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Community in Perilous Times: An Outline of 1 John

Community in Perilous Times: An Outline of 1 John



I. The Prologue (1 John 1:1-4).


A. We announce the Eternal Life that was from the beginning (1:1-3).


B. We write so that our joy may be complete (1:4).



II. God is Light (1 John 1:5-3:10).

A. The Message: God is Light (1 John 1:5).


B. Walking in Light (1 John 1:6-2:2).


1. Fellowship with God in the Light (1:6-7).


2. Confessing Sin (1:8-9).


3. Dealing with Sin (1:10-2:2).


C. The Meaning of Walking in the Light (2:3-11).


1. The Necessity of Obedience (2:3-5).


2. The New Command: Love One Another (2:6-8).


3. Darkness and Light (2:9-11).


D. General Warning (2:12-17).


1. Confidence in the Community (2:12-14).


2. Warning: Appropriate Dualism (2:15-17).


E. Specific Warning: The Antichrists (2:18-27).


1. The Secessionists (2:18-23).


a. The Presence of the Antichrists (2:18-19).


b. The Truth at Issue (2:20-23).


(1) You know the Truth (2:20-21).


(2) The Truth Is... (2:22-23).


2. The Corrective (2:24-27).


a. The Message from the Beginning (2:24-25).


b. The Anointing (2:26-27).


F. Exhortation: Live as God's Children (2:28-3:10).


1. Our Confidence (2:28).


2. Children of God (2:29-3:6).


a. Born of God (2:29, 3:4): Call to Righteousness.


[b. We are Children of God! (3:1-3).]


(1) Doxological Wonder (3:1).


(2) Eschatological Expectation (3:2-3).


c. Rejection of Sin (3:5-6): The Work of Christ.


3. Children of the Devil (3:7-10).


a. Rejection of Sin (3:7-8): The Work of the Devil.


b. Born of God (3:9-10): The Seed of Righteousness.


III. God is Love (1 John 3:11-5:12).

A. Love One Another (3:12-24).


1. The Bad Example: Cain (3:12-15).


a. Cain and Evil (3:12).


b. Life and Death (3:13-15).


2. The Good Example: Christ (3:16-18).


a. What Christ Did (3:16a).


b. What We Should Do (3:16b-18).


3. Confidence: Communal Faith and Love (3:19-24).


a. Restful Hearts (3:19-22).


b. Assurance Through Obedience (3:23-24).


B. Test the Spirits (4:1-6).


1. The Presence of False Prophets (4:1).


2. Two Tests (4:2-6).


a. First Test: Christological Confession (4:2-3).


b. Second Test: Communal Commitment (4:4-6).


C. The Christological Revelation of God as Love (4:7-5:4).


1. We Believe in the Love of God (4:7-16b).


a. The Revelation of Love (4:7-10).


(1) Love one another because of the relationship between God and love (4:7-8).


(2) God has manifested (revealed) his love through Jesus Christ (4:10).


b. The Obligation of Believers to Love (4:11-16b).


(1) We ought to love one another because God has loved (4:11-12).


(2) We are assured of God's love (4:13-16b).


2. We Keep God's Command to Love (4:16c-5:4a).


a. The Experience of Love (4:16c-19).


b. The Command for Believers to Love (4:20-5:4a).


D. The Certainty of the Christological Revelation (5:4b-12).


1. The Victory of Faith (5:4b-5).


2. The Testimony of Spirit, Water and Blood (5:6-8).


3. The Testimony of the Father (5:9-12).


IV. Epilogue (1 John 5:13-20).

A. Purpose Statement (5:13).


B. Confidence and Prayer (5:14-17).


1. Prayerful Expectation (5:14-15).


2. Prayerful Discernment (5:16-17).


C. Three Certainties and a Final Exhortation (5:18-21).


1. "We know...." (5:18-20).


2. "Little children, keep Yourselves from idols" (5:21).






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