The Well Community Church

Generations Feed Series

1, 2, 3 John / Jude

December 8, 2013

Throughout the Bible, two of the most distinguishing marks of Christ's followers are truth and love. There are dozens and dozens of commands in the Bible for God's people to be a people of truth and a people of love. However, our culture is notorious for polarizing the two. Over the centuries, the church has struggled in swinging the pendulum from one extreme to another – either all truth and no love, or all love and no truth. Thankfully, the four short letters of 1, 2, 3 John and Jude show us the importance of a being a people of both. These books seek to teach us that biblical truth and love should be inseparable in the life of a believer, and that the very nature of the gospel is to bring about an abiding devotion in each.

1 John

Author

John, the brother of James, the son of Zebedee. He was also the author of the Gospel of John, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation.

Date

Likely written between A.D. 90 and 95. Although it is impossible to date the writing of 1 John with any exact precision, most agree it was written late in the first century.

Theme

The Church’s Walk Part 1

The church should walk in love, faith, truth and purity before God, always contending for the faith.

Additional Info

The major problem facing John’s audience was the root beginnings of Docetism and Gnosticism, beliefs that everything material, including man’s flesh, was evil (popularized by Plato) and therefore Jesus, the God, could not have lived in human flesh and still have been without sin. John wrote to warn the churches of Asia to guard themselves against these prideful, antichrist tendencies and rather let their lives demonstrate the reality of the life of Christ.

© Dr. Rick Taylor

2 John

Author

John, the brother of James, the son of Zebedee. He was also the author of the Gospel of John, 1 and 3 John, and Revelation.

Date

Likely written between A.D. 90 and 95. Although it is impossible to date the writing of 2 John with any exact precision, most agree it was written late in the first century.

Theme

The Church’s Walk Part 2

The church should walk in love, faith, truth and purity before God, always contending for the faith.

Additional Info

John was probably in his 80s or 90s at the time he wrote 1, 2 and 3 John and was most likely stationed in Ephesus. The audience of this letter is “the chosen lady and her children.” It is likely an undercover letter. The reason for the obscure address would be understandable considering it was written during the Domitian persecution that ended in about A.D. 96. John wrote it to remind believers to live lives of truth and love, while avoiding deceivers.

© Dr. Rick Taylor

3 John

Author

John, the brother of James, the son of Zebedee. He was also the author of the Gospel of John, 1 and 2 John, and Revelation.

Date

Likely written between A.D. 90 and 95. Although it is impossible to date the writing of 3 John with any exact precision, most agree it was written late in the first century.

Theme

The Church’s Walk Part 3

The church should walk in love, faith, truth and purity before God, always contending for the faith.

Additional Info

Of all John’s received writings, this is his only personal letter. John wrote it to Gaius, commending him for his walk in the Lord, which was characterized by truthfulness and faithfulness.

© Dr. Rick Taylor

Jude

Author

Jude, the brother of James; the half-brother of Jesus.

Date

Likely after A.D. 65 and no later than about A.D. 80. It is impossible to date the writing of Jude with any exactness. However, the later dating makes more sense considering the philosophical issues being dealt with in the letter.

Theme

The Church’s Walk Part 4

The church should walk in love, faith, truth and purity before God, always contending for the faith.

Additional Info

The audience seems to be well acquainted with the Old Testament, yet agnosticism was plaguing them. They were being confronted with an invitation of compromise and conciliation with these false beliefs, and Jude wrote this to challenge believers to be aware of false teachers and avoid falling prey to them.

© Dr. Rick Taylor

Resources for 1, 2, 3 John and Jude

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