Opening Questions and Prayer
What are some things (not people) in your life that would be difficult to live without?
Why is it easy to get attached to things that may be unhealthy for us in excess?
Ask the Lord to use this time studying His word as a way to become closer with Him.
Read 1 John 1:1-2 NLT
1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.
Why is John establishing by opening his letter this way?
How did John know that Jesus was the real deal and not just a good teacher or magician?
Why is it important for you to know Jesus as more than just a wiseman or good teacher?
How do you know that Jesus is the “Word of life”, “life itself”, and “eternal life”?
How does knowing these things about Jesus help you to stick with Jesus when life gets tough?
Read John 1:1-5
1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
What are some parallels between the opening of John’s gospel and John’s letter (both were written by the same author)?
Why is it important to John that the readers know that Jesus was more than just a good man?
How does Jesus' life bring light to everyone?
What does Jesus want you to do with the light He has given you?
What stops you from doing this?
What’s one thing you can do this week to share that light with others?
Read Romans 1:19-21
19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.
What are some ways Paul says God has made Himself obvious to people?
John and Paul both point to a personal God that wants people to know Him and have a relationship with Him, so why do people reject the Lord?
What are some things you do to get to know the Lord better?
How could you teach someone else to that spiritual discipline?
Read 1 John 1:3-4
3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
What is the purpose of John’s letter?
Why is it important for our relationship with the Lord to not just be about us and Jesus, but to involve a community of other believers?
How do you fully share the joy of Christ that John talks about?
Read 1 John 1:5-7
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
What does John want his readers to know about following Jesus?
What are some ways people live in spiritual darkness even after claiming to follow Jesus?
What’s the difference between living in spiritual darkness versus still wrestling with our sin nature?
Why is it important to have fellowship with other followers of Jesus if we want to live in the light?
What are some ways you have Christ-centered fellowship with others?
Who needs to be brought into your fellowship?
Read 1 John 1:8-10
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
How does John distinguish between living in darkness and sin?
Why is it important to know it is Jesus who forgave us and took away our sin punishment?
What are some ways people try to work to earn their forgiveness?
Why doesn’t this work?
If there is any unconfessed sin in your life, after asking God to forgive you, who in your fellowship can you talk to about it?
When will you do that this week?
1 John 1:7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
Closing thoughts and prayer
John establishes his credibility by reminding us that he walked, talked, and lived with Jesus, and after all that, John knew Jesus was the real deal. But John’s time with Jesus taught him something that is vital to us as fellow followers of Jesus: we aren’t made to take this faith journey by ourselves. In fact, John goes as far to say that if we are truly following Jesus, then we have fellowship with other believers. This isn’t alway easy because people sin, and mess up, but so do we. In order for us to make the faith journey that God has called us to, we have to confess our sin, and live our life with others journeying after Jesus and bringing others along.
Thank God for creating a fellowship of believers around you to help you in your faith journey. Go around the circle and thank God for the person on your right. End your time praying for our country and its leaders.