Opening Questions and Prayer
What’s something you, or someone else, did even though you had been warned not to?
How did it turn out?
Why do people have a tendency to say one thing, but live differently than what they say?
Thank God that Jesus practiced what He preached to give us an example of how to live.
Read 1 John 2:1-6 NLT
1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
Why is John writing this section?
Why is it important not just to say you know God but also obey His commands?
What are some things that keep you from living as Jesus did?
What is one thing you can do this week to live like Jesus?
Read 1 John 2:7-11
7 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. 8 Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.
9 If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. 10 Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.
How did Jesus take the old commandment, “to love one another,” and make it new?
See John 13:34–35 34So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Why is loving other followers of Jesus so important to our relationship with God?
What would you say to someone who says, “I love Jesus, it’s just His followers I don’t like?”
How would fellow believers loving one another be attractive to those who don’t follow Jesus?
If there is a believer you have a problem with, what steps can you take to forgive them or ask forgiveness from them this week?
Read 1 John 2:12-14
12 I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus. 13 I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one. 14 I have written to you who are God’s children because you know the Father. I have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I have written to you who are young in the faith
because you are strong. God’s word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one.
What is John’s message to those who are mature in the faith?
What is his message to those who are young in the faith?
What can you learn from this?
If you are mature in the faith, how can you help those who are younger grow in their faith?
If you are young in the faith, who is someone that is mature in the faith that you can learn from?
What will you do this week to make steps towards that?
Read 1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
What is John saying about loving the world and loving God?
Why can’t you love the world and have the love of God in you?
What are some ways you’ve seen people give into the cravings listed in verse 16?
Why do those things seem attractive, but ultimately leave you unfulfilled?
What are some ways you can do the things that please God?
How will doing those things help you grow in your relationship with Him?
Read 1 John 2:18-23
18 Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 19 These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.
20 But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. 21 So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. 22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. 23 Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
According to John, who are the antichrists?
How can you make sure you are listening to the Truth of the Holy Spirit and not the lies of the enemy?
What does it mean to acknowledge the Son?
What would it look like to acknowledge the Son in front of others who don’t follow Jesus?
Read 1 John 2:24-29
24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.
26 I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
29 Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.
Who are people that want to lead you astray?
What would benefit them from you following their way and not Christ’s way?
Since the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, how can you learn to listen to Him better?
When given choices, how can you make sure you are listening to what the Spirit says and not the voices of those who want to lead you astray?
What is one thing you can do this week to remain in fellowship with Christ?
1 John 2:16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
Closing thoughts and prayer
John is making a distinction between what the world offers and what Christ offers. One leads to lies and one leads to death. John is telling us to stick to Jesus by drawing close to Him and loving others who follow Him. In this way others will see the truth and want to be part of God’s Kingdom.
Spend some time praying that God would help you to discern His Spirit versus the voices of this world. Then spend time praying for those who have been hurt by followers of Jesus. Ask Him to help you reconcile others to Him by the way you treat them. End your time praying for our country.