This is the first of three letters written by a man called John. In this letter, John can't stop talking about how God is love and how we should love each other. It sums up the whole story of the Gospel - God loved his people so much that he sent Jesus to die for them.
The central theme of this letter is love. It explores a key character trait of God and challenges us about how much love we live out practically. It also reminds us that, as Jesus said, we live in the world but do not 'belong to the world' (see John 17:11-16). It encourages us to remember to live our lives as followers of Jesus.
This letter shows us that it can be easy to get hold of some wrong ideas about Jesus. It's important for us to stick to what we learn about him from the Gospels and the New Testament letters. John's letter challenges us to hold on to that truth - and to always come back to loving one another.
This letter was written to a 'dear lady' and her family at a time when the early church was struggling with some serious divisions over beliefs that stemmed from false teaching. Some people were teaching that Jesus had not really been human, so John aims to combat these rumours in his letter. As in John's first letter, there is a big emphasis on the command to love one another and to live according to the words of Jesus.
This is a personal letter from John to a Christian man called Gaius, advising him on what to do about a troublemaker in the church. A man called Diotrphes was shaking things up and preventing people in his church from being welcoming, hospitable and kind to other believers.
This short letter is a super-quick read that encourages us to help all our fellow Christians, and to imitate goodness rather than evil. it warns us not to follow the example of people who cause trouble.