The general epistles have a long history in the Church of helping Christians understand the work of Christ and how to apply His life into all of life. In particular, the book of 1 John is helpful for Christians on a variety of fronts. First reading, studying, and understanding 1 John will help Christians understand the need for ongoing repentance, confession of sin, assurance of salvation, and much more. 2-3 John is particularly instructive for ministry leaders including dealing with false teachers. For this and other reasons, I was excited when I received a new commentary on 1-3 John in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series looking at Exalting Jesus in 1-3 John.
This series seeks to look at each book with a view to understanding how it fits into redemptive history. This is not a technical commentary or a series by any stretch of the imagination, but it does engage keywords from the original languages, offers helpful exegesis, and is chalk full of practical application. As I read this commentary by Dr. Akin I thought he did an especially good job dealing with the need for ongoing repentance in the Christian life and his teaching on assurance was also very helpful.
Many Christians struggle with the issue of assurance. Reading and studying 1 John is helpful in this regard since it discusses the source of our assurance, and the confidence we can have as God’s people for our assurance in Christ. As you read this commentary I believe that readers struggling with assurance will be helped. One of the main problems in our day in regards to this issue is many people believe they can live; however they want to. The book of 1 John is helpful in this regard because it says that this idea is wrong. The person who thinks they can live, however, they want and have eternal life John says is “deceived” (1 John 1:6-7). The one who confesses their need of Jesus often and sees it as an ongoing need “confesses” their sin and Christ washes them of it (1 John 1:9). Whether you’re struggling with assurance or doubt or a variety of other issues, 1 John is one of the most helpful and neglected books in the New Testament.
Whether you’re studying the book of 1 John or 2-3 John, I highly recommend this book to Sunday school teachers, and for pastor/teachers. This book combines excellent exegesis, with mature theological reflection, and practical guidance for the Christian life. The best pastoral commentaries always excel at all three, and this commentary is no exception in this regard. I believe every Christian interested in knowing and studying the Bible should read this commentary and check out the other volumes in the series, I know I will be!
Title: Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in 1, 2 & 3 John
Author: Daniel L. Akin
Publisher: B&H Academic
I received this book for free from B&H for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.