1 John: Outline of Contents

I. Prologue: the grounds of the testimony (1:1–4)

II. The true message of Jesus (1:5–3:24)

A. Fellowship, obedience, and forgiveness (1:5–2:17)

B. Warnings against false teachings (2:18–28)

C. The marks of life in the community (3:1–24)

III. Testing the claims of those who testify (4:1–5:12)

A. Testing the spirits (4:1–6)

B. Love as the essential test (4:7–21)

C. Obedience to the commandments (5:1–5)

D. The true testimony (5:6–12)

IV. Postscript: sins, forgiveness, and certain knowledge (5:13–21)

Courtesy of HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, ed. Mark Allan Powell (New York: HarperCollins, 2011), 483.