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The New Testament | The General Letters

1 John

Things to know

Where does the book begin?

John told the people to remember Jesus. Jesus could give them joy.

Places to go

Walk in the Light
1 John 1:5-7

Do not love the world
1 John 2:15-17

Live as children of God
1 John 2:28-3:3

Love one another
1 John 3:13-18

God is love
1 John 4:16-21

Where does the book end?

John reminded the people to stay away from idols*.

People to know



The Story of 1 John

John was an apostle*. He followed Jesus when Jesus walked on the earth. He saw Jesus with his own eyes. [1] He heard him speak. He touched the body of Jesus. So he wrote this letter to witness about Jesus. He wanted people to know about Jesus. He wanted people to know Jesus too.

John wrote this letter to tell people about Jesus. He said that Jesus was God’s own son. He was the ‘Word’ that God sent to give us life. Jesus died to pay for our sins* [2] so that we could be a part of God’s family. God would forgive* people’s sins* because of what Jesus did. People did not have to sin* after they believed in Jesus. But, if they did, God would forgive* them.

‘But God is faithful* and fair. If we admit that we have sinned, he will forgive* us our sins. He will forgive* every wrong thing we have done. He will make us pure.’ [3]

Now people could walk with God like people that walked in the light. When people listened to what Jesus said and did what Jesus did, they walked with God. When people said that they followed Jesus, but did not do what Jesus did, they lied.[4]

The way to walk with Jesus was to obey his commands. And Jesus commanded people to love one another. [5] This was not a new command. It was what the law said all along. [6] So, if we loved God, we would love each other also. [7] If we said we loved Jesus but we did not love other people, we were not telling the truth.

John told people that Jesus was the Christ. He was the one God promised to send to rescue his people. If anyone did not believe this, that person did not know God. In fact, they were the enemies of God the Father and the son. John wanted everyone to know this.

But not everyone agreed with John. There were people in the church* that wanted to lead people down the wrong path. They did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. They did not love their brothers and sisters. They did not live good lives. So John warned the people not to listen to them or live the way they lived. These people did not belong to God. They belonged to the devil*. [8]

How could people know the true people of God? These people listened to his word. They listened to God’s Spirit*. They told the truth about Jesus. They enjoyed friendship with God and with each other. And they had hope*, because they remembered that Jesus would return.


[1] See John 1:1-14

[2] 1 John 2:2

[3] 1 John 1:9

[4] 1 John 2:2

[5] Leviticus 19:18Deuteronomy 30:6b

[6] 1 John 2:7

[7] 1 John 2:9-11

[8] 1 John 3:7-8

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