The writing of the letter is prompted by the threats posed by “certain intruders,” who “pervert the graceGrace is the unmerited gift of God's love and acceptance. In Martin Luther's favorite expression from the Apostle Paul, we are saved by grace through faith, which means that God showers grace upon us even though we do not deserve it. More of our God” and “deny our only Master and Lord, JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More Christ.”
This passage immediately opens up for us the primary issue that dominates and energizes the letter. We sense right away that the “early church” was no golden era of concord and unity, but rather that there were factions, mistrust, duplicity, and hurtful activity. The author does not flinch from using harsh and condemning language, and this reflects his settled convictions that his opponents are not merely erring but are malicious and deceptive in their intent.