1 John – Before We Begin…

The letter of 1 John is traditionally held to be authored by the Apostle John. His name does not appear in the letter, but, he describes himself as an eyewitness of that which he will talk about (1.1-2) and early Christian writers affirmed that John indeed was the author.

The letter is immensely practical and is written to believers (2.12-14, 21, 5.13). You and I are not the original readers, are we, but there is still much to learn from John’s writing. 1 John is notoriously difficult to break down into sections or a coherent outline, so, topics within the letter may feel like they are coming and going seemingly at random. At the core, John is seeking to warn against false teaching and to encourage his readers – and you – to live lives of obedience and love.

Another key theme of John’s is fellowship (1.3). Given the state of the world at the moment, fellowship is perhaps more important than ever. Where we read “fellowship”, John uses this word κοινωνία, “koy-no-nee-a”. He is talking about partnership with others, participation with others, communion with others, a mutual contribution between you and others. Everything he will say, then, both warnings and instructions, is to be received in this context and community of κοινωνία. The Christian life is absolutely, 100%, meant to be lived together. It’s a life lived in beautiful diversity with person-transcending unity.

Before we jump into 1 John in earnest then, I would encourage you today to pause and to ponder the κοινωνία  in your life: is there enough? Do you want more? What can you do to offer others more? Simply, is there enough fellowship in your life?

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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