The first Epistle of John was sent not to a particular church, but to all the people of God, in order to counteract the heretical teachings which were influencing believers in John’s day. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John aims to make clear that there is no fellowship with God when the truth about Jesus Christ is not believed, and that only walking in obedience to the gospel maintains fellowship with God.
By writing about God’s attributes, John wants to convince the children of God of the experimental reality of knowing God that guarantees them joys and privileges through the Covenant of Redemption. As we study this book we will see that ‘abiding in Christ’ is the secret of sustained assurance and perseverance, and that only those who are ‘born of God’ are capable of loving as He loves. It is only when genuine spiritual life dwells within that believers are strong enough to overcome the wicked one, the world and indwelling sin.