1 John 3:11 – 4:6

  1. 3:11-18. By what various arguments does John show, in verses 11-15, that mutual love is the essential mark of the children of God and that hatred is inadmissible? After what manner should we love? See verses 16-18 and cf. John 15:12; Eph. 5:1, 2.
  2. 3:19-24. A digression on the subject of assurance before God. The apostle first considers the case of a Christian whose heart condemns him. How is such a person to be reassured? See verses 19, 20. Cf. Heb. 6:9, 10. Next the apostle considers the case of a Christian whose heart does not condemned him, because he is practicing all the characteristics of a truly Christian life – obedience, love and faith. What blessings does this man enjoy? See verses 21-24.
  3. What two tests are given here by which to know whether a prophet is, or is not, speaking by the Spirit of God? See especially 4:2 and 6; see also Note 2 below.


  1. 3:14. Cf. John 5:24. This gives the practical test of whether a professed faith in Christ is genuine. Cf. Gal. 5:6b; Jas. 2:15-17.
  2. 4:6. ‘We are of God’: the pronoun ‘we’ in the first half of this verse refers primarily, as in 1:1-3, to John as representing the apostles, while not excluding those who, following after them, base their teaching on the apostolic foundation.