The nature of the believer's assurance of eternal life in 1 John
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SubjectBible. -- N.T. -- John, 1st -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
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This dissertation argues that John fundamentally grounds the believer's assurance in the work of Christ and promise of divine preservation, while supporting this assurance in a vital yet subsidiary way by the manner in which one conducts his life. Chapter 1 sets forth this thesis and presents a history of research on the subject of assurance in 1 John. Chapter 2 examines the historical setting behind the writing of this letter. This examination is followed by an evaluation of the letter's purpose statements. Here it is argued that John has written in order to assure his readers that they have eternal life and to exhort them to continue to abide in the message they have heard from the beginning. Chapter 3 focuses on the work of Christ in 1 John, which includes an examination of the various passages that emphasize the cross-work of Christ (1:5-2:2; 3:5, 8; 4:9-10; 5:5-7) as well as a discussion of the ongoing work of Christ in his divine protection of those who have been born of God (5:18). Chapter 4 argues for a new covenant background for this letter that serves as the ground for John's tests of life. Chapter 5 focuses on the vital yet subsidiary support for assurance found in the tests of righteousness, love, and belief. Moreover, this chapter includes a discussion on perseverance and apostasy in 1 John and interacts with how these ideas fit within this letter written with the primary purpose of assuring its readers. Finally, chapter 6 summarizes and concludes the study.