I am currently preaching a verse-by-verse series on First John. At first glance John’s letter may not look like much. It is one of the shorter books of the Bible. The vocabulary is very limited. John uses few and very simple words. He repeats himself a lot. You could read through it in less than 20 minutes. But don’t judge this little book by size or vocabulary. Take a second look. Spend some time in it and you will see that is rich and full and jam packed with meaning, insights and application.
It’s a lot like my fiancé’s chocolate decadent cake. On the outside it looks like a nice simple little cake. But one bite in you realize that you have bitten into much more than you ever expected! This cake is much more rich and flavorful than expected. It must be savored and eaten in small bites to be appreciated. That’s why we are taking 1 John in small verse-by-verse sections each Sunday and slowing down, taking our time and truly savoring the rich message of 1 John.
John’s message comes from the heart of a man who was best friends with Jesus. They worked side by side. They laughed together, ate together, walked many miles together and shared both joys and sorrows. When John wrote this letter it was near the end of his life. He was an old grandfather in the faith writing to his spiritual grandchildren, second and third generation believers who did not see Jesus when He walked the earth. They did not witness the miracles, hear the preaching, or touch the risen body of Christ. John is concerned that they know the true authentic Gospel. That is the core of this letter.
First John is very much a message for us. As Jesus said in John’s Gospel: "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." That’s us! We live centuries after the 33 short years that Jesus walked the earth. In those 33 short years Jesus did so much that John says the world could not contain all the books that could be written about Jesus the Messiah. Yet John packs the main ideas about what it means to follow Jesus in five short chapters! I hope you will join me as we unpack First John and apply it to our lives Sundays 9:30 AM at New Hope.