1–3 John: Fellowship in God's Family

By David L. Allen, Series edited by R. Kent Hughes

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What does it look like to “walk in the light, as he is in the light,” to truly live as a follower of Christ? This all-important question finds its answer in three letters from the apostle John. Marked by their sermonic tone, devotional fervor, and emphasis on obedience to God’s commands, 1, 2, and 3 John lovingly teach us how to follow Jesus in open devotion to God.

Professor of preaching David L. Allen guides us through 1–3 John with skill and wisdom, offering helpful insights into the Christian life as well as important themes such as:

  • The divinity of Christ
  • Spiritual rebirth
  • The work of Jesus on the cross
  • Our responsibility to forsake sin and keep God’s commandments
  • The work of the Spirit
  • The danger of false teachers

Hermeneutically sound, Christ-centered, and remarkably practical, this study opens up John’s letters anew and lays out the path for us to walk in light of God’s truth and love.

Part of the Preaching the Word series.


David L. Allen

David L. Allen (PhD, University of Texas at Arlington) is founding dean of the School of Preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he also serves as distinguished professor of preaching and director of the Center for Expository Preaching. He served in pastoral ministry for twenty-one years and has been a teacher of preachers for more than twenty-five years. He resides in Irving, Texas, and has four grown children and five grandchildren.

Product Details

Category: Commentaries & Reference
Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Page Count: 336
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 22.29 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-0285-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-0285-9
ISBN-UPC: 9781433502859
Case Quantity: 20
Published: June 30, 2013

Table of Contents

Part 1: 1 John
1.  Meet Jesus: God in Human Flesh! (1:1–4)
2.  When Sin Meets Forgiveness (1:5–10)
3.  Jesus Our Advocate at Heaven’s Court (2:1, 2)
4.  The “Know So” Test (2:3–6)
5.  All You Need is Love (2:7–11)
6.  Family Secrets (2:12–14)
7.  Don’t Decorate Your Cell (2:15–17)
8.  Liar! Liar! (2:18–25)
9.  The Unction Function (2:26, 27)
10. Ready or Not, Here I Come! (2:28, 29)
11. Who’s Your Daddy? (3:1–10)
12. Love: The Church’s Circulatory System (3:11–18)
13. How to Send Your Guilt Trip Packing (3:19–24)
14. Discerning Truth and Error (4:1–6)
15. Want to Play Catch? (4:7–11)
16. “Be My Valentine”—God (4:12–21)
17. Faith Is the Victory! (5:1–5)
18. A Tale of Three Witnesses (5:6–12)
19. The Haves and the Have-Nots (5:13–20)
20. Accept No Substitutes! (5:21)
Part 2: 2 John
21. Deniers and Deceivers (2 John)
Part 3: 3 John
22. Down with Diotrephes; Long Live Demetrius! (3 John)


“A rich resource covering one of the New Testament’s most profound sections of Scripture, pastors and theologians of all persuasions will benefit from the thorough treatment Dr. Allen gives to these letters. This commentary, like John’s letters, is brimming with gospel hope.”
J. D. Greear, Pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

“1-3 John is a welcomed addition to the Preaching the Word series. The 22 studies in this volume reveal careful research, theological insight, and exegetical integrity. Anyone preaching or teaching through the epistles of John will be greatly assisted by this volume. David Allen has rendered a valuable service to the church of the Lord Jesus that will bear fruit for years to come.”
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“In an excellent follow-up to his edited volume Text-Driven Preaching, David Allen crafts 22 sermons on 1, 2, and 3 John that exemplify the qualities that should characterize excellent preaching. These sermons are thoroughly Biblical, hermeneutically sound, Christ-centered, eminently practical, passionate, challenging, clear, and interesting. And these qualities shine through even when he navigates complex semantic issues, deals with heresies like Gnosticism and Docetism, and tackles pressing theological topics like the extent of the atonement. Here is a fine resource for anyone preaching through these three important New Testament letters!”
Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Secretary, Evangelical Theological Society; author, God, Gift, and Guide: Knowing the Holy Spirit

“Jesus spoke of the man who brought ‘out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’ David L. Allen does exactly that with these 22 well-researched expositions. Drawing on preachers and scholars from all ages of the church, he opens up John’s epistles with admirable clarity and force. In every chapter, you will encounter the truth of the text, the heart of the preacher, and the direction of the Lord regarding how you should respond. Readable, illuminating, and convicting, this book deserves wide circulation among individuals and Bible study groups. Pastors will find here a refresher course in how to preach John's letters.”
Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

“The sermons in this book (Allen describes them as ‘sermontaries—more than a sermon but less than a commentary’) are undergirded by solid scholarship, supported by references to great preachers of the past, and enhanced by Allen’s own wisdom and applications for today’s believers. A fine resource that I am very pleased to commend to all serious preachers of Scripture.”
Colin G. Kruse, Senior Lecturer in New Testament, Melbourne School of Theology