John’s letters

John’s three letters

As you have picked up this book I take it you have done so because you want to read and understand the teaching, attitudes and leadership actions of John the disciple, properly the longest serving close follower and favourite of Jesus. John acknowledged Jesus as being The Messiah, The Son of God, sent by God to show us the right way to live and love, when we do the same then we can then enjoy life’s adventure and with the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, allow The Word of God to grow in us.

Before studying any part of the Bible in detail I would suggest that to get the very best out of the exercise A student should first read straight through the particular Bible book and in this case John’s three letters. This will take no more than 20 minutes and will provide a general feel to its style and direction, remembering John is trying to direct the young Christian Church. What follows is my own paraphrase of John’s letters and I would further suggest that you make a point of reading other versions as this will always give a greater breadth of understanding.
A Paraphrase of John’s three letters

The First letter of John

Chapter 1.

Be assured, God’s Word has existed from the beginning, as has his Son, Jesus. Jesus is the messenger of life itself, he lived as one of us and we became his friends. We are witnesses to what he did, we saw him with our eyes, touched him with our hands and together we heard what he said.

Our aim is to pass on his teaching and tell you about the gift of eternal lift, which he offers to everyone and is part of and available from God, The Father. We want you to share in his fellowship, not only with one another but also with The Father and his Son, Jesus.

Jesus was the awaited Messiah: accept him and what he said. You will find that the more you have fellowship with Jesus, the more we will all be able to share together the greatness of his joy.

We want to pass on to you the message that Jesus gave to us. God is that perfect light which has no shadow or darkness. If we try to have fellowship with God and yet continue doing evil, then we are living a lie and therefore we cannot be dealing with the truth. However, if we live according to the light of God’s love, then we can have fellowship with each other and discover the blood of Jesus has cleansed us of evil.

A proof we have of not truly accepted Jesus into our lives is if we believe ourselves to be free of sin and we are deceiving ourselves if we do. When we take our sins to him, we can depend on him to forgive us completely; for if we claim we have not sinned, then we are calling God a liar, for he called us sinners.

Chapter 2.
I have written this to those who have recently come to know Jesus, so they may be encourage not to sin. Remember that if you should sin, Jesus, who is completely free from sin, will plead your case before the Father. He is the one who has final authority over all of us. Jesus died as a sacrifice on our behalf, so that not only our own sins but also those of the whole world can be forgiven.

Only by doing what God wants can we be sure of knowing him. If you say you know him but do not abide by his laws, then you are a liar and Jesus cannot be with you.

Those who obey his laws will find God’s love made perfect in them. Indeed this is the proof that God lives within us. If you believe that you are living within the love of Jesus, then you should be living as he did.

Fellow Christians I am repeating an old command. It is the one given to our ancestors and you have heard it many times before. Yet it is a new command, for Jesus has lived and the truth of life shines from him and so the deceit of darkness has been lifted.

The person who says that he lives in Jesus’ love and hates his fellow Christians is lying to himself. If you truly love your Christian brother, then you really are living in Jesus’ love. There is nothing that can stop you from loving Jesus.

If you as a Christian hate your fellow Christian then you are living in the darkness of evil and this darkness will make you blind. Then you will not be able to see where you ought to be going.

I’m writing to you as my own dear children, because in the name of Jesus your sins are forgiven.
I’m writing to you who have brought others to Christ, because you’ve known him who has always lived.
I’m writing to you young men, because you have conquered Satan, who is the evil one.
I’ve written for you as my dear children since you have come to know God, The Father.
I’ve written for those mature Christians for they have experienced the one who has always lived.
I’ve written for those who are strong in The Spirit because they are living as Christians and have Jesus within them for they have conquered the evil which is Satan.

Do not love this world or the things that make up the world. For if you do love them, then you cannot have the love God wants to give to you. The evil that surrounds us all: the craving for sex, the desire for the things you see, together with the pride of one’s own achievements are of this world, they have nothing to do with God. Only those will remain who have lived as God wants.

My friends, this is your final opportunity for you were told that those opposed to Jesus would come. Well there are now many such people telling you lies about God. Therefore, as we were told this would happen, we know this is our last opportunity. These false teachers have been in our own churches, but they were not filled with the true Spirit of God. Had they been, then they would have stayed with us, yet by leaving, it confirmed they were not committed to us

You, on the other hand, know the love and truth of The Holy Spirit. I’m not writing to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you can recognise the truth and accept that I am writing in the truth. The person who says that Jesus is not the Messiah is a liar. Those who believe Jesus is not the Messiah, are the Antichrist.

A person who denies Jesus is The Son of God does not have God the Father in him, but those who accept Jesus accepts The Father. Always keep within you The Holy Spirit, for he is the gift given to you when you first accepted Jesus. The Spirit was given to you to use and if you do then you will live within God, The Father and in his Son. Jesus promised us that by keeping The Holy Spirit within us we will have eternal life.

I have written these things because I am concerned that you will be deceived and be lead away from Jesus. You have been anointed with The Holy Spirit and he will teach you about all things, for he is the truth and will not lie, do this and you shall live together as one.

And now, my own young Christians, have fellowship with the Father, for, when he does reveal himself, we may be confident to stand before him and not be ashamed. If you know that he is perfect, you will also know that everyone who does God’s commands has been born of him.

Chapter 3.
Stop and think how wonderful God is; The Father lavishes his love on us so much that we are able to call ourselves his children. The world cannot understand us, because they don’t know him. My dearest friends consider, we are the Children of God.

We don’t know what the future brings, however we do know that when Jesus comes again, we will be like him, for then we will know just what he is like. Every person who hopes Jesus will rise again will try to become as pure as Jesus.

Those who sin are breaking God’s laws, since sin is opposed to his law. You know Jesus lived to take away our sins and yet he is sinless. If you live for Jesus you won’t want to sin for those who want to sin have not seen him or know him. My children, in Jesus, do not let anyone deceive you, for those who live by God’s commands are perfect, just as Jesus is perfect.

Those who do not live by God’s commands are sinners, just as Satan is, he is the one who has sinned from the beginning and whose influence The Son of God came to destroy.

Those who are born of God are his Children and they will no longer sin. Those who do wrong or those who do not love their brother are not of God. These things allow us to tell who God’s children are and who are Satan’s.

From the beginning the message has been to love one another. Don’t be like Cain, who followed Satan and murdered his brother. Because his brother Abel followed God ways Cain killed him for Cain was motivated by evil.

Christians don’t be surprised when the world hates us, since we love one another and have turned away from death towards life. The person who cannot love others is close to death. For if you hate those close to you, then you become a murderer and as you know, someone who murders does not received eternal life.

We know the love of Jesus since he laid down his life for us and we need to be prepared to give up our life for our fellow Christians. When someone has more than enough to live on and does not have deep compassion for his brother, then the love of God cannot be within them.

My dearest young coverts to Jesus, we should not just talk of love: we must love with our actions and be truly genuine. It is by our deeds we know if we are being truthful to ourselves and to God. If we do wrong and know it, remember that God understands everything and his compassion and forgiving nature are greater than ours.

My loved ones, if in our hearts we do not condemn ourselves; we can go with confidence before God. We may obtain from him anything we ask, because we obey his laws and do those things that he wants us to do.

This is the law. Believe on the name of his Son, Jesus the Messiah and love each other as he told us to do. Those who do God’s will live in him and he will live in them. We know that through The Spirit he gave us, Jesus lives in us.

Chapter 4.
My loved ones because there are many false teachers around, you will need to test if a spirit is from God, for you cannot believe them all. The test by which to know if someone has the true Spirit of God is, if they will acknowledge that Jesus, The Messiah, is The Son of God and lived as a man.
Those who don’t accept Jesus, The Messiah, is the Son of God are opposed to him. You were told that the spirit of the Antichrist would come; I tell you it is already here in the world.

You new Christians are of God. You have overcome those who oppose Jesus because Jesus lives in you and is more powerful than the spirit that lives in the world. Those who are of the world talk about those matters which concerns the world and therefore the world will listen to them.

We however, are part of God’s family and the members of the family listen to what we have to say. Those who are not part of God’s family will not listen to us. That is another method by which to recognize the difference between the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Lies.

The family of God should love one another, for love is of God. Those who love know God and are part of him. Those that do not love cannot know God, for God is Love.

God demonstrated his love to us by sending his only Son, Jesus The Messiah, to live as a man, so we might live because of what he would do. This is real love, not for our love for God, but God’s love for us, which was shown when he sent his son to gain forgiveness for our sins.

Loved ones, as God loves us so we should be like him and love each other. God has never been seen but if we love each other then he will live in us and his love will be made perfect is us.

You should know God has given us his Spirit, since he lives in us and us in him. We are witnesses and are able to testify that God sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. If you acknowledge that Jesus is The Son of God, then God lives in you and you in God.

We have experienced and have faith in the love God has for us. God is Love. Those who live in love, live in God and God lives in them. The result is that our love is made perfect and we may come to be judged with confidence because we have grown to be like him.

In love there can be no fear, for perfect love drives out fear. To fear means to expect punishment, so you cannot have perfect love if you are afraid. We are able to love him because he loved us first.

If a person says that they love their Heavenly Father but hates someone who loves God then they are a liar. For if they cannot love their Christian brother whom they know, how can they love God whom they have never seen? God taught us that to love him we must love each other.

Chapter 5.
Those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah, The Son of God and loves their Heavenly Father, then they will naturally love all the children of God, that’s when we love and obey God.

Loving God is keeping his commandments and his commandments are not difficult. The children of God have already overcome the world, for having the faith that Jesus is The Son of God gives victory and defeats the world.

Jesus came by water and blood, not just baptised by water but also sacrificed by blood and The Spirit of God is the witness, The Spirit who is the truth. There are three witnesses; the baptismal water, the sacrificial blood and the Holy Spirit. All three agree as one witness; they are the Spirit, The Water and the Blood. If we accept the witness of men then how much greater is the witness of God when he testified for his Son.

Those who believe on The Son of God have the truth in them. Those who do not believe the record that God gave of his son are calling God a liar. The truth is that God has given to us eternal life and this life is in his Son. Those accepting The Son of God have life in The Son; those rejecting The Son will not be given life in The Son.

This letter is to those who believe in The Son of God and tell them that they have eternal life. The proof of this is the confidence we have in Jesus. When we ask for the same things that he would, then we know that he hears us. If we know that he has heard us, no matter what we have asked for, then we also know that we will be given those things.

When you see your Christian brother commit a wrong which is not an unforgivable sin, pray for him and God will forgive him. However do not pray for those who commit that one unforgivable sin. All wrongs are sins but most sins are forgivable.

We know that when we acknowledge God and become his child we leave sin behind us. His son Jesus cares for us and Satan cannot harm him. We know we are of God, not of this world which is controlled by Satan.

We know that The Son of God lives and gives us the understanding to know that he is the truth. We live in God through his Son Jesus, The Messiah. This is the true God; this gives us eternal life

My young family in Jesus, keep away from false gods. Amen.

The Second letter of John

To God’s chosen lady and her Children, I greet you as your loving leader in Jesus. All who share God’s truth, love you, just as I love you; in us is the truth that will be with us forever. Grace, mercy and peace be with you, in the truth and love of God, The Father, together with our Lord Jesus, who is The Messiah, The Son of The Father.

I’m overjoyed to find those who were given to us to care for are living in the Holy Spirit as commanded by The Father. I am not writing a new command for you dear lady, for it is one we have had from the beginning: that is, we are to love one another. Love, is living according to God’s commandments and you have known that we must live in God’s love from the beginning.

Many people in the world will acknowledge Jesus The Messiah did live, but not as a man. They are trying to deceive you and are as such Antichrist. There is great reward in completing the task we have worked for so take care that it is not lost.

Those opposed to the teachings of Jesus do not have God within them. Those doing what Jesus teach, live with The Father and The Son. If anyone teaches anything other than this, then have nothing to do with them and do not accept these people into your home else you will be sharing their evil work.

I will be visiting you, since I have too many things to write to you about, then we may talk together and be filled with God’s joy.

The children of your favourite sister send their greetings.

The Third Letter of John.

To Gaius*, my good friend and who in The Truth I love, greeting from The Elder.

I pray dear friend, that all is well with you and that you are in as good a physical health as you are spiritually. I was overjoyed when our brothers came and told us that the Holy Spirit is in you and how you witness to his truth. It brings me great joy to know that those I care for are walking with God.

Dear friend, you are faithful in the work you do in looking after your fellow Christians who you haven’t met before. They have reported to the church your charity and especially how you are helping them to continue in God’s work. It was in Jesus’ name they came to you, to carry out their purpose, receiving no help from non-believers. As they decided not to take anything from outside the church, it is up to us to support them, so we might work together for the truth.

I did write to your church but Diotrephes, who wants to be the leader there, has persuaded them to reject us. If I am able to visit you I will speak openly about those things I have against him, including his malicious slander and his not welcoming fellow Christians. He has expelled them from the church and has forbidden his congregation to give them any help.

My dear friends do not follow this evil way instead only do good. Doing good is following God’s ways, doing evil means you do not know God. Everyone speaks well of Demetrius and we also will be a witness and you know we speak truthfully.

There are many things I want to write to you about, but not using pen and ink, instead I hope to visit you soon so we may talk freely.
Peace be with you.
Your friends here send their greetings; please remember us to our friends there.
Views on John’s letters

I am particular drawn to the books John wrote in the bible and feel that through his experiences I can come to know Jesus and God’s ways better. It is not surprising that John, who was Jesus’ favourite disciple, writes with total certainty and confidence; so much so that it reads as if you are with him and the truth of what he wrote just shines out. From John I feel I get an accurate reflection of what Jesus, The Son of God did and said, which when studying the logic behind those actions fills an emotion and spiritual void that provides me with the certainty of faith.

To better understand why The Jewish Messiah came and how his amazing offer is then given to non-Jews I decided to study the Bible in greater depth. I have many versions of the Bible to read but I felt the best way for me to understand the views and instructions the author wants to portray was to paraphrase the books.

It is expected that each person who wants to study the Bible will have a view of a bible, but with all the various translations and paraphrases available, together with the problem of copy-writing I decided to offer my own paraphrase of the Letters of John. This is to ensure that you have the words of the bible and the questions on the same page thus making it a lot easier to study.

My hope is that people find it straightforward to follow and makes the reading and study of these three books of John enjoyable, challenging, interesting and stimulating. In my own Bible study I have found a great benefit in reading the various versions and would encourage the use of them all. Writing this Paraphrase I found it interesting that the aim was to try and gain a sense of the passage first and then find the words to express that sense.

At the same time as doing this, I have been a member of various House/Bible study groups and find learning is much easier when dealing with the questions that naturally crop up as one explores different points of view. As a consequence I felt this type of study book would enable views to be challenged allowing answers to flow from the joining together and sharing the responsibility of growing as Christians.

Summery of John’s three letters.

There is a God who has laid down the way we should live and he sent, Jesus, his son to tell us right from wrong. If we live as Our Heavenly Father wants us to and we do the good deeds that will bring a smile to his face, which includes making Jesus, The Lord of our Lives, then we will be forgiven by Jesus for the things we do wrong and we will be taken into God’s family and given the reward of eternal life. In summery we need to love God and one another and not follow false teachers.

John, Jesus’ favourite disciple – Know the man.

There is no direct certainty but, in all probability, the most likely author of the three letters of John was John the Apostle who has also been attributed with two other books in the Bible, John’s Gospel and Revelation. The style of thought and message given is consistent throughout all five pieces of work and there is reasonable additional evidence to give the conclusion that Jesus’ favourite disciple was the author.

John worked as fisherman on the Lake of Galilee with his brother James and their father Zebedee together with their fishermen partners Peter and Andrew. As a young Jewish man John would have studied the Jewish Scripture which are now incorporated in the Bible as the Old Testament. He went to listen to John The Baptist a prophet who was proclaiming that the long awaited Jewish Messiah was about to appear and with his friend Andrew he became one of The Baptist’s followers.

It was on the day following Jesus’ baptism that John and Andrew were told by John The Baptist that Jesus was The Lamb of God and the two young men went and spent a day talking with Jesus. This was the start of Jesus’ ministry and after being baptised Jesus went alone in the desert to prepared himself for what lay ahead. Afterwards Jesus searched out John and Andrew and called them to follower him. At the time they were in their boats fishing along with their brothers; James and Simon Peter, all of which became his first disciples.

We don’t know how long Jesus’ ministry lasted it could have been anything from one to ten years but most consider it was about 3 years. All this time John would have travelled with Jesus and learnt from him first hand, seeing the proof he was after all the promised Messiah by the healings and the miracles that he witnessed Jesus do. This included being taken up a mountain where he saw Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah. And heard God speak, saying, “This is my son, whom I love and I am very pleased with him. Listen to him.”

John again with Peter and James witnessed Jesus bring back to life the daughter of Jairus the leader of a synagogue. John must have felt close to Jesus for he and his brother were ambitious enough to ask Jesus if they could sit either side of him when he came into his glory. Jesus admonishes them and the other disciples saying to be great they must not lord it over others but rather be a servant of others. John, possibly with his friend Andrew, would have been one of the pairs of disciples sent out to preach that people should repent and turn back to God and at the same time he drove out demons and healed people in Jesus’ name.

When Jesus came to Jerusalem for the last time he was questioned by the two sets of brothers on the Mount of Olives about Jesus’ prophecy concerning the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. At the last supper John was asked by Peter to find out from Jesus who was going to betray Jesus. Later that night John was one of the three that were asked to go and pray with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane as Jesus struggled to come to term with what was about to happen to himself.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus in AD33, John experienced meeting, eating and talking with Jesus followed by The Holy Spirit coming upon all Jesus’ close followers at Pentecost. After this John served Peter when Peter took on the role of Leader of the church. He and Peter proclaimed Jesus as The Son of God in the temple and healed a beggar. Due to this they were taken to be questioned before the Sanhedrin. However this court of priests, which included Caiaphas the High Priest, had to let them go but told them not to speak about Jesus. This was the point where Peter and John as Followers of Jesus had to choose to be either obedient to the Jewish leadership or to the teaching that Jesus gave them, which they believed was the will of God. John like the other disciples choose to follow what he had been taught by Jesus.

John became one of the leaders of the church centred in Jerusalem and dealt mostly with Jews who had accepted Jesus was The Son of God. In 64AD Nero the Roman Emperor blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians and their persecution started. At about the same time there was also Anti-Semitic risings in Syria. In Israel in May 66AD the Jews started a war against the Roman occupation starting with riots in Caesarea. One year later Nero the Roman Emperor sent Vespasian and his son Titus to establish control of the area.

At this time of unrest the disciples left Jerusalem and headed for what is now called Turkey. This was in line with advice Jesus gave to leave before the city and Temple were destroyed (Mark 13:14). After Nero died in June of 68AD there was a scramble for his throne and a year later Vespasian was proclaimed emperor and leaving the assault on Jerusalem to Titus who destroyed the city and the temple in 70AD.

At some point about this time it is believed that John was arrested and sent to work in the salt mines on the island of Pathos. Most prisoners died working in appalling conditions yet after his vision and his writing the book of Revelation he somehow managed to be released and settled in a Christian community of Ephesus, which some 30 years earlier had been founded by Paul. It is in Ephesus where he is likely to have written his three letters and later dictated to a scribe his gospel, before his death at some time after 98AD at an age of about 86.

When John as a very old man in Ephesus went to Church meetings, he was carried in on a stretcher, he was especially honoured as being the last surviving apostle, which was the last physical link with Jesus. When unable to preach and share his experience of being a disciple he would tell people the most important instruction they needed to hear, ‘Love one another’. This same theme is in his Gospel and the three letters summarising what he learnt from his teacher, master and friend, The Messiah, Jesus, The Son of God.

Once you have studied John’s letters I trust you will be able to answer positively to this questions, ‘Have you by your study grown in your relationship with Our Heavenly Father, with his Son Jesus, plus allowed more fully God’s Spirit to work within you.’ If so then it has been a worthwhile exercise for all those involved including me. Enjoy the Study.

Study in discussion:- John’s Letters

Using the Paraphrase of John’s Three Letters by Nigel Malka,
In order to discuss openly views held by different people it should be understood that one needs to appreciate it is the responsibility of each and every person to use their own freewill to decide what sort of relationship they are going to have with Jesus. No-one should dictate to another what to believe, for not even God does that. With vastly different backgrounds and experiences we cannot expect any two people to believe everything in exactly the same way. Please just enjoy the experience of testing and discovering for yourself what it is your beliefs are growing into.

Perhaps before you start you might find it interesting to write your own creed, what is it you believe, what is important to you, then do it again after the study and again every few years. This will highlight your progression in your personal relationship with your Heavenly Father.

Consider in your creed:-
 What is your relationship with God, his Son Jesus and The Holy Spirit?
 What is your purpose in living?
 Why do you do what you do?
 How important is God’s Word and ways to you ?
 Why join a community with people who are followers of Jesus?
 Are you dedicated to putting a smile onto God’s face?

Prayer. (to include God’s Spirit in your fellowship and guidance in your thinking)
Heavenly Father please send your Holy Spirit to guide those who gather to study Your Word and strengthen their fellowship. Give them an understanding of Jesus and his teachings so each may gain a commitment and confidence to share that knowledge with whoever they meet. May the peace, hope and joy of God be on all your children as they witness to the truth Jesus brought, Amen.

 Anyone who believes Jesus was a prophet of God, needs to study what he taught. Being a prophet means that his words came directly from God and so his statements, ‘I Am the Way, The Truth and The Life’ together with ‘I am The Light of the world’ needs to be accepted. The consequence of this is that to know and follow The Truth which is of God, then if people accept this as true they need to become Followers of Jesus.

Why study the teaching of Jesus?
In Matthew’s gospel, the first book in the New Testament of the Bible, has in chapter 18 verse 20, Jesus quoted as saying, “I will be with those who meet together in my name”; and again in Matthew, 28:20 Jesus tells his disciples, “Everything I have taught you, you are to go and teach to my followers”.

 Are these not clear instruction to the Followers of Jesus to meet together, to learn from their leaders the teachings of Jesus and in doing so, find Jesus is there with them?

John, Jesus’ first and favourite disciple, wrote his three letters to those who had already made their commitment to follow Jesus. Reminding them of the responsibilities of what it means to be a Christian in their very unChristian society.
Q. Does the persecution of Christians strengthen their resolve?
Q. Are the actions of our politicians and the media in trying to make God irrelevant a form of persecution?

John wrote in a simplistic and straightforward style, yet like all of the bible books he raises more questions than answers. The aim of this book is to encourage people to join together and search out the answers to some of the basic questions that come out of John’s three letters. The hope is that by people coming together to study in this way it will provide each individual with a practical understanding of what they and others think regarding the teachings of Jesus and by doing so grow they relationship with God, themselves and with others .
Q. Why seek to know God?
Q. Is the teaching of Jesus still relevant in today’s society?
Q. What makes a Follower of Jesus?
Q. Are people who call themselves Christian necessarily Followers of Jesus?
Q. What responsibilities does a Christian have?
Q. What sort of Society are we living in?
Q. What advantages are they in studying within a group?

Consider and discuss.

The challenge given by Jesus to all his followers is to witness in their lives his teaching and in doing so making disciples in all nations. To do this his followers need to study Jesus’ life, what he did and said, and the best way to do this is to bring together the different strands of thought in discussion with people who have this same aim. The result will be the growing together of a community which will encourage the actions that try to emulate Jesus and therefore enable each to be better equipped to be his disciple.

Studying God’s Word should be enjoyable and stimulating, enabling the group to grow in fellowship by sharing views and experiences. This however can only be achieved by allowing The Spirit of God to be the guide, helping to build faith and being a comforter when things get difficult. People nowadays are able to read God’s Word for themselves and with the help of God’s Holy Spirit and good leadership the group will come to know and understand their purpose in life, discovering the real joy of living and the reward of being forever in the family of God.

When followers of Jesus join together to study they are effectively worshipping and sharing their love of God, thus becoming part of his worldwide church. Jesus’ followers may meet anywhere, in a hall, home, office or walking the hills, for what is important is the coming together in fellowship with God, His Son Jesus and God’s own Spirit.

This ‘Study in Discussion’ is intended for groups of between four and twelve people who can share their views and so as individuals come to understand God’s ways, his love for us all and enable each person to reflect that knowledge in their lives. A real bonus is that by doing so the group comes to know God, themselves and each other better, giving confidence to one another in their desire to know and live in The Truth.

This study examines the three letters of John asking questions about attitudes as to why and how Jesus’ followers should live. To answer these questions satisfactorily, is best done within a group who will in time have the confidence to express themselves openly, without belittling opinions, and appreciating everyone is at different stages in the relationship with God. To study as a group take a commitment not only to God but also to the group, for such an undertaking means each can in time learn to trust each other and so share their beliefs, hopes and fears honestly knowing what is said in the group stays in the group. Some people will take time to meld into the group and a degree of sensitivity and understanding from each member of is needed to make everyone feel comfortable.

We are taught that those who follow Jesus need to love one another and witness The Word of God in how they live, in doing so, they will receive the reward of eternal life. To be able to witness effectively, Christians need to understand the teaching Jesus gave, so when challenged they are able to witness God’s Word no matter how difficult the questions or indeed the answers might be. John’s letters are only part of the teaching needed to be explored and in doing so The Holy Spirit of God should always be asked to help in giving guidance.

In studying John’s Letters many questions arise which when discussed can open up areas of Christian belief that brings disagreement. There needs to be an awareness of the different depths of the relations people have with God and sensitivity towards what can be explored with one another. Whenever the Bible is read and re-read, new aspects are revealed ensuring there is no limit to the level of understanding that can be gained. No leader is likely to have all the answers that will satisfy everyone.

The time taken to work through the questions posed in this book plus those additional points that are naturally prompted by discussions will need to be taken at the pace everyone in the group feels comfortable with. John repeats particular themes and therefore questions may be revisited. Each question does have its answer, even when agreement is found to be difficult within a group.

The objective is for each Christian is to come to an understanding for themselves, regarding their relationship with Jesus and their commitment to God. Following this there will be a natural desire to develop the skills and gifts given in order that they may be used for God’s glory. This is where the group can provide additional support to help each other in their walk with God and witness his amazing love.
Why John’s Letters?

Questions just pour out of the Bible and none more so than in the books Jesus’ favourite disciple wrote. In his three letters, John repeatedly writes his main messages of loving one another and encouraging Followers of Jesus to keep to God’s ways.

John, like all the followers of Jesus, was given the commission to bring the Good News that Jesus taught to others. This means that anyone who chooses can have a personal relationship with God and become a member of his family for eternity. To enable us to know how to have a personal relationship with God, John emphasises the most important commandment Jesus gave, ‘Keep to the ways of God by first loving God, then ourselves and then one another’.

John expresses Jesus’ life and in a clear straightforward manner, which anyone may understand and relate to. The letters were written almost 2,000 years ago and are just as relevant to Followers of Jesus today if The Word of God is to continue to live within our hearts.

Starting the study
Before starting on the individual sections and dealing with the questions the group, if not already established, may find it of benefit for those members who feel able, to give a short witness of their walk with Jesus and what they hope the group and this study will provide them . This should then be followed by reading the three letters, which will give an appreciation of what John is expressing before going into the detail.
The First letter of John

Chapter 1.

Assurance of God and his Son Jesus.
Be assured, God’s Word has existed from the beginning, as has his Son, Jesus. Jesus is the messenger of life itself, he lived as one of us and we became his friends. We are witnesses to what he did, we saw him with our eyes, touched him with our hands and together we heard what he said.
Q Why should the author not give his name to the document as was normal practice?
Q. Why should John need to write to assure Christians that God’s Word existed from the beginning?
Q Who in our churches today do we trust enough so we accept their assurances that God exist?
Q. Why is it important for John to make the point ‘God has existed from the beginning’? He writes the same in his Gospel ‘In the Beginning was the Word’.
Q. Why in today’s western society, when Darwin used his theory to try to explain how God created everything, do people not want to accept The Creator God?
Q In what form did Jesus exist, before he lived as one of us?
Q. Why the emphasis that ‘Jesus lived as one of us’?
Q. Is writing he was Jesus’ friend an indication the writer was one of disciples?
Q. What is meant by, ’Jesus is the messenger of life itself’?
Q. Why should John gives credibility to his letter by writing he knew Jesus personally?
Q. Why do people put greater trust in they eyes than in their hearts?
Q Was the reason John wrote he touched Jesus to overcome the Gnostics view that Jesus was wholly God and not man and therefore could not have been fully human? Part of Gnostics belief is God is a wholly spiritual and is wholly good therefore anything physical could not be of God and therefore must be evil.
Your reply to – How do you know there is a God?

Our Aim
Our aim is to pass on his teaching and tell you about the gift of eternal lift, which he offers to everyone and is part of and available from God, The Father. We want you to share in his fellowship, not only with one another but also with The Father and his Son, Jesus.
Q. Jesus gave to his disciples the prime aims of witnessing his life and of God’s ways. How can we tell if this is a driving force behind a follower of Jesus?
Q. What can we expect eternal life to be like?
Q Does God choosing people conflict with John’s statement that eternal life is offered to everyone?
Q. Does the title ‘Father’ given to God give some people a false view of God?
Q. How is fellowship different from friendship?
Q Are we expected to like all fellow Christians?
Q. Can we have fellowship without The Father and his Son Jesus?
Your reply to –Why should God want us to be with him for eternity?

Fellowship with Jesus
Jesus was the awaited Messiah: accept him and what he said. You will find that the more you have fellowship with Jesus, the more we will all be able to share together the greatness of his joy.
Q. What do we have to do to accept Jesus and when we do, what affect does it have?
Q Do we have to accept blindly everything Jesus taught?
Q How do we share fellowship with Jesus?
Q. How is joy different from happiness?
Your reply to – What sort of joy can be found in Jesus?

God is perfect
We want to pass on to you the message that Jesus gave to us. God is that perfect light which has no shadow or darkness. If we try to have fellowship with God and yet continue doing evil, then we are living a lie and therefore we cannot be dealing with the truth. However, if we live according to the light of God’s love, then we can have fellowship with each other and discover the blood of Jesus has cleansed us of evil.
Q. Jesus taught God exists and is perfect, how can we express this to others?
Q. What is evil, why do we do it and how are we influence to do it?
Q. What is truth, who tells it and who can we trust?
Q. Why should God want fellowship with people, knowing we’re not prefect?
Q. Can their be more than one truth?
Q. Who can we trust to teach us the truth?
Q How can we live to the light of God’s love?
Q What stops us being cleansed of evil?
Your reply to – As people have been considered to be worthy to have fellowship with God, does that mean we ought to have a better opinion of ourselves?

We have sinned
A proof we have of not truly accepted Jesus into our lives is if we believe ourselves to be free of sin and we are deceiving ourselves if we do. When we take our sins to him, we can depend on him to forgive us completely; for if we claim we have not sinned, then we are calling God a liar, for he called us sinners.
Q. Do we ever feel so good about ourselves that we think we are free of sin?
Q. Why should people who are comfortable and content often do nothing for others?
Q Why do people often hold onto their sins and not accept forgiveness?
Q. When sins are forgiven do we give them to Jesus or hold on to them?
Q. Can God be a liar?
Your reply to – What is sin?
Chapter 2.
Freed from sin
I have written this to those who have recently come to know Jesus, so they may be encouraged not to sin. Remember that if you should sin, Jesus, who is completely free from sin, will plead your case before the Father. He is the one who has final authority over all of us. Jesus died as a sacrifice on our behalf, so that not only our own sins but also those of the whole world can be forgiven.
Q. How important is it to encourage others and how best to do it?
Q. Jesus accepts we sin and forgive us, but is that a reason for us to sin or not to sin?
Q. What should it mean that Jesus has final authority over us?
Q. How does it affect us that Jesus died as a sacrifice on our behalf?
Q. Did Jesus die as a sacrifice or a result of being willing to only witness to the truth?
Q. Is John implying that the whole world will be forgiven anyway?
Your reply to – If God loves us so much won’t he forgive everyone anyway?

Knowing God
Only by doing what God wants can we be sure of knowing him. If you say you know him but do not abide by his laws, then you are a liar and Jesus cannot be with you.
Q. How do we know what God wants?
Q. Why should we want to know God?
Q. Can we really know God?
Q Could someone know God yet not want to abide by his laws?
Q. If we don’t know Jesus can we still know God?
Your reply to – Why should God want to know us?

Finding God’s love
Those who obey his laws will find God’s love made perfect in them. Indeed this is the proof that God lives within us. If you believe that you are living within the love of Jesus, then you should be living as he did.
Q. Is obeying God’s laws too high a standard for people?
Q. Can we identify the proof that God is living within others and in ourselves?
Q What is living in the love of Jesus?
Q Could we in our modern world live as Jesus lived?
Your reply to – How can we live as someone who 2000 years ago was in a very different society?

Command for Christian’s
Fellow Christians I am repeating an old command. It is the one given to our ancestors and you have heard it many times before. Yet it is a new command, for Jesus has lived and the truth of life shines from him and so the deceit of darkness has been lifted.
Q. What is the old command that he is repeating?
Q. What is the truth of life?
Q. How do we recognise truth?
Q What is the deceit of darkness?
Your reply to – How can God’s commands be right for anyone nowadays?

Living in Jesus’ love
The person who says that he lives in Jesus’ love and hates his fellow Christians is lying to himself. If you truly love your Christian brother, then you really are living in Jesus’ love. There is nothing that can stop you from loving Jesus.
Q. What is a Christian?
Q. Why don’t Christians live as part of one community?
Q Do we have to love all our fellow Christians?
Q. Why are people stopped from loving Jesus?
Your reply to – Why can’t Christian churches get on with one another?
Living in evil
If you as a Christian hate your fellow Christian then you are living in the darkness of evil and this darkness will make you blind. Then you will not be able to see where you ought to be going.
Q. How do we overcome the feeling of hate for another person?
Q. What is evil?
Q. Is there any difference between evil and sin?
Q. How do we recognise this darkness of evil?
Q. In what sense does evil make people blind?
Q What effect has evil on people?
Your reply to – Is it just good and evil to God or is there something in-between?

Christians at different stages
I’m writing to you as my own dear children, because in the name of Jesus your sins are forgiven.
I’m writing to you who have brought others to Christ, because you’ve known him who has always lived.
I’m writing to you young men, because you have conquered Satan, who is the evil one.
I’ve written for you as my dear children since you have come to know God, The Father.
I’ve written for those mature Christians for they have experienced the one who has always lived.
I’ve written for those who are strong in The Spirit because they are living as Christians and have Jesus within them for they have conquered the evil which is Satan.
Q. Are all past present and future sins forgiven when you become Christian?
Q. Do Christians have a responsibility to those who they have witnessed to?
Q. Is conquering sin, simply the acceptance of making Jesus your Lord
Q What is the way to come to know God?
Q. What growth is needed to progress from a young Christian to a mature one.
Q. Do we ever stop developing as a Christian?
Your reply to – Are Christians rewarded by God depending on the what they do?

Evil surrounds us
Do not love this world or the things that make up the world. For if you do love them, then you cannot have the love God wants to give to you. The evil that surrounds us all: the craving for sex, the desire for the things you see, together with the pride of one’s own achievements are of this world, they have nothing to do with God. Only those will remain who have lived as God wants.
Q. What is it we love of the world that is not of God?
Q. Are not our desires part of our creators design for us?
Q Is it evil to have desires for sex, things we would like to have and pride in the things we do?
Q What is it that God wants of us?
Q What do we think of a God that judges so absolutely?
Q Why are we being judged?
Q Why should we be judged on God’s laws?
Q. Is it obsession that turns something good like sex and pride into evil
Your reply to – Did God send the prophets to tell people how to behave and his son to forgive because he is partially responsible for allowing us the choice to do evil in the first place?
False teachers
My friends, this is your final opportunity for you were told that those opposed to Jesus would come. Well there are now many such people telling you lies about God. Therefore, as we were told this would happen, we know this is our last opportunity. These false teachers have been in our own churches, but they were not filled with the true Spirit of God. Had they been, then they would have stayed with us, yet by leaving, it confirmed they were not committed to us.
Q. Who are those who are opposed to Jesus?
Q. What lies are being told about God and how do we know they are lies?
Q Are prophecies that come true another proof of God?
Q How do we recognise and deal with false teachers in our own churches?
Q How can we tell when someone is filled with The Spirit of God?
Q If once filled with God’s Spirit can it be misguided or lost?
Q. Are people corrupted by the authority and kudos given to them?
Q Do Christian have to join a church?
Q. Why would people leave a church to join another one and does this show a lack of The Spirit of God working in either or both?
Q. Is the style of worship or the love demonstrated by the church community less important than the growth of the individual’s relationship with God?
Your reply to – How do we know who is telling us the truth?

Knowing the Truth
You, on the other hand, know the love and truth of The Holy Spirit. I’m not writing to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you can recognise the truth and accept that I am writing in the truth. The person who says that Jesus is not the Messiah is a liar. Those who believe Jesus is not the Messiah, are the Antichrist.
Q. Are we expected to know the love and truth of The Holy Spirit the moment we accept Jesus as our saviour?
Q. How can we be sure of recognising the truth?
Q John was a disciple of Jesus, and was given The Holy Spirit and so we can be sure he is writing in the truth. How can we be sure others have the same authority from God to teach us?
Q Who in this world are the Antichrists’?
Q. How can it be declared that Jesus is not the Messiah
Q What would be the motives behind not accepting Jesus as the Messiah?
Q Does Jesus being The Messiah make him equal with God?
Q How should Followers of Jesus act towards individuals and institutions (media, political parties, religions etc.) who speak out against Jesus?
Your reply to – Is everyone and everything who speaks against Christianity an Antichrist?
God’s Spirit
A person who denies Jesus is The Son of God does not have God the Father in him, but those who accept Jesus accepts The Father. Always keep within you The Holy Spirit, for he is the gift given to you when you first accepted Jesus. The Spirit was given to you to use and if you do then you will live within God, The Father and in his Son. Jesus promised us that by keeping The Holy Spirit within us we will have eternal life.
Q. Do the current Christian churches emphasize enough the ramification of not accepting Jesus as The Son of God.
Q Do faiths that don’t acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, still worship the same God but not their Father?
Q. What relationship would The One God have with other faiths?
Q. What was so special about Jesus that he made John believe he was The Son of God?
Q Who is The Holy Spirit?
Q. Do Christians have to accept the gift of The Holy Spirit?
Q Can the Holy Spirit be within those who have not accepted Jesus as The Son of God?
Your reply to – What sort of existence would eternal life be like?

Togetherness
I have written these things because I am concerned that you will be deceived and be lead away from Jesus. You have been anointed with The Holy Spirit and he will teach you about all things, for he is the truth and will not lie, do this and you shall live together as one.
Q. How easy it is to be turned away from Jesus?
Q. Can only Christians experienced The Holy Spirit?
Q At what point are we anointed with The Holy Spirit?
Q Is the church encouraging Christian to be anointed The Holy Spirit?
Q How can we live as one with The Holy Spirit?
Your reply to – How can anyone tell when they have been touched by The Holy Spirit?

Be confident
And now, my own young Christians, have fellowship with the Father, for, when he does reveal himself, we may be confident to stand before him and not be ashamed. You will then know that he is perfect, you will also know that everyone who does God’s commands has been born of him.
Q. How do Christians have fellowship with The Father?
Q Is our church and its members standing confidently?
Q How do Christians give the impression they are ashamed of being Christian?
Q Why does the world not want to know God?
Your reply to – How can people be certain about things they can’t see?

Chapter 3.

Children of God
Stop and think how wonderful God is; The Father lavishes his love on us so much that we are able to call ourselves his children. The world cannot understand us, because they don’t know him. My dearest friends consider, we are the Children of God.
Q1301. What are the things that make God wonderful?
Q. How does God lavish love on us?
Q Do we consider ourselves to be children of God, Our Creator Father?
Q. For followers of Jesus should the term Heavenly Father be a name or a relationship?
Q What type of relationship should Followers of Jesus have with God?
Q Why can’t the world understand us and why don’t they know God?
Q What are the consequences and responsibilities of being God’s children?
Your reply to – What is it about mankind that makes God want us?
Be like Jesus
We don’t know what the future brings, however we do know that when Jesus comes again, we will be like him, for then we will know just what he is like. Every person who hopes Jesus will rise again will try to become as pure as Jesus.
Q. How is the second coming of Jesus important to our lives at present?
Q. From what Jesus said and did, can we gain a picture of his character and personality?
Q How can we work towards become as pure as Jesus?
Q Do Followers of Jesus want his second coming to happen now?
Your reply to – What proof is there that Jesus came back to life?

Sin or sinless
Those who sin are breaking God’s laws, since sin is opposed to his law. You know Jesus lived to take away our sins and yet he is sinless. If you live for Jesus you won’t want to sin for those who want to sin have not seen him or know him. My children, in Jesus, do not let anyone deceive you, for those who live by God’s commands are perfect, just as Jesus is perfect.
Q. Is God’s law everything as is written in the Bible without alteration?
Q. Does the society lived in change God’s laws?
Q Are all God’s laws of equal significant?
Q Would it be right for leaders of our churches to consider their congregation as their children?
Q Who and how would people/organisations try to deceive us?
Q Can any Follower of Jesus live by God’s commands and be perfect?
Your reply to – If Jesus was perfect why didn’t the priest recognise him as the Messiah?

Satan the Sinner
Those who do not live by God’s commands are sinners, just as Satan is, he is the one who has sinned from the beginning and whose influence The Son of God came to destroy.
Q. The first commandment is to love God, are therefore all atheists and agnostics sinners, no matter how they live?
Q. Who is Satan, and what is his aim in existing?
Q Who created Satan?
Q Who created good and evil?
Q. Does Satan’s existence nullify the notion of fate and predestination?
Q Is Satan influence only directed at the human race?
Q Why does God allow evil, sadness, illness etc?
Q Were Satan and evil destroyed would that also destroy our freewill?
Your reply to – Why does God allow Satan to exist?

God’s children
Those who are born of God are his Children and they will no longer sin. Those who do wrong or those who do not love their brother are not of God. These things allow us to tell who God’s children are and who are Satan’s.
Q. How are we to be born of God?
Q. How should Children of God view themselves?
Q. Is it possible that we could no longer sin?
Q As we have to love our brothers do we also have to like them?
Q How should we deal with people we just don’t get on with?
Q How sure can we be of knowing who a person’s spiritual father is?
Your reply to – Does God expect us never to do anything wrong?
Motivated by evil
From the beginning the message has been to love one another. Don’t be like Cain, who followed Satan and murdered his brother. Because his brother Abel followed God ways Cain killed him for Cain was motivated by evil.
Q. Is love for one another, an instinct created within us all?
Q. What is evil?
Q Why should Satan want to lead people to do evil?
Q. Does doing evil ever bring comfort and happiness in the long term?
Q Can we recognise why evil may motivate people?
Q At the point of doing evil do we recognise that what is about to be done is evil?
Q How can we stop doing evil, even when something it seems so desirable?
Your reply to – Are the stories of the creation, Adam, Eve, Cain and Able in the Old Testament true, a parable or made up stories?

Result of hate
Christians don’t be surprised when the world hates us, since we love one another and have turned away from death towards life. The person who cannot love others is close to death. For if you hate those close to you, then you become a murderer and as you know, someone who murders does not received eternal life.
Q What do Follower of Jesus have to believe to be a Christian?
Q. Why do some people hate those who do not conform to their way of thinking?
Q. Do Christian communities really love one another, and if not how can love be encouraged?
Q Could teaching against God’s Laws be considered as attempted spiritual murder?
Q Why should hating those close to you be equivalent to murder?
Q Why cannot a murderer receive forgiveness and gain eternal life?
Your reply to – Should a murderer be forgiven?

Sacrifice
We know the love of Jesus since he laid down his life for us and we need to be prepared to give up our life for our fellow Christians. When someone has more than enough to live on and does not have deep compassion for his brother, then the love of God cannot be within them.
Q Does giving up the way we shouldn’t live our lives the level of commitment needed to be a Follower of Jesus?
Q. If Christians should be prepared to change their lives to do what Jesus teaches, why don’t they give more of their time and energy to the church community?
Q. Who are our brothers?
Q How much should we give away?
Your reply to –Christianity is unrealistic, for we need to look after ourselves first?

Known by our deeds
My dearest young coverts to Jesus, we should not just talk of love: we must love with our actions and be truly genuine. It is by our deeds we know if we are being truthful to ourselves and to God. If we do wrong and know it, remember that God understands everything and his compassion and forgiving nature are greater than ours.
Q. How should we demonstrate our love is actions?
Q. Does being genuine mean we should be prepare to be open and truthful even if it is likely to be unpopular or even hurtful?
Q When told the truth, as someone sees it, should that cause upset?
Q How should we act when we know we have done something wrong?
Q Can the excuse we do not have the same forgiving nature as God be used when we do not forgive people?
Your reply to – If we are saved by faith in Jesus, why are our deeds important?
Prayer
My loved ones, if in our hearts we do not condemn ourselves; we can go with confidence before God. We may obtain from him anything we ask, because we obey his laws and do those things that he wants us to do.
Q. Do we not condemn ourselves by understanding we have sinned and need forgiveness?
Q. Why doesn’t prayer always get answered?
Q Why are Christians fearful of asking God for the things they want?
Q What are the requests that God will not answer?
Q How do we decide how best to use the different skills we have been given?
Q. Can there be any retirement for Christians?
Your reply to – Why didn’t God grant Jesus’ prayer when he asked not to suffer his trail and death?

Jesus lives in us
This is the law. Believe on the name of his Son, Jesus the Messiah and love each other as he told us to do. Those who do God’s will live in him and he will live in them. We know that through The Spirit he gave us, Jesus lives in us.
Q Are all the laws other than belief on Jesus and loving each other simply Man made?
Q. What s the best way for Christians to recognise and learn God’s will?
Q. Does the Law need expanding beyond belief on Jesus and loving each other and if so, how?
Q How can we recognise the way in which God’s Spirit live in us?
Q Why should Jesus want to give his followers the gift of the Holy Spirit?
Your reply to – How can God or Jesus live in us?

Chapter 4.

Test The Spirit
My loved ones because there are many false teachers around, you will need to test if a spirit is from God, for you cannot believe them all. The test by which to know if someone has the true Spirit of God is, if they will acknowledge that Jesus, The Messiah, is The Son of God and lived as a man.
Q. Who are the false teachers and how do we know them?
Q What do these false teachers teach?
Q. Who can we believe and do we have to believe every thing they say?
Q Can’t false teachers also lie, saying they acknowledge Jesus as The Son of God and lived as a man?
Your reply to – Why are they so many different Christian churches if Christians all believe in Jesus?

The Antichrist
Those who don’t accept Jesus, The Messiah, is the Son of God are opposed to him. You were told that the spirit of the Antichrist would come; I tell you it is already here in the world.
Q. Who are today’s Antichrist’s
Q. What was Jesus’ style of preaching?
Q Are the people who are the most certain and expect others to believe as they believe more dangerous than people who open your mind to think for yourself?
Your reply to – What should be the attitude of Christians to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism Agnosticism, atheism and every other kind of belief that doesn’t acknowledge Jesus as The Messiah?
A different world
You new Christians are of God. You have overcome those who oppose Jesus because Jesus lives in you and is more powerful than the spirit that lives in the world. Those who are of the world talk about those matters which concerns the world and therefore the world will listen to them.
Q. Do Christians portray God within them?
Q. How does Jesus manifest himself in us?
Q. How should Christian be concerned about the world?
Q What is the spirit that lives in the world?
Q Who does God consider to be ‘The World’?
Q Why are the people of the world only seem to be interested in the things of the world?
Your reply to – What power does this ‘Spirit living in the world’ have?

God’s Family
We however, are part of God’s family and the members of the family listen to what we have to say. Those who are not part of God’s family will not listen to us and this is another method by which to recognize the difference between the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Lies.
Q. Are members of churches always living as members of a family?
Q. How can Christians match God’s expectation of being a family?
Q Do all levels within God’s family listen and appreciate each another?
Q How can Christians discern which spirit those who dictate policy and doctrine are being led by?
Your reply to – Does someone have to belong to a church, to be a Christian?

Love is of God
The family of God should love one another, for love is of God. Those who love know God and are part of him. Those that do not love cannot know God, for God is Love.
Q. Are all churches considered to be part of the Family of God?
Q How can Followers of Jesus demonstrate their love to one another?
Q What are the difficult areas of Love?
Q. How would God answer the accusation his love does not care for everyone since there is so much hurt and sadness in the world?
Your reply to – How is the love of God any different from the love people have for one another?

Sending The Son
God demonstrated his love to us by sending his only Son, Jesus, The Messiah; to live as a man, so we might live because of what he would do. This is real love, not for our love for God, but God’s love for us, which was shown when he sent his son to gain forgiveness for our sins.
Q. How does sending Jesus show us God’s love?
Q. What is a Messiah? (Messiah was translated by the Greek as Christ)
Q Why is it important Jesus came to live as a man?
Q Why should God want to have people forgiven?
Your reply to – Why can’t God accept us for who we are, including good and bad?

Love like God loves.
Loved ones, as God loves us so we should be like him and love each other. God has never been seen but if we love each other then he will live in us and his love will be made perfect is us.
Q. As God want as to be like him, does that mean we can know his character and fully understand him?
Q. As God loves us, does that mean God feels we are worthy of being loved?
Q. How can God live within anyone?
Q How can we see God’s love within someone?
Q Do we believe God’s love can be made perfect in us, if so does that mean we can be prefect?
Your reply to – What purpose do people have in God’s creation?
God’s Spirit
You should know God has given us his Spirit, since he lives in us and us in him. We are witnesses and are able to testify that God sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. If you acknowledge that Jesus is The Son of God, then God lives in you and you in God.
Q What sort of things reminds us that God is living within us?
Q. What sort of things stops us forgetting that God is living within us?
Q. Are Christians prepared to witness openly for God?
Q If Jesus failed to convince everyone he was The Son of God how can we expected to do what he couldn’t?
Q Is everyone to be convinced Jesus is their Saviour?
Q What proof do we have that Jesus is God’s Son?
Q When is it difficult to acknowledge Jesus is God’s Son?
Your reply to – If God lives in someone does that make them God?

Perfect Love
We have experienced and have faith in the love God has for us. God is Love. Those who live in love, live in God and God lives in them. The result is that our love is made perfect and we may come to be judged with confidence because we have grown to be like him.
Q. What gives us faith that God does love us?
Q. How does human love differ from God’s love.
Q. As God is Love is all love part of God?
Q What is the best way to grow our love?
Q How does our attitude and actions change as we become more confidence that God is living in us?
Q Should Christian welcome being judged by God?
Q Is there a hierocracy in heaven?
Your reply to – Is not pure love not judging, just forgiving everyone?

No fear in love
In love there can be no fear, for perfect love drives out fear. To fear, means to expect punishment, so you cannot have perfect love if you are afraid. We are able to love him because he loved us first.
Q. Should Christians fear anything?
Q. Are things that people fear not of God?
Q. How can Christians remove fear from their lives?
Q Why when forgiveness is offered do some Christians hold on to their sins and continue to fear punishment?
Q. Does loving God mean Christian never need to worry or fear things?
Your reply to – What are our responsibilities to our Creator?

Love each other
If a person says that they love their Heavenly Father but hates someone who loves God then they are a liar. For if they cannot love their Christian brother whom they know, how can they love God whom they have never seen? God taught us that to love him we must love each other.
Q. How do we love people we don’t like?
Q. Should we tell the hard truth to our fellow Christians as John does by calling people liars?
Q How difficult is it to love God when we don’t see God?
Q. How valid are feeling and emotions in knowing God?
Q Do Christians really love one another?
Q Is a Christian’s love for their fellow Christians any different from their love towards non-Christians?
Your reply to – Is not God being unrealistic to expect people to love one another all the time?
Chapter 5.

Believe Jesus is the Messiah
Those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah, The Son of God and loves their Heavenly Father, then they will naturally love all the children of God, that’s when we love and obey God.
Q What is a Messiah?
Q Can there be more than one Messiah?
Q. What of those who truly love God but cannot accept Jesus as the Messiah?
Q If we are to love all the Children of God why do church communities isolate themselves?
Q. How should we obey God?
Your reply to – How long does it take to get to loving and obeying God?

Keeping commandments
Loving God is keeping his commandments and his commandments are not difficult. The children of God have already overcome the world, for having the faith that Jesus is The Son of God gives victory and defeats the world.
Q Do Christians know and agree on what God’s commandments are?
Q. Is Jesus’ teaching different from that in the Old Testament?
Q Why would John tell us that God’s commandments are not difficult when no one can keep them?
Q Why do we not keep God’s commandments if they are not difficult to keep?
Q Do all people calling themselves Christians have the depth of commitment needed to be a Follower of Jesus?
Your reply to – Where do God’s laws differ from the laws of the Land?

Three witnesses
Jesus came by water and blood, not just baptised by water but also sacrificed by blood and The Spirit of God is the witness, The Spirit who is the truth. There are three witnesses; the baptismal water, the sacrificial blood and the Holy Spirit. All three agree as one witness; they are the Spirit, The Water and the Blood. If we accept the witness of men then how much greater is the witness of God when he testified for his Son.
Q Do Christians need to experience baptism, sacrifice and God’s Spirit?
Q. What do followers of Jesus need to do to be like Jesus?
Q. Should Children be baptised?
Q What actions in our lives witness Jesus?
Q Who would we be prepared to witness for being Followers of Jesus?
Q Do we know people who would witness that we are Followers of Jesus?
Your reply to – Does loving God mean his followers have to sacrifice themselves?

Life in The Son
Those who believe on The Son of God have the truth in them. Those who do not believe the prophecies God gave about his son are calling God a liar. The truth is that God has given to us eternal life and this life is in his Son. Those accepting The Son of God have life in The Son; those rejecting The Son will not be given life in The Son.
Q. Belief on the Son of God provides people with the potential for knowing the truth but does that mean they always live it?
Q What is truth and how can it lived?
Q Does seeking answers to questions gain a greater depth of truth and knowledge about Jesus and God’s ways?
Q Why would God give prophecies and are prophecies part of the proof that God exists?
Q Could God lie and what are the ramifications for us if he does or doesn’t?
Q What is eternal life likely to be like?
Q Should we be excited or frightening about living with God forever?
Q Do we have to accept the gift offered of eternal life?
Q Does having to accept Jesus as The Son of God mean that the Gift of eternal life is earned by people making that decision?
Your reply to – How can a loving God send his Son to suffer?

Prayers answered.
This letter is to those who believe in The Son of God and tell them that they have eternal life. The proof of this is the confidence we have in Jesus. When we ask for the same things that he would, then we know that he hears us. If we know that he has heard us, no matter what we have asked for, then we also know that we will be given those things.
Q Would those who do not believe in the Son of God be able to relate to this letter?
Q. Would wanting eternal life be a valid reason in itself for people to become Christian?
Q How do people gain confidence in Jesus?
Q When people pray do they first consider if Jesus would be asking for the same things?
Q How do we assess what it is that Jesus would want?
Q Why are prayers not always answered the way we want?
Q Why wouldn’t a person become a Christian when that was prayed for?
Q What are the things that we shouldn’t pray for?
Your reply to – Why didn’t God grant Jesus’ pray not to suffer in the way he did?

Praying for one another
When you see your Christian brother commit a wrong which is not an unforgivable sin, pray for him and God will forgive him. However do not pray for those who commit that one unforgivable sin. All wrongs are sins but most sins are forgivable.
Q Why would someone want to pray for forgiveness for someone else’s sin if that person is not praying for it themselves?
Q. Should forgiveness be given to those who do not ask for it?
Q What is an unforgivable sin?
Q Are we able to define every sin or is it a question of what is the reason behind the action?
Your reply to – Why won’t God forgive everything to someone who loves him?

We are of God.
We know that when we acknowledge God and become his child we leave sin behind us. His son Jesus cares for us and Satan cannot harm him, so remember we are of God, not of this world which is controlled by Satan.
Q. Can we ever be free of sin?
Q. If we continue to Sin does it mean we cannot be God’s children?
Q. Who is Satan and why can’t he harm Jesus?
Q How do we know we are of God?
Q How does Satan get to control the World and why does God let him?
Your reply to –Why is it that people have to suffer?

We live in God
We know that The Son of God lives and gives us the understanding to know that he is the truth. We live in God through his Son Jesus, The Messiah. This is the true God; this gives us eternal life.
Q What proof do Christians have that The Son of God lives?
Q If knowing Jesus gives people the truth, why are there so many different churches?
Q How can people recognise the truth?
Q What made Jesus the Messiah rather than a prophet of God?
Q. How should the followers of Jesus witness that they know The Son of God lives?
Q. Why do people reject the truth Jesus offers?
Your reply to – Is Jesus God, or is he equal to or the same as God?
False Gods.
My young family in Jesus, keep away from false gods. Amen.
Q. How should Christian show God they are all part of his family?
Q. Who are these false gods?
Q What is the best way of keeping away from false gods?
Your reply to – Is praying to saints or at icon or to a god you don’t know having false gods?

Observations on the First Letter of John
Q What did you like and dislike about the Letter?
Q Does John letter reflect Jesus’ teaching?
Q What are the major themes of The Book?
Q. Why would John have written this book?
Q. Is The First Letter of John’s still relevant today?
Q What questions would we ask John, if we met him?
Q How should a person who read this book be changed by it?

The Second letter of John

Together in Love
To God’s chosen lady and her Children, I greet you as your loving leader in Jesus. All who share God’s truth love you, just as I love you; in us is the truth that will be with us forever. Grace, mercy and peace be with you, in the truth and love of God, The Father, together with our Lord Jesus, who is The Messiah, The Son of The Father.
Q. Are our leaders loving and do they readily accept the pastoral responsibilities of their role?
Q. How should Christians share God’s truth?
Q How should Christian communities demonstrate their love for each other?
Q How can Christians display Grace, Mercy and Peace?
Q What relationship do Followers of Jesus have with their Lord Jesus and with The Father?
Your reply to – Is it important that Jesus is God’s Son and if so why?

God’s commandment
I’m overjoyed to find those who were given to us to care for are living in the Holy Spirit as commanded by The Father. I am not writing a new command for you dear lady, for it’s one we’ve had from the beginning: that is, we are to love one another. Love, is living according to God’s commandments and you have known that we must live in God’s love from the beginning.
Q. How do people live in The Holy Spirit?
Q. Where does it first appear that we’re to love one another?
Q How do the commandments given to Moses reflect God’s Love?
Your reply to – Explain God’s Love?

Don’t be deceived
Many people in the world will acknowledge Jesus The Messiah did live, but not as a man. They are trying to deceive you and are as such, Antichrist. There is great reward in completing the task we have worked for so take care that it is not lost.
Q. How did people 1900 years ago view Jesus, if they thought he was not a man?
Q. Why should an Antichrist want to try and deceive people?
Q What would an Antichrist teach?
Q What task have we been given and what is the reward for completing it?
Q How can we ensure the task given is not lost?
Your reply to – Most people try to deceive one another, how can anyone be trusted?
Do what Jesus teaches
Those opposed to the teachings of Jesus do not have God within them. Those doing what Jesus teach, live with The Father and The Son. If anyone teaches anything other than this, then have nothing to do with them and do not accept these people into your home else you will be sharing their evil work.
Q. What should Christians’ attitude be to those who are opposed to Jesus’ teachings?
Q How do we know we are doing what Jesus’ teaches?
Q If we don’t meet with those opposed to Jesus’ teaching, how do we witness God’s love to them?
Q How would it affect people seeing ‘evil people’ go into Christian homes?
Your reply to – How can we ensure teaches are teaching the right things?

Talk together
I will be visiting you, since I have too many things to write to you about, then we may talk together and be filled with God’s joy.
The children of your favourite sister send their greetings.
Q. Is speaking face to face always better than writing to people?
Q. Do we spend enough time sharing our thoughts?
Q How does joy differ from happiness?
Q. Do we keep in contact with each other as we ought to?
Your reply to – Are Christians and their churches really filled with joy?

Observations on the First Letter of John
Q What did you like and dislike about the Letter?
Q Does John letter reflect Jesus’ teaching?
Q What are the major themes of The Book?
Q Why would John have written this book?
Q Is The Second Letter of John’s still relevant today?
Q What questions would the person John wrote to want to ask him?
The Third Letter of John.

Greetings
To Gaius, my good friend and who in The Truth I love, greetings from The Elder.
Q. Do Christian leaders make friends with their members?
Q. Do Christian leaders proclaim their love for those they care for?
Q Do Christian leaders really know The Truth?
Your reply to – What should be the responsibilities of the leaders within a church?

Walking with God
I pray dear friend, that all is well with you and that you are in as good a physical health as you are spiritually. I was overjoyed when our brothers came and told us that the Holy Spirit is in you and how you witness to his truth. It brings me great joy to know that those I care for are walking with God.
Q. Are our brothers in Jesus always our friends?
Q. Are Christians as careful about their spiritual health as they are about their physical health?
Q Do Christians lose their freewill by allowing The Holy Spirit in them?
Q Is it only Christians that can have a relationship with The Holy Spirit?
Q Does being truthful mean Christians need to share the bad news as much as the good?
Your reply to – What sort of relationship can Christians expect to have with The Holy Spirit?
Helping one another
Dear friend, you are faithful in the work you do in looking after your fellow Christians who you haven’t met before. They have reported to the church your charity and especially how you are helping them to continue in God’s work. It was in Jesus’ name they came to you, to carry out their purpose, receiving no help from non-believers. As they decided not to take anything from outside the church, it is up to us to support them, so we might work together for the truth.
Q. Do Churches acknowledge the good work carried out by people?
Q. When something is done for God, should praise be given to those people?
Q What is the purpose of being a Follower of Jesus?
Q Should churches accept help from Non-Christians?
Q Does the Church fully support the work done by people?
Q How can Christian best work together?
Your reply to – How should the Church spend its money?

Dissention
I did write to your church but Diotrephes, who wants to be the leader there, has persuaded them to reject us. If I am able to visit you I will speak openly about those things I have against him, including his malicious slander and his not welcoming fellow Christians. He has expelled them from the church and has forbidden his congregation to give them any help.
Q. Why does conflict occur within a Church, when supposedly dedicated to the same aims?
Q. Why do people support a leader rather than the truth?
Q Are those who speak openly always given a fair hearing?
Q Under what circumstance would it be right for a fellow Christian to be expelled from their church and what affect might it have on them?
Your reply to – How should Christians cope with bad leadership?

Who to follow.
My dear friends do not follow this evil way instead only do good. Doing good is following God’s ways, doing evil means you do not know God. Everyone speaks well of Demetrius and we also will be a witness and you know we speak truthfully.
Q. Are church communities prepared to question the decisions of our leadership and how should the church leadership be answerable for their actions?
Q. How should good and evil be decided upon when a disagreement occurs?
Q Do personalities get in the way of our opinions about what people do?
Your reply to – Why do we need God to know what is right or wrong?

Physical communications
There are many things I want to write to you about, but not using pen and ink, instead I hope to visit you soon so we may talk freely. Peace be with you. Your friends here send their greetings; please remember us to our friends there.
Q. John states he would prefer to talk, rather than write letters, but because of the important of the issue he wrote; how does this impact upon our relationships?
Q. In trouble and busy lives how do Christians find peace?
Q Are we all friends together?
Your reply to- What is Love?

Observations on the Third Letter of John
Q What did you like and dislike about the Letter?
Q Does this letter of John’s reflect Jesus’ teaching?
Q Why would John have written this book?

This book has taken me years to finish, I would start it then for many different reasons I would put it down and not pick it up for months or years. The main two reasons were I didn’t think it would be good enough to be published, and the second was knowing the amount of work needed to do to finish it. Coming across Philippians 1:6 I had to smile, ‘Be confident of this, that he who started the good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the return of Jesus, The Messiah
Reflections on being a Follower of Jesus

Q Why be interested in God and his Son Jesus?
Q Why do we do what we do?
Q What is our purpose in living?
Q Why study the Bible?
Q Why join together with Followers of Jesus?
Q Is belief in God and Jesus enough to receive eternal life?
Q Why does a loving God allow so much evil and bad things to happen?
Q Who is better in God’s eyes, a good person or a bad Christian?
Q What does God expect of a Follower of Jesus?
Q When will Jesus return and what is predicted to happen?
Q In what type of society does belief in God flourish?
Q What causes belief in God to diminish?
Q What is the best way to grow in the Spirit of God?
Q Is prayer important?