Thursday, July 02, 2009

This week's lesson: Overview of the Epistles of John

In the Epistles of John we have something unique.
  • Not letters from Paul to a church he'd left behind (viz. Galatians or Colossians).
  • Not letters from an apostle to a community of churches (viz. James or the letters of Peter).
  • No, John's epistles are letters from a pastor to the church (or churches) in which he is currently serving.
Unfortunately, though the letters are unique, they deal with subjects that would be familiar to any pastor.
  • There is a group whose professed love for God is not matched by their love for other believers.
  • There is a group who is trying to "update" the gospel by ridding it of embarrassing beliefs (such as the incarnation).
  • And there's at least one believer who is trying to grab power for himself by spreading rumors about the pastor!
In short, John may have been an apostle -- but this didn't mean his church members were any better behaved than our own.

And as we study the way John dealt with the problems in his church . . .

Perhaps we can learn how to deal with the people in our own?

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