do we know that? Listen to these words.
We know that from verse 3.
that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (I John 1:3, ESV)
For our joy to be complete, which is what he is saying here, He is talking about that fellowship – with others, and with God. With each other, and with all believers around the world. There are no spiritual elite. We are all sinners saved by grace. Now keep that in mind as we keep looking.
False teaching is all around us. That same teaching exists today that there is this spiritual realm and human realm, and that Jesus did not come down here. It is still there. Let’s not buy into it.
Thank you. Help us to understand this false teaching so we can have that joy, that this letter is about. And as we study this letter help us to remember that fellowship we have and not be lured away by false teachings,
We pray in Jesus’ name.
Mark Plaza has over twenty years of experience in pastoral, educational, and missional positions including directing ministries, teaching, and equipping. He has implemented strategies for discipling, coaching and growth as well as overseeing budgets, and managing staff both paid and volunteer. Mark’s education includes a doctorate degree in Ministry Leadership. He is married to Fay with 4 children and 5 grandchildren. His hobbies and Interests are Music, Reading, and Traveling. He currently co-owns with his wife and family a granola company – Olde Man Granola (www.oldemangranola.com)