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Opening Questions and Prayer

  • What is something you do or say as an adult that is just like what your parents said or did when you were a kid? (Clap real loud to get your kids attention, say a phrase they would always say, etc.)

  • What is a trait you’re proud of that reflects your upbringing?

  • What character traits do you have that reflect Jesus?

  • Ask the Lord for wisdom as you study His Word.

Read 1 John 5:1-5 NLT

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

  • Why does John want his readers to understand how important loving God and loving others is?

  • What are some ways we make God’s commandments burdensome?

    • How are His commandments actually freeing?

  • How do we defeat this evil world and win the battle?

  • What are some traits children of God have?

  • What are some ways you can remind yourself about the ongoing spiritual battle that is being waged every day?

Read Luke 10:17-20

17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

  • Why were the disciples so excited?

  • How does Jesus redirect that excitement?

  • Why should we rejoice more in being part of God’s family instead of the power that He grants us?

  • How can you use the power over darkness that Jesus grants to help others know Him better this week?

Read 1 John 5:6-10

6 And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. 7 So we have these three witnesses— 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. 9 Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. 10 All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.

  • How does the Spirit, the water, and the blood prove that Jesus really was who He said he was?

  • When someone says Jesus isn’t the Son of God, how is that calling God a liar?

  • What are some barriers people have when it comes to believing in Jesus?

  • How can you show God’s love to those who do not yet believe in Jesus?

Read 1 John 5:11-15

11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

  • As God’s children, what type of relationship does John say we should have with our Father?

  • What traits should followers of Jesus have?

  • On a scale of 1-5 how confident are you that God hears your prayers?

  • What are some things that make it difficult for you to believe God hears your prayers?

  • What are some things that make it easy for you to believe God hears your prayers?

  • What is one thing you can do this week to make sure your prayers are for things that please God?

Read 1 John 5:16-20

16 If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.

18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.

  • What does John want those who read this letter to understand about sin?

  • What is a trait followers of Jesus have when it comes to sin?

  • Besides the Lord, who do you confess sin to?

  • Why is it important for followers of Jesus to confess their sins to another few trusted believers?

  • If you don’t have accountability, who can you start meeting with regularly to confess sin and pursue Jesus together?

    • When will you talk to them this week?

Read 1 John 5:21

21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

  • Why does John end his first letter this way?

  • What does this verse have to do with the rest of the letter?

  • As God’s children, what trait is he saying we should have?

  • What are some things that can take God’s place in your hearts?

  • What are some daily practices you have that help you keep God first in your life?

  • What does God want you to do with what you have learned today?

Memorize it!

1 John 5:21- Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

Closing thoughts and Prayer

John wraps up his first letter revisiting some of the themes but also laying out some traits that the children of God should have: keeping God’s commandments, boldness in defeating evil, not habitual sinners, putting God first, etc. John is saying every area of our life should be sticky to the things of God. Not just a Sunday thing with a few prayers thrown in throughout the week, but daily, moment by moment, fellowship with God. Think back over John’s letter and make it a goal this week to re-read it.

Spend some time praying that your life would reflect that you are a child of God. Pray that the Lord would give you opportunities to share His love with those around you this week.


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