I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THESE LETTERS COMMON TO ALL.
1. In all Christ assumes different aspects.
2. In all Christ addresses Himself through a special officer.
3. In all Christ declares His thorough knowledge of their moral history.
4. In all Christ promises great blessings to the morally victorious.
5. In all Christ commands attention to the voice of the Spirit.
6. In all Christ's grand aim is spiritual culture.
7. In all Christ observes a threefold division.
(1) A reference to some of the attributes of Him who addresses the Church.
(2) A disclosure of the characteristics of the Church, with appropriate admonition, encouragement, or reproof.
(3) Promises of reward to all who preserve in their Christian course and overcome the spiritual enemies who assault them.
II. CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH SOME OF THEM DIFFER.
1. We find two (Smyrna and Philadelphia) who receive commendation.
2. Two (Sardis and Laodicea) are censured.
3. Three (Ephesus, Pergamos, and Thyatira) contain mingled censure and commendation. In these cases the approbation precedes the blame, showing that it was more grateful to commend than to reprove.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.