An Inductive Study of 1st John

Lesson 3


Read 1st John 1:8. “Sin“ in this verse is singular and does  not refer to specific acts of sin. It refers to the sin nature, or sin principle. The person in 1:8 was claiming that he did not sin anymore, having reached sinless perfection. This was one of the teachings of the Gnostics. They did not confess sin.

What did John say to this denial of sin?



Unlike the person in 1:8, the person in 1:9 confesses his sin. Locate “confess” (homologeo) in An Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words by W.E. Vine. Define “confess”. What does Vine say about confession of sin under the B section?




Read the following verses carefully, and record what is taught about confession of sin.

A.      Matthew 3:1-6


B.      Proverbs 28:13


C.      Psalm 32:5


D.      Acts 19:19,19


Review the verses above. Is confession a part of salvation?


Can there by a true gospel message of salvation without an emphasis on repentance of sin?

In 1 John 1:5-9, John speaks of sayers and doers, or the false and the true.

What were the claims of the Sayers?

What was the pattern of life of the doers?

v. 6



v. 7

v. 8



v. 9

v. 10





Read 1 John 2:1,2. “I write these things to you so that you will not sin”, says John. “Sin” in this verse is aorist tense, which speaks of a single act of sin, not habitual acts of sin. Wuest, in his study of 1 John stated that this verse could be translated, “If any man commit an act of sin.”[1] “John”, says Wuest, “regards sin in the believer’s life, not as habitual, but as infrequent.”[2]

What things had John written that would, when reflected upon, increase the Christian’s desire not to sin? Think carefully of what John had previously stated about the Lord and His death, and what this meant for the Christian?




“And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” (2:1) “Advocate” (parakletos), is the English word “comforter. Locate comforter (parakletos) in Vine’s dictionary. What is the definition given? What does the Lord Jesus Christ do for the Christian when he/she sins?






Go to your Observation worksheet and reread 1John 2:3-5. Record you observations on the worksheet. (If you are unfamiliar with using an observation worksheet contact me for simple directions.) As you read, ask Who? How? What? Why? Look for contrasts, reasons, tense of verbs, key words. Define key words as needed.




What is “truth”? Read the following verses and record what you learn about truth.

A.      John 14:16


B.      John 17:17


C.      John 18:37


D.      1 Timothy 6:5


E.       2 Thessalonians 2:10


What has God been teaching you as you have studied this week? How has your life been affected? (You  may or may not want to share this in class).

[1] Wuest, Kenneth, Wuest Word Studies From The Greek New Testament, V, II, Erdmans, Grand Rapids, 1942, p. 109.

[2] Ibid.