Introduction to The Epistles of John

Live As Jesus Lived

This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5–6

The apostle John walked with Jesus for three years. He was part of the inner circle of disciples—along with Peter and James—who witnessed Jesus’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:1), the resurrection of Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:37), and Jesus’s agony in Gethsemane (Mark 14:33).

Jesus also gave John the privilege of caring for Mary, his mother (John 19:27). Can you imagine how many stories Mary told about Jesus’s first thirty years of life during the time she lived with John? No other apostle could have known more about Jesus than John did. No other apostle, therefore, could speak with more authority than John about how to live like Jesus lived.[1]

So how do we follow Jesus’s pattern of living? We walk in truth and love. First John 3:18 says, “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” To maintain fellowship with God and other people, we must balance truth and love in all we do.

Our culture continuously tries to sever love from truth, asserting that love may require us to dilute, distort, or even discard truth. But when we attempt to love without truth, love often devolves into indulgence and ingratiation—practices that ultimately harm others rather than lead them toward godliness.

The epistles of John are about walking in truth and love. Knowing the truth enables us to discern error and avoid it; walking in love enables us to effectively minister to people ensnared in error. Knowing our salvation is irrevocable frees us from fear of condemnation; walking in that assurance motivates us to obey God’s commands with grateful hearts. Knowing God loves us unconditionally gives us the confidence to proclaim his truth; walking in love wraps his truth in grace and mercy so people are drawn to his truth rather than repelled by it.

Demonstrating both love and truth in everyday life are the dual marks of discipleship. The absence of one or the other exposes a counterfeit.

In what ways are you committed to walking in both truth and love? As we begin our study of the epistles of John, let’s all ask God to give us a fuller understanding of how to live as Jesus lived.

Dig Deeper

Read John 8:2–11. How did Jesus model a lifestyle of truth and love toward both the condemners and the condemned?

In John 14:15–21 Jesus connects love to obedience. How is his love for us revealed in this passage? How is his commitment to truth demonstrated?

First Peter 4:8 says that “love covers over a multitude of sins.” Does that mean we should ignore sinful behavior? Consider what Peter says in 1 Peter 4:1–7 about how we should live.

Denise K. Loock

This devotion is part of “The Epistles of John” series.


[1] Although some scholars believe the “John” who wrote the epistles was not the apostle John, Dig Deeper supports the view that the apostle John wrote these three letters.

Comments

  1. is there a way to subscribe to the devotionals or books of the Bible studies?

    1. Author

      Hi Lisa,

      You can purchase the devotional books on Amazon. You can also sign up to receive the weekly devotions. If you’d like me to add your email address to our weekly notification list, please let me know.

Leave a Comment

20 − 14 =