Teaching Session #46 - Sunday 13th February 6.30pm
The Letters of John the Apostle
Main speaker - Mike McLaughlin
Host for the evening - Bernie Pinner
"John’s Gospel was written to bring men to faith. This letter, clearly by the same person, is intended to reassure Christians about their faith - to renew confidence shaken by false teaching. Both Gospel and letter belong to the close of the 1st century. The Christian faith was 50 or 60 years old by this time and had spread throughout the Roman Empire. John, living out his last years at Ephesus in modern Turkey - was probably the only apostle still alive. There was pressure on many Christian groups to incorporate ideas from other philosophies as part of the faith.
John’s first letter was written to counter some early form of ‘Gnosticism’ being propounded by men who were once church members but had now withdrawn from the group. They liked to think of themselves as intellectuals - possessing a superior knowledge of God. They made a complete distinction between the spiritual (which was pure) and the material (which was evil). In practice this often led to immorality. It also led to a denial of Christ’s human nature.
In this strong but tender appeal to his ‘little children’ in the faith, John makes it plain that these ideas cut the heart out of Christianity. If Christ did not become man and die for human sin there is no Christian faith. If any man sins deliberately and habitually he is not a Christian. God is light, and he calls us to walk in the light of his commands. He is Love, and he requires his people to love one another."
Have your Bible ready, bring an open and enquiring mind and as always plenty of questions.
Resources from the session: