1 John – The “This Is” Letter

1 John – The “This Is” Letter


John the Apostle’s First Epistle is a highly fertile and, in my opinion, a very underutilized letter in the New Testament. You can read it verse-by-verse and plumb its spiritual depths for weeks, with bold statements and profound teachings on lightness and darkness, sin, love, and what it means to be in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Upon digging through 1 John, it’s easy to pick up on John’s writing style in his Spirit-inspired work; John employs dozens of instances of the phrase “this is” to make concise declarations and definitions on some of Christianity’s most essential doctrines. I’ve compiled a list of all of the “this is” statements that create the framework of this letter:

  • “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all…” (1 John 1:5, etc.)
  • “This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:5b-6)
  • “This is how we know it is the last hour…as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.” (1 John 2:18, b and then a)
  • “This is what He promised us – eternal life.” (1 John 2:25)
  • “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” (1 John 3:10)
  • “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” (1 John 3:11)
  • “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.” (1 John 3:16)
  • “This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.” (1 John 3:19-20)
  • “This is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.” (1 John 3:23)
  • “This is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us,” (1 John 3:24b)
  • “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” (1 John 4:2-3a)
  • “This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood…You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.” (1 John 4:6b and then 4:4-6a)
  • “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9)
  • “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
  • “This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit.” (1 John 4:13)
  • “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” (1 John 4:17)
  • “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands.” (1 John 5:2)
  • “This is love for God: to keep His commands.” (1 John 5:3a)
  • “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith: His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4b, and then 5:3b and 5:4a)
  • “This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ.” (1 John 5:6a)
  • “This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” (1 John 5:11)
  • “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

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