Preaching From 1,2,3 John

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Preaching From 1,2,3 John. Dr. Rick Williamson. First Things First… Behind the Texts. Who? When? Where? What?. Sweet Spots. 1, 2, 3 John. #1. 1:1-4 – Christ’s Humanity.
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Preaching From 1,2,3 John Dr. Rick Williamson First Things First… Behind the Texts
  • Who?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • What?
  • Sweet Spots 1, 2, 3 John #1. 1:1-4 – Christ’s Humanity
  • Jesus’ humanity shows us how to live a holy life. Even though Jesus was human and endured suffering and temptations common to man he did not sin.
  • We can have victory over sin (real life).
  • Christological Dichotomy – most modern believers are quick to affirm Christ’s divinity, while unbelievers will stress his humanity, but in the 1st century . . .
  • #2. 1:8-9 – Confession of Sin
  • John argues against people who have claimed to never sin
  • Today we acknowledge sin, but overlook it because “everyone does it” (We are all sinners, therefore it does not matter)
  • Emphasis on confessing sin to receive forgiveness and purification in place of denial
  • #3. 2:1-2 – Atoning Sacrifice, Prevenient Grace
  • No one has to sin, but IF we do we have Christ to speak on our behalf
  • God is not interested in redeeming just one sector of humanity, but the whole world
  • #4. 3:1-3 – God’s Lavish Love
  • God loves us and has made us His children 
  • We are “now” children … and yet “we will be” (v. 2)
  • What will change?
  • #5. 3:16-18 – Love Takes Action
  • Christ died for us, therefore we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers
  • One way of doing this: material possessions
  • Love with actions and in truth
  • #6. 4:4 – God Has Overcome the World
  • God is greater than the one in the world (Jn. 16:11). There is a present victory.
  • We are not to fear Satan or give him too much credit!
  • Even though Satan does have some control over the world, evil spirits/antichrists have no place in our hearts and minds
  • #7. 4:7-12 - God's Love To Us, God's Love Through Us
  • Simple message: God showed love to us through His Son’s sacrifice so we should love each other
  • Love: God’s attribute or action?
  • “If love is an attribute of God, then when God loves us, He is only doing what is His nature to do and not what is His free decision to do in spite of what His nature is like—which is holy […] Yet contrary to His nature, He loves the rebels all.”J. Kenneth Grider in A Wesleyan-Holiness Theology, pg. 116
  • #8. 4:12, 17-18 – Love Made Perfect
  • Not only is God’s Spirit present in us when we love but God’s love can be perfected in us (!) “Be perfect as I am perfect” – Matt. 5:48 Wesley’s Christian perfection = being perfect in love
  • Since perfect love does not fear, we can have confidence in the day of judgment
  • #9. 5:13-15 – Assurance
  • We can know that we have eternal life
  • John was apparently very concerned that his sheep had assurance of their faith.He ends his Gospel by saying that it was written so that the readers may know that Jesus is the Christ (20:31). This book ends by saying that it was written so that the readers may know that they have eternal life.
  • #10. 2 John 5-6, 3 John 3-4 – Walking and Abiding
  • Walking is to obey God
  • Walking is to live in love toward others (community);
  • Walking is ongoing/relational
  • Mine Fields 1, 2. 3 John #1. 1:8-2:2 – Hilasmos(Atonement)
  • How can we emphasize the divine and human aspects of atonement, while especially affirming the absolute sufficiency of Christ's death?
  • It can be difficult not to become too involved with technical language and forget to celebrate what happened "at the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light . . ."
  • God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor. 5:19)
  • #2. 2:18-19, 2 John 7 – “Antichrist”
  • The term is used both singular and plural in I Jn. 2:18!
  • This is not a reference to the end of the age in the 21st century. John says "it is the last hour" when he wrote it the 1st century. The text cannot mean today what it did not mean then.
  • John is writing against/combating false teaching, specifically a Docetic-type Christology, and the divisive personalities agitating his churches.
  • #3. 2:26-27 - Anointing
  • “Anointing” seems in this case to refer to a special ministry of the Spirit to enable Christians to understand God's truth.
  • Is John using the term as a counter-point to the opponents (2:19) who may have been claiming special knowledge?
  • Is "anointing" (chrisma) part of an argument related to "antichrist"?"You have a chrisma that permits you to distinguish the true Christos from the antichristoi."
  • #4. 3:4-6, 9-10 – Sin
  • This passage can be misunderstood as people do not/cannot sin once they become Christians
  • How should we understand John's statements in 1:8 in comparison?
  • Does the use of the present tense suggest the "practice of . . . continuing in?”
  • #5. 3:21-22 - Prayer
  • Is prayer magical in that we always get what we ask for from God?
  • Problem of unanswered prayer. “Why aren’t my prayers being answered?”
  • #6. 3 John 9-10 - Confrontation
  • What areas need to be addressed? What areas should we leave to the Holy Spirit to convict?
  • How do we communicate the seriousness of sin without being condemning?
  • How many “chances” does a church member have? What if they are unrepentant? What line does a church member have to cross for us to have to ask him to leave?
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