This is the last week of This Is the New Testament! Each day we’ll read a thematic selection from a different book or two of the Bible, along with supplemental passages that show how the theme of that day’s main reading is found throughout Scripture. We’ll also read a brief summary of each book and a reflection on how the book fits into the larger story of Scripture. This week, we will finish reading the General Epistles and move on to Apocalyptic Literature.
What Are 1, 2 & 3 John? Written by the apostle John, the books of 1, 2 & 3 John describe how believers are to walk in true fellowship with God, actively loving their brothers and sisters in the faith. He writes in these three letters that it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to live this obedient life.
How 1, 2 & 3 John Fit Into the Story:
First John maps out the three main components of saving knowledge of God: faith in Jesus Christ, obedient response to God’s commands, and true love for God and others. This letter shows how Jesus expects His followers to honor Him daily wherever they are.
Second John encourages believers to stay the course, responding to one another with love and the truth of the gospel. This letter challenges readers to remain steadfast in their faith and hope in Jesus Christ, eventually receiving a “full reward” from Him (2Jn 8).
Third John underscores central Christian convictions and testifies to the God-centeredness of the Christian faith. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not mentioned specifically, but in the writer’s view, both are included when referencing God in this letter (3Jn 1, 3–4, 8, 12).
1. How do 1, 2 & 3 John speak to the relationship between genuine faith and loving others? In what area of your life do you struggle to show love to others?
2. How does today’s reading shape your understanding of the story of redemption?
Take time to reflect on your responses and share what you are learning with others in the community in the comments.