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Lesson 39 of 50 - New Testament (part seven of eight)

Written Notes

Second Peter

First John

Second John

Third John

Review Points & Questions


Supplementary Material & Books


Second Peter 1-3

First John 3-5


First John 3-5


Second and Third John


New Testament (part seven): Second Peter; First, Second and Third John


64 AD

“There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.”  2:1

Author: Peter
Written From: Rome
Sent To: Churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia (Their second letter, 3:1)

Purpose: Remind believers how to grow to maturity and defend orthodox theology by warning of present and coming false teachers.

Theme:  Importance of the word, danger of false teachers, eschatology

Basic Outline:

  • 1:3 – 11, Salvation
  • 1:12 – 21, Scripture
  • 2:1 – 22, False Teachers
  • 3:1 – 18, Eschatology

Memorable Verses:

  • “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him.” 1:3
  • “If you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 1:10, 11
  • “I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” 1:12
  • “We have the word of the prophets made more certain and you will do well to pay attention to it.” 1:19
  • “There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.” 2:1
  • “Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” 2:2
  • “God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to Tartarus, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.” 2:4
  • “These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm.” 2:17
  • “I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.” 3:2
  • “The day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up.” 3:10
  • “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”  3:13
  • “His (Paul’s) letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 3:16

Greek Words:

  • grafh – graphe – scripture, 1:20, 3:16.
  • dusnohtoV – dusnoetos – difficult of perception; hard to be understood, 3:16.
  • luw – luo – to loosen, to disintegrate, melt, put off, break up, dissolve.  Used to refer to the breaking up or dissolving a compound into its elements, 3:10, 11, 12.
  • stoiceion - stoicheion – element, principle, rudiment. Used to refer to letters of the alphabet or elements in nature, 3:10, 12.
  • tartarow – tartaroo – the deepest abyss.  In classical mythology Tartarus was the subterranean abyss in which rebellious gods and others, like the Titans, were punished.  In Hellenistic Judaism and their book of Enoch fallen angels were kept here and Uriel ruled Tartarus, 2:4.

Healthy Doctrine:

  • Scripture
  • Eschatology
  • Judgment

In chapter one discusses our salvation and the promises we have available through our knowledge of Christ.  The reader is told to that character mixed with knowledge will keep your Christian life productive and result in a rich entrance into God’s kingdom.  Since this is true Peter considers his number one mission in this life is to remind believers of these truths and encourage them to pay attention to the scriptures.

Christian Growth
for an
Effective and Productive Life

  • Faith
  • Goodness
  • Knowledge
  • Self-Control
  • Perseverance
  • Godliness
  • Brotherly Kindness
  • Love

              - Second Peter 1:5-7

In chapter two Peter presents the biggest threat to Christian growth which is false teachers.  For greed false teachers exploit people and teach destructive heresies along with stories they make up.  God will judge them just as he has judged others in the past.  An example of God judging sin is the angels who are held in gloomy dungeons in Tartarus. 

Chapter three is contains valuable eschatological information which includes insight into people’s doctrinal error of the last days, God’s longsuffering patience, the Lord’s return, the destruction of the present universe and the recreation of the universe for the eternal state.  This information should spur us onto live a holy life.  Peter tells us that Paul writes of these same things in his letters which are called Scripture already in 64 AD.


85 AD

“This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”  5:4

Author: John
Written From: Ephesus
Sent To: A circular letter sent to the churches and their leaders in Asia

Purpose: Combat false teaching and assure believers of their salvation in Christ.  False teachers were denying the humanity of Christ and teaching that sinful practices did not affect fellowship with God.   John writes for five reasons:

  • promote true fellowship (1:3)
  • fulfill his ministry and have full joy (1:4)
  • promote holiness (1:6-2:2)
  • combat false teaching (2:18-27)
  • provide assurance of salvation for believers (5:11-13)

Theme: Fellowship with God through Jesus Christ who is the light (revelation) and life (power of godliness).

Basic Outline:

  • 1:1 – 2:2, Sound Doctrine: Incarnation of Jesus and Biblical view of Sin
  • 2:3 – 17, Obedience and love that is consistent with fellowship with God
  • 2:18 – 27, Doctrinal Test for true fellowship
  • 2:28 – 3:24, Holiness Test for true fellowship
  • 4:1 – 6, Test for false teachers and doctrines of demons
  • 4:7 – 21, Characteristics of fellowship with God through Jesus Christ
  • 5:1 – 5, Victory of fellowship with God through Jesus Christ
  • 5:6 – 12, Christology: Credentials of Jesus Christ
  • 5:13 – 21, Three assurances of fellowship with God through Jesus Christ: assurance of salvation (5:13), assurance of answered prayer (5:14-17), assurance of victory over sin (5:18-21)

Memorable Verses:
Purpose of Letter:

  • Promote Fellowship: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.” 1:3
  • Fulfill Ministry and so have full joy: “We write this to make our joy complete.” 1:4
  • Promote Holiness: “I write this to you so that you will not sin.” 2:1
  • Provide Assurance of Salvation: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 5:11-13
  • Expose False Teachers: “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.” 2:26

Problem of False Teachers:

  • “Even now many antichrists have come.” 2:18
  • “Who is the liar?  It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ.  Such a man is the antichrist – he denies the Father and the Son.” 2:22
  • “Do not let anyone lead you astray.” 3:7
  • “Do not believe the spirits, but test the spirits.” 4:1

Other Verses:

  • “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life.” 1:1
  • “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1:8
  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1:9
  • We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.  The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 2:3,4
  • “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” 2:15
  • “Now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 3:2
  • “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 3:16
  • “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.” 4:15
  • “Everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 5:4
  • “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 5:12
  • “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 5:14

Greek Words:

  • ‘amartia – hamartia – to miss the mark, sin, 1:7, 8, 9; 2:2, 12; 3:4, 5, 8, 9; 4:10; 5:16, 17
  • ‘ilasmoV – hilasmos – propitiation, 2:2; 4:10.
  • ginwskw – ginosko – know, perceive, be resolved, understand, be sure, 2:3, 4, 5, 13, 14, 18, 29; 3:1, 6, 16, 19, 20, 24; 4:2, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16; 5:2, 20.
  • ‘omologew – homologeo – confess, confession.  This word comes from ‘omou homou “together” or “the same” and logoV logos ”speak, to say”.  ‘omologew homologeo then means “to speak together” or “to say the same thing”, 1:9; 4:2, 3, 15.
  • kosmoV – kosmos – world, system, order, ornament, arrangement.  We get our world cosmetics from this world.  In the New Testament the kosmos or cosmos is an ordered system that functions separate from God and against God, 2:2, 15, 16, 17; 3:1, 13, 17; 4:1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 14, 17; 5:4, 5, 19.
  • nikh – nikee – victory, 5:4.

Healthy Doctrine:

  • Incarnation and humanity of Jesus Christ
  • Sin Nature – Sin (1:8) and Sins (1:9)
  • Assurance of Salvation
  • Fellowship
  • Propitiation (2:2; 4:10)

True spirituality is based on faith in the true doctrine concerning Jesus, obedience to the true commands of Jesus and love for God and believers.  When a believer walks in fellowship with God as described above they will experience joy, holiness and assurance of their salvation.

True Spirituality

  • Faith in true doctrine
  • Obedience to true commands
  • Love for God and man

. . . produces . . .

  • Joy (1:4)
  • Holiness (2:1)
  • Assurance of Salvation (5:13)


Heretical Doctrines Confronted by John

  • Denial of the person of Christ. (1:1-4; 2:22)
  • A form of antinomianism. (1:6; 2:15, 16; 3:4-6)
  • Knowledge of God and godly character are separate issues. (2:4)
  • The doctrine that perfection or ultimate sanctification is attainable. (1:8, 10)
  • There are new “revelations” and new “commands” coming from God. (2:7)
  • Teachers had been sent by John either from Ephesus or, even in earlier years, from Jerusalem.  They had not maintained correct doctrine which indicates they never really embraced it nor understood it while with John. They had become false teachers. (2:19)
  • Claims to anointings and positions of authority that were counterfeit. (2:27)
  • Desire to live “as children of God” today in “glory” and “victory” in the world instead of recognizing that these eschatological events will occur at Christ’s return. (3:2)
  • Rejection of the hope of the future for satisfaction today. (3:2)
  • Living like the world today instead of purifying oneself from the world today. (3:3)
  • Rejection of the apostolic authority of the disciples. (4:5, 6)  Seen today in the denial of the apostolic gift in the early church and the denial of the written scriptures.
  • Salvation through some other means than Jesus. (5:12-13)


Light, Love, Life

God is light


God is love

4:8, 16

God is life

1:1-2; 5:11-13



85 AD

“Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh,
have gone out into the world.” 

Author: John
Written From: Ephesus
Sent To: A church in Asia

Purpose: Keep believers in the truth so they have a full reward and provide instructions on rejecting traveling false teachers looking for a place to stay.

Theme:  Do not provide hospitality to false teachers

Basic Outline:

  • Verses 4-6, command to love and definition of love
  • Verses 7-11, identify false teachers and command Christians to not support them
  • Verses 12-13, John says he will visit them and cover more information concerning this issue

Memorable Verses:

  • “This is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.” 6
  • “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world.  Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” 7
  •  “Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.” 8
  • “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.” 10

Greek Words:

  • ’anticpistoV – antichristos – antichrist, an opponent of the Christ or Messiah, 7.
  • misqoV – misthos – payment for labor, reward, wages, refers to the workman’s wages, 8.
  • koinwnew – koinoneo – fellowship, communicate, distribute, be partaker, 11.

Healthy Doctrine:

  • Christian Fellowship
  • Identification of false doctrine and false teachers

In verses 4-6 John expresses his joy that some of the believers are walking in the truth as commanded by God the Father.  He then tells them to love one another calling it a command they have had from the beginning.  False teachers were providing new revelation and new commands.  John refrains from this and sticks to the basics.  He then describes love as walking in obedience to God’s commands.  John ties correct doctrine and correct behavior together.

In verses 7-11 John quickly gets to his main point which is to warn against false teachers who are traveling through the cities and churches in Asia.  These false teachers were an early form of Gnosticism which included the false doctrine that Jesus Christ had not come in the flesh.  These traveling teachers would stay in the homes of people and be sent to the next town with provisions.  John tells the believers not to support or help them and to avoid their false teaching.  The false teaching could cause the believer to lose their rewards because bad doctrine leads to bad performance.

In verses 12-13 John says he has more to say but he wants to teach them face to face and not with paper and ink.  John is planning on doing some traveling and teaching in Asia himself.



85 AD

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  4

Author: John
Written From: Ephesus
Sent To: A church leader in Asia whose pastor was rejecting John’s traveling teachers

Purpose: A personal letter from John to Gaius to thank him for supporting the true teachers John sent.  John also condemns Diotrephes for not accepting true teachers.  Five purposes are found in this personal letter:

  • To commend Gaius
  • To instruct and encourage Gaius’ support of the men John sent
  • To rebuke Diotrephes
  • To give instruction for Demetrius
  • To inform Gaius of John’s plans to visit and deal with Diotrephes

Theme: Hospitality and support for traveling Christian teachers

Basic Outline:

  • Verses 1-2, official salutation
  • Verses 3-8, commend Gaius for walking in the truth, helping others to walk in the truth and for supporting the men John sent to travel and to teach
  • Verses 9-10, condemn Diotrephes for rejecting John, gossiping about John, refusing to welcome John’s teachers and preventing others from assisting John’s traveling teachers
  • Verses 11-12, a recommendation for one of John’s traveling men, Demetrius, who is probably carrying this letter
  • Verse 13, John’s desire to say more and his plan to visit face to face

Memorable Verses:

  • “I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you; even as your soul is getting along well.” 2
  • “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 4
  • “You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.” 6
  • “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.  So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us.” 9, 10

Greek Words:

  • ’euodow - euodoo – to be led along a good road, to prosper, to get along well, to succeed, 2.
  • ’ekklhsiaV – ekklesias – assembly, church.  From ek ek meaning “out of” and klhsiV klesis “a calling” (from kalew kaleo “to call”). It was used by Greeks to refer to a group of citizens called from the general public to a gathering to discuss the affairs of their government,   6.
  • filoprwteuwn – philoproteuon - to be fond of the first position, to wish to be first, to like to be the leader, loves to be first, 9.
  • fluarew – phluareo - to talk nonsense, to speak silliness, to bring unjust charges against someone.  This word stresses the emptiness of what was said, 10.

Healthy Doctrine:

  • Teaching
  • Support of Ministry Work

People Mentioned in Third John

  • Gaius – a church member in a leadership position of his local church in Asia.
  • Demetrius – a traveling teacher sent by John to Gaius’ local church with this letter
    and to speak and teach in the local church
  • Diotrephes – a man who has taken the leadership or pastorate position of this local church. 
    He has rejected John, John’s apostolic doctrine and representatives sent
    by John to teach.  He is also actively maligning John with false accusations.
  • John – is the apostle that is sending out men to teach the apostolic doctrine and to help
    keep the local churches in Asia in the truth.



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