FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN
Both the Gospel and the three epistles named after John were written by John the Apostle. The first epistle of John was written to a Christian community who faced the Gnostic heresy of the first century.
Apostle John sought to encourage its members to live the kind of life consistent with fellowship with God and His Christ. It deals with such vital themes as righteousness, love, truth and assured knowledge: He does not consider these themes merely as ethical requirements, but as religious realities based upon the Christian revelation of God and His son, the LORD JESUS CHRIST. Therefore Christian doctrine lies at the root of the book and one is tempted at times to think of it as a doctrine exposition of the reality of the incarnation of God in Christ. If we are to follow the mind of John, however we must avoid this temptation since he is primarily concerned with the quality of the Christian life of his readers.
John’s second epistle was written to warn a Christian woman against indiscriminate fellowship with the unbelievers. The leading ideas of this epistle are love, truth and obedience, which partly involve and partly supplement one another. Obedience without love is servile, love without obedience is unreal, and neither of them can flourish outside the realm of truth. The letter is addressed to ‘an elect lady’ which probably is exactly what is meant, though, many interpreters take this as a figurative expression, designating a church. The evidence for such use is weak, and the reason to expect it here is obscure.
The epistle seems to be a private note to some Christian woman of John’s acquaintance, probably a widow, and was occasioned by his meeting some of her children whom he found to be true to faith of Christ.
The purpose of the third letter is to commend Gaius, a loyal and active layman with considerable property, for his Christian hospitality in entertaining itinerant Christian preachers and helping them on their ways, thus participating in their missionary work. The letter also speaks of some internal trouble in that church that involved Gaius and Diotrephes.
THE OUTLINE OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN:
The basis of the christian life- 1 John 1:1-5
Meaning of walking in the light-1 John chapter 1:6-2:2
Accompaniments of fellowship with the Father- 1 John 2:3-28
Obedience- Chapter 2:3-5
Christ likeness- Chapter 2:6
Righteousness: The Mark Of Son-ship- Chapter 2:29-3:24
The reality of son-ship-Chapter 2:29-3 :3
The possibility of purity-Chapter 3:3-10
The Essence of Righteousness-Chapter 3:11-18
The result of righteousness-Chapter 3:19-24
Need for the practice of spiritual discrimination chapter 4:1-6
Love: The proof of son-ship-chapter 4:7-21
Inspiration -Chapter 4:11-16a
Great Assurances of the christian-Chapter 5:1-20
Victory Over the world-Chapter 5:1-4
The finality of Jesus Christ-Chapter 5:5-12
Reality of Salvation-Chapter 5:14-17
Truth of the Gospel-Chapter 5:18-20
Admonition to guard against idolatry-Chapter 5:21
THE OUTLINE OF THE SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN:
The walk in truth and love-1-6
Address and Greeting-1-3
Past Loyalty commended-4
Love and Obedience Enjoined-5-6
Unscriptural wayscontrasted-7 -11
Deceivers in the world- 7-9
Wisdom in Discriminating Fellowship-10:11.
THE OUTLINE OF THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN:
Greetings to Gaius, and commendation-1-8
His Ministry to Brethren-3:8