The last 4 books of our study were all written by John probably in the last decade of the First Century. His works come a generation after all the others. They all held to there being 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message. Did John believe the same truth an entire generation after all the others had written? From chapter 1, we find evidence of 5 of the Essential Elements. The first teaching is about #4, the Savior with verses 1 thru 4, and especially verse 7. In verse 7, we also have a principal element of #5, the Gospel, that being the Savior’s Blood. The Blood has a #1, righteousness effect of purifying from all #2, sin. The idea that God is light in verse 5 also connotes this matter of absolute #1, righteousness. For the believer, there is an incredibly vital #9, New Life instruction concerning confession of our sins to God in prayer! Are there more?
Chapter 2 includes the same 5, but adds 2 more. Much of chapter 2 is #9, New Life instruction to believers. We see this with verses 1, 3, 7, 10, 15 and 27. Most of those are opening verses to a new paragraph containing New Life instruction. As always, the real issue is #1, righteousness as we find it in the first and last verses, 1 and 29. With righteousness, it seems we always find its opposite #2, sin as with verses 1 and 2, 4, 9, 12, 21 thru 23, and especially 15 and 16. And what is meant by ‘the world’? Today, that answer would be ‘Popular Culture’! We find Jesus our #4, Savior in verses 2 and 12; Who saves us by being our ‘atoning sacrifice’ of #5, the Gospel. We have 2 new Essential Elements added in that John mentions the #8, New Birth of our salvation with verses 12, 20, 27, and particularly verse 29. We also find mention of #10, the Kingdom with the hope held out to believers in verses 17, 25 and 28. We find 7 so far….
Chapter 3 includes another Essential Element. It opens with a tremendous #10, Kingdom hope that we will be like Him with verses 2 and 3. There’s more Kingdom hope with verse 15. And the matter of #1, righteousness is large with verses 3, 7, 10 and 12. It’s opposite, #2, sin is present here in verses 4 and 6, 8 thru 10, and 12 thru 15. We have our #4, Savior with verses 4, 8 and 23; and the #5, Gospel element of His taking ‘away our sins’ is told us in verse 5. we again find mention of our #8, New Birth in verses 9, 14, and especially verse 24! And, we have #9, New Life instruction with verses 6, 10 and 11, 16 thru 24. Another, an 8th Element of The Real New Testament Message, is to #7, believe on Jesus in verse 23.
As we approach the end of all our New Testament study, commenced on May the 26th of 2015. Our thesis that The Real New Testament Message consists of 10 Essential Elements has stood up through all of its 8, and possibly 9, writers, and still seems to stand to this point. It appears to be entirely what the Book is really all about!
Harold F Crowell