1 John

October 2, 2017

1 John 5

  • Journal & Pray. Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:
  • Read & Reflect

    1 John 5:13-15

  • The Apostle John repeats the word “know” several times throughout this passage. What is it that John wants his readers to know?

    1 John 5:18-20

  • How is it possible that “everyone born of God does not keep on sinning”?  How does this relate to that fact that “God protects [me], and the evil one does not touch [me]”?

  • What are the three things that Apostle John wants me to know in this passage, and what difference has this knowledge made in my life?  How can I make this knowledge a reality in my life today?

 

September 29, 2017

1 John 5

  • Journal & Pray. Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:
  • Read & Reflect

    1 John 5:1-5

    “Faith trusts Jesus as the Christ, a truth insisted upon throughout this letter, and the believer who so trusts is born of God. The confession that Jesus is the Christ is not the result of human insight, but of a divine work in the one who makes it (cf. 1 Cor. 12:3). And this divine work produces love for fellow-believers, for love for the father means love for his child as well.”[1]

    Believing that Jesus is the Christ makes us “born of God,” i.e., his children.  How does this lead to loving others, keeping his commandments, and overcoming the world?

    1 John 5:3

    “John is not a legalist, but he recognizes that love is busy; it finds its natural expression in doing the things that please the beloved, and where will we find these things better than in his commands? When John adds his commands are not burdensome (cf. Mt. 11:30), the thought is not that it is quite easy to discharge our obligations to God. Rather the thought is that God’s commands are not an irksome burden. They may be difficult but they are a delight.” [2]

  • Am I in agreement that “his commandments are not burdensome”?1 John 5:6-12

    “Some heretics apparently held that the divine Christ came on Jesus when he was baptized [water], but left him before his death. John contests this with his emphasis on blood: not by water only, but by water and blood. It was (and is) this that is the heart of the gospel. There were apparently no doubts about the water but the blood seems to have been the stumbling block; heretics evidently found it impossible to hold that the divine Christ could die.” [3]

  • What might have been attractive about the false teaching that Jesus is indeed our savior, but that he never died on the cross? 
  • Reflect on the fact that I have been given life through Jesus Christ who came “by the water and the blood.”

    [1] Morris, L. L. (1994). 1 John. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1408). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

    [2] Morris, L. L. (1994). 1 John. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1408). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

    [3]  Morris, L. L. (1994). 1 John. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1408). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

     

 

September 28, 2017

1 John 4

         1 John 4:1-18 

  • Note the statements in this chapter that declare why Jesus came into the world (vv. 2, 9-10, 14) and let my heart dwell (“abide”) on these truths.1 John 4:17-18“This is with a view to confidence on the day of judgment, and confidence on that day is the ultimate in confidence. In this world we are like him: we are children of the Father and Jesus is our model. The world did not welcome Christ and it does not welcome Christ’s people. But on the day of judgment the Judge will understand all.” [1]
  • What is the basis of my “confidence for the day of judgment”?
  • Reflect on v. 18.  What fears does the love of God cast out of my life?

         1 John 4:19-21

  • What are some ways that the love of God has caused me to love others?

[1] 6 Morris, L. L. (1994). 1 John. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1407). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

 

September 27, 2017

1 John 4

  • Journal & Pray. Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:
  • Read & Reflect

    1 John 4:1

  • What implications does John’s call to “test the spirits” have on my responsibility as a believer?

  • Is there someone I am listening to without validating what he/she is saying with the truths in the Bible?

  • What truths about Jesus did the false prophets deny?

    1 John 4:4-6

  • How does this passage give me strength in my battle against the influences, values, and strongholds of the world?

    1 John 4:7-8

  • What is the true source of love?

  • What are the wrong sources of love that I have been looking to and what has been the result?

  • Based on v. 8, what is one way in which I can come to know God better?

     

September 26, 2017

1 John 3

  • Journal & Pray. Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:
  • Read & Reflect

    1 John 3:11-12, 16

  • How does envy thwart brotherly love?  What warning should I heed from the example of Cain?
  • Think about the two models presented here–Cain or Jesus–and evaluate how they are reflected in my life. 

    1 John 3:14-15

  • To what extent have I personally come to see that “whoever does not love abides in death”?1 John 3:17-18
  • What do these verses teach about the nature of love?
  • What are some concrete actions by which I can grow to be a more loving person?1 John 3:19-22 

    John reassures sensitive consciences. Believers should live before God not in trembling anxiety, but in calm confidence.

    “[The word truth] points to the truth of the gospel. To know that we belong to the truth is to receive assurance. 20 If our hearts condemn us this is not the significant thing. It is God’s condemnation or approval that matters and he knows everything. He knows our motives and those deeds of love for which we may not dare to take any credit (cf. Mt. 25:37–40). He knows that we are his and it is this that is important, not our misgivings.  … 21 The promises of God are such that there is no reason for uncertainty. We can rely on God and have confidence before him. Since we are his we have nothing to fear.” [1]

     

  • How can the fact that “God is greater than my heart” encourage me in my Christian walk?[1] Morris, L. L. (1994). 1 John. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1405). Leicester, Englan; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

 

September 25, 2017

1 John 3

  • Journal & Pray. Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:
  • Read & Reflect

    1 John 3:1-3

  • According to this passage, who are we now, and what will be become?
  • How would the identity of a child of God impact a Christian’s relationships and values?1 John 3:3-10

    “John has already repudiated the doctrine of sinless perfection (1:8, 10)

    1 John 1:8, 10

    8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. …10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    and we must not interpret these words in such a way as to contradict those. But we must see that sin and the Christian are radically opposed. ‘John is arguing rather the incongruity than the impossibility of sin in the Christian’ (J. R. W. Stott, The Letters of John, TNTC [IVP, 1988], p. 131.”[1]

     

  • In light of our current identity and future destiny, why does it make sense that a Christian would not “make a practice of sinning” (vv.4, 8, 9)?[1]  Morris, L. L. (1994). 1 John. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1404). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

     

     

 

September 22, 2017

1 John 2

  • Journal & Pray. Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:
  • Read & Reflect

    1 John 2:18-19, 22

    From v. 22, what was the reason the false teachers (or “the antichrists”) left the fellowship of believers?

    What do v. 19 and v. 22 show about the basis of Christian fellowship?

    1 John 2:24-25

    What is the antidote to false teaching?

    How might John summarize that which they had “heard from the beginning”?  (see 1 John 1:1-7)

    To what extent have I been abiding in the basic gospel message that I “heard from the beginning”?

 

September 21, 2017

1 John 2

  • Journal & Pray. Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:
  • Read & Reflect

    1 John 2:12-14

    Since John’s reference to “children” refers to all believers, what are two things that are common among all believers, according to vv. 12-13?  What does this say about what is central to being a Christian?

    1 John 2:15-17

    Reflect on the fact that if I “[love] the world, the love of the Father is not in [me].”  How do my actions show where my allegiance lies? What are the things that keep me from doing the will of God?

    Reflect on the description of the world.  Do I agree that these things are “not from the Father”?

    Think about the words “passing away” and “forever” in v.17.  How do these realities affect my attachment to the world?

 

September 20, 2017

1 John 2

 

September 19, 2017

1 John 1

  • Journal & Pray. Here are some tools to help you with the devotionals:
  • Read & Reflect

    1 John 1:1-4

    How does Christian joy become complete? 

    1 John 1:5-10

    What does John mean by the expression “walking in the light” vs. “walking in darkness”?  In other words, what specific conduct is the text talking about through this imagery of light and darkness?

    The text tells us that walking in the light leads to “fellowship with one another” (v.7).  Think about the state of my relationships.  Are some relationships distant because I have not walked in the light?

    Reflect on the promise of v.9.  How is it “just” for God to “forgive us our sins” based on our confession? 

    Are there some sins that I need to confess today and claim v. 9?

 

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