1 John 4:1-21
Observation Questions, “What does the passage say?”
- What are the repeated words and phrases in this chapter?
- Notice the emphasis on the relational words child, children, son, Father, and references to birth.
- Note the number of times “commandment” is mentioned.
- Note the number of times “world” is used.
- Note the number of times “water” and “blood” are used.
- Note the emphasis on belief.
- As always, note the usage of God, Jesus Christ, Son, etc.
- In verse 13 the author gives us the reason for writing the book, what is it?
- In verses 14-19 note the emphasis on words sin, death, evil (evil one).
- Spend more time than you think you should simply making observations: what do you see?
Interpretation: “What does this passage mean?”
- As in the last chapter, note the parallels here to the gospel of John
- Born of God, children of God – notably the conversation with Nicodemus in John 3
- Love connected with obedience to the commandments, notably John 15.
- The usage of the word “world.” Define this word, note the range of meaning. What is the definition of the world here?
- Water and blood, again, John 3.
- Testimony (1 John 5:6-13) with John 1:7-19; John 3:11, 32-33; John 5:31-36; John 8:13-17; John 21:24.
- John gives a reason for the writing of this book as well as for the writing of the gospel of John, see John 20:31
- In verse 8, most modern translations have a notation about this verse. What is the issue here and what are the problems raised or solutions to the manuscript issue?
- What is a sin leading to death and a sin not leading to death?
- Compare verse 18 with John 17:12-21, what does it mean to “kept” by God or “kept from the evil one”?
- Connect the dots in John’s teaching about love: 2:9-11; 3:10-18 and in the gospel: John 3:16; 15:12-27; 21:15-17.
- Who is the “evil one?” Would it make a difference if this word was translated “evil”?
- Define “eternal life” and how is it different from life – if it is.
Application: “What does the passage mean to me?”
- This book (see introduction) appears to give three tests of faith: the Social Test, the Doctrinal Test, the Moral Test. Summarize the book using these categories.
- There is an emphasis on being born of God and being a child of God, describe the value of framing a life of faith in child-parent terms (1 John 5:21)
- How does this book help you frame issues of life and death?