Studying the Scriptures in Small Groups
The First Epistle of JohnThe very person who wrote John 3:16, “whosoever believeth in him should not perish” is the very same person who reveals in this letter what believing really involves. Most magazine articles and newspaper columns proceed from point A to point B to point C to conclusion D. Our way of things, of reasoning from premises to conclusions, had come down to us from the ancient Greeks. It is typically Western in approach. As we read the Holy Scriptures, most of us tend to assume the writer will take this approach. Most of the holy writers came out of an Eastern, specifically Jewish, culture. Their reasoning was often different than what we are used to. In 1 john, the apostle weaves doctrine and practice together. As a result, we see the intricate connections between “believing right” and “doing right.” Despite what false teachers have done, John is not creating new doctrine. Everything he writes to them in this letter is, or should be, familiar. It is the same truth they have always heard from him.