So here’s what we’re looking at for 1 John.
The book has some very definite themes that are repeated and interwoven throughout the book. Love is clearly the overarching guiding principle: love of God and love of one another. This results in walking in the light, living a life free from willful sin — another big theme in the book. Knowing God and knowing our standing before Him is another one of John’s emphases. These concepts are all linked and intertwined with one another; even listing them out as I just did completely fails to do them justice. Studying the book, it quickly becomes apparent why John writes in such flowing, interweaving language; there is no way to completely separate any of these thoughts from the others.
With that said, I’m finding a few “divisions” (using the term lightly) within the book where these thoughts are approached from slightly different angles. There is much overlap between sections, so this outline is obviously a pretty loose one, but here’s what I see:
- I. Introduction: The Word of Life (1:1-4)
- II. Living Like We Know God (1:5-2:17)
- III. Guarding Against Deception (2:18-4:6)
- IV. Love in the Family of God (4:7-5:23)
I’d love thoughts on this if anyone has input. First John is an incredible book. I’m totally going to go back and spend more time in it after I graduate.