"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Preaching Series on 1 John (3 of 4)
1 John 4:1-6 Commentary
by Craig R. Koester
Preaching Series on 1 John (Week 3 of 4)
Preaching text: 1 John 4:1-6 Testing the spiritsGospel: John 14:15-17 The Spirit of truth
In the context of 1 John, there were many ways to be spiritual. The basic issue, according to chapter 4, is whether spiritual claims are centered in the Word that Jesus embodied. For the writer, the incarnate Word cannot be reduced to spiritual abstraction. Divine love is not simply an idea. It takes tangible form in the life Jesus lived and the death that he died. In John’s gospel and epistles, the death of the human being named Jesus is the most radical expression of divine love for the world. If God’s Word was not embodied, there is no reason for faith to be embodied.
The writer uses the word “antichrist” for the view he opposes. In the popular imagination, the antichrist is a political figure who is coming to dominate the world at the end of the age. But in 1 John, that is not the case. The Greek prefix “anti” means both “against” and ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 137: Preaching Series on 1 John
July 08, 2018
This re-broadcast podcast covers the four-week summer preaching series on 1 John (first aired in July 2014 -- note Dr. Koester's opening reference to "three Sundays in July and one in August" is not applicable to 2018 dates). Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for a conversation on the Narrative Lectionary. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for WorkingPreacher.org.