One question that is rarely asked is why did God include epistles (letters) in Scripture? After all in the New Testament we have four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles and Revelation what more do we need? While the gospels tell the story of Jesus and what He did for us and the book of Acts tells us how the apostles began spreading the gospel story followed by an end-times discussion in Revelation, we actually need the epistles to learn how to live as Christians. Each epistle is unique and collectively they provide guidance for all of us. Understanding the epistles is essential for each Christian as they specify what we should (and should not) be doing for God. If we want to please God it probably is important to know what pleases Him!
Several of the epistles were written as the result of something going wrong in a church or some other outside element was corrupting the church. The Bible teaches that God’s wisdom and truth is very different than man’s wisdom and truth (often called the world’s wisdom). These non-Biblical ideas and concepts of man’s have been corrupting Christianity literally from the beginning of the church, as many of the Bible’s epistles have demonstrated. All of the epistle writers warn of this type of false teaching. Since we are faced with so many variations of religions, different denominations, varied points of view and diverse theologies it is extremely important for Christians today to know the real truth, the Bible, there is no substitute.
The Apostle John wrote one gospel, the Book of Revelation and three epistles. You might think that John would have written everything he needed to write in his gospel and Revelation, so why did he write three epistles? What was so important that he felt he needed to say something more? Well, this can be answered in two ways, first and most important is that God inspired him to write it! But secondly we see that John is responding to a rising influence against the early church namely Gnosticism. Even though Gnosticism has gone through countless variations (and accumulated several less-obvious names) through the years, the fundamental problem still exists and can influence how Christians think today. Join us as we examine John’s first epistle on Sunday mornings from 9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
See you there!