The six books of the New Testament explored in this study—1 and 2 Peter, 1–3 John, and Jude—teach us what it means to live in community, what it means to belong to the household of God. A subset of New Testament letters known as the General Epistles, these letters were written to be shared and read aloud in early Christian communities.
During the time in which the authors of these letters lived, believers regarded one another as members of God’s family. Thus, a guiding and powerful metaphor in these epistles is the understanding of family—what it means in the world of the Roman Empire as contrasted with the more expansive idea of being a member of God’s household through the Holy Spirit. These letters were meant to inspire and comfort the faithful in first-century Asia Minor, and they continue to speak to us today as we grapple with how to live in community as disciples of Christ.