Opening Questions and Prayer
What is something that is easy to say, but hard to do? (eating healthy, getting enough sleep, reading your Bible, etc.)
Why do our words and actions often not line up?
What does God say about our words and actions?
Spend a moment asking God to guide you in your study. Ask that He would help you apply what you learn.
Read 1 John 3:1-3 NLT
1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.
What does John want the readers to know about their relationship with God?
How does knowing that you are a child of God change your perspective on how you live?
Why doesn’t the world understand that?
What are some ways you can keep yourself pure like Christ?
Read 1 John 3:4-6
4 Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. 5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.
What does John mean by “anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is?”
To hear Paul’s take on this issue of sin see Romans 8:5-9: Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
What's the difference between committing a sin and “being dominated by the sinful nature?”
How do you deal with sin in your life?
Who can help you live the life God wants you to?
When can you meet with them regularly for accountability?
Read 1 John 3:7-10
7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
How will we be able to tell the difference between the children of God and the children of the devil?
Why is it so important that our actions line up with our family alliance (children of God)?
What are some ways you can live righteously?
What do you do when you get off track?
What’s something you can do daily to walk with Jesus?
Read 1 John 3:11-13
11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
Why does John make such a big deal about loving one another?
What are some ways the world hates followers of Jesus?
Why will the world hate us who follow Jesus?
What can we do to show those outside of God’s kingdom the love of Jesus?
Read 1 John 3:14-15
14 If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.
What is John saying?
When you are mad at a brother or sister in Christ, how do you deal with them?
Is there anyone you are harboring bitterness towards?
If so, how can you talk to them this week to work that out?
Read 1 John 3:16-19
16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.
How does Jesus’ death show us real love?
When we have that love in us, what will happen as a result?
Why is loving others linked to loving God?
How can you show someone God’s love for them this week?
Read 1 John 3:20-22
20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
After reading this entire chapter, what might be some ways people feel guilty?
What are some ways our feelings can deceive us?
Why is it important to know that God is greater than our feelings?
What are some ways you can move past the feelings of guilt for your sin and live in God’s grace?
Read 1 John 3:23-24
23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.
Why is it important to start with our relationship with Christ and His love for us instead of trying to fix our sin by doing good things?
How do you remain in fellowship with God?
What is one thing you can do this week to show love to others by the way you follow Jesus?
1 John 3:23- And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.
Closing thoughts and prayer
Dealing with sin is never easy. It can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and disheartening at times. In those moments we have to remember that it is Jesus that forgives our sins, not us doing good things. Our good works come as a result of us becoming more like Jesus. The more we live and love like Jesus, the less we sin because we are walking by faith and not by sight.
Spend some time praying that the Lord would show you how much He loves you. Thank Him for His forgiveness of sin. Ask the Lord to put someone in your life this week that you can share His love with. End your time praying for our country and its leaders.