Skip Heitzig’s “flyover” Bible study of The New Testament Day 25

1 John: Simple Truths Make for a Revolutionary Life

The apostle John was part of Jesus’ inner circle, and it’s believed he wrote 1 John toward the end of his life, when he was very old.

The letter has a tender, familial tone to it, like that of a father to his children, but it doesn’t follow a typical structure or outline. The best way to view 1 John is by looking at it as a series of five spirals or revolutions: John covered the same truths over and over again, each time going wider and deeper.

In covering these basic truths, John offered a revolutionary way of thinking and living life. More specifically, the truths he shared can revolutionize five things in your Christian walk: your fellowship with other believers, your joy, your holiness, your discernment against false teaching, and your assuredness in salvation. In short, these truths can revolutionize your relationship with the Lord and with people.

Think It Through

Read 1 John 2:22-23; 3:7-9; 4:1-3, 8. How can you develop discernment and tell if someone is truly a Christian?

A huge theme of 1 John is love. How do we know love (see 1 John 3:16)? How are we to love others (see vv. 16-18)?

The word know appears close to forty times in 1 John. Why is knowing so important to the Christian faith (see 1 John 5:13)? What are some ways you can know you’re really saved? (Hint: see 1 John 2:3; 3:18-19, 24.)

Listen and Learn

First John has a very tender tone, as John called the believers “little children” and “beloved.” In this short study, we learn that John boiled all of life down to two levels: horizontal (between people) and vertical (between us and God).
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Land and Explore

If you want to explore the truths of 1 John more in-depth, check out this free series from Pastor Skip titled Together We Stand.
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A Word of Encouragement

The fact that John wrote in revolutions and went back over the same truths indicates that no matter how old or mature you are in the faith, you’ll always need to be reminded of the basic truths that set you free in the first place. So get back to the simplicity, the irreducible minimum of the gospel.


Lord, thank You for the truths of 1 John. I am so thankful that Christianity offers a revolutionary way of thinking and living life. Help me get back to the simplicity of the gospel.

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