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Bible Commentaries
1 John

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' CommentaryMeyer's Commentary

- 1 John

by Frederick Brotherton Meyer

Outline of the First Epistle of John

The Redeeming Love of God in Christ

Introduction, 1 John 1:1-4

1. The Character of God Revealed in Christ , 1 John 1:5-10 ; 1 John 2:1-6

2. The New Commandment , 1 John 2:7-28

3. Divine Sonship Tested by Love , 1 John 2:29 ; 1 John 3:1-18

4. The Ground of Assurance , 1 John 3:19-24 ; 1 John 4:1-6

5. “ God Is Love,1 John 4:7-21

6. The Threefold Witness , 1 John 5:1-12

conclusion, 1 John 5:13-21 .


In addition to the Gospel, three Epistles have come to us from the pen of the beloved Apostle. Of these the First is the longest and most important. In form it is more like an essay or treatise than a letter; it bears no salutation nor signature. But if there were no other evidence, its similarity in phrase and thought to the Fourth Gospel would practically decide the question of authorship. Whichever was written first, the relation between the two is perfectly clear and has been aptly expressed by Bishop Westcott: “The theme of the Epistle is, the Christ is Jesus; the theme of the Gospel is, Jesus is the Christ.” The bearing of the Epistle upon practical living is also very plain. It shows that fellowship with the Father and the Son is realized in love of the brethren.

The Second and Third Epistles are very brief, and are private and personal rather than doctrinal. They have been called by Jerome “twin sisters.” In style and spirit they markedly resemble the First Epistle. There is the same emphasis upon love, truth, and obedience. While we are without exact information as to their date, they rank unquestionably among the latest documents in the New Testament.

e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of the Epistles of John in the printed edition

Review Questions on the Epistles of John

Outline of the First Epistle

( a ) What is the theme of the first Epistle?

( b ) What distinguishing feature of the Epistle appears in the outline?


( c ) How do these three Epistles compare as to length?

( d ) What is their relation to the Gospel of John?

( e ) What is the probable date of these Epistles?

I John 1-5

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .

1. What was the nature of the fellowship which John wished to share with others?

2. What is the best evidence of union with Christ?

3. Why does the Apostle address those of various ages?

4. What is the anointing of the Christian?

5. With what announcement does the third chapter open?

6. How may we know that we have “passed from death unto life”?

7. How does the Christian overcome the world?

8. What is the greatest affirmation of this Epistle?

9. What is the threefold witness to our redemption?

10. What four things is the Christian privileged to know!

II John and III John

11. Around what two words does the second Epistle of John revolve?

12. Why is hospitality a Christian grace?

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