Today we will begin to look at the three epistles written by the Apostle John. John was the last living apostle and it is almost unanimously agreed that he wrote these epistles at the end of the first century. Already, though, there had crept into the church false teachers and heresies that The Spirit of God calls “antichrist” (1 John 2:18). This spirit of antichrist lies about the true identity of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:22), and is the very root of deception regarding The Person and ministry of The Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 4:3; 2 John 7). This very same spirit of antichrist is as vibrant today as it was in John’s day. In fact, it has grown over the years of church history so that the Jesus of modern man is a far cry from the Christ of Scripture, King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14, 19:16).
At the time of John’s three epistles, the most dominant heresy the church needed to confront was Gnosticism. This doctrine was a “revelation” of deep spiritual insights that revealed spiritual secrets that only the “enlightened” could understand. As any doctrine of demons (1 Timothy 4:1), there was a seductive element in their message that appealed to their intellects (1 John 2:26). Satan is The Master of all spiritual seduction. He has his own “evangelists” and “prophets” who perform false signs and wonders, and who seek to seduce the people of God into the bed of spiritual idolatry (Mark 13:22; Revelation 2:20).
John’s epistle was written to give to the true church joy (1 John 1:4) and full assurance of salvation through faith in The Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 5:13). John clearly states that talking our faith and living it out are two entirely different things (1 John 1:6, 2:4,6,9). The Epistle of John is a no nonsense letter that causes us, as Paul also exhorts, to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Please pray that The Spirit of God will reveal these glorious truths about Jesus Christ to our hearts in order that we individually and congregationally may be able with our lips and with our lives, “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3)