Friday, February 07, 2014

Bible Study: Live A Life Of Love - 1 John - Chapter 2

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the epistle of 1 John. I feel a great sense of urgency to publish them because I’m not sure how much time we have left on this big, blue marble. Thank you for reading them. I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, mid to late summer 2010, things are still looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment, BP finally thinks they’ve stopped the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, and many people I know personally are experiencing difficulties of mega-crisis proportions – including my own diagnosis of breast cancer. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 2 of 1 John. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

2:1 – John writes to “My dear children”. This letter was probably addressed to his congregation at Ephesus. He writes so that they will not sin. But he reassures his children that Christ intercedes on their behalf if anybody does sin. We have this same reassurance today if we belong to Christ.

2:2 – Jesus sacrificed His life to atone for the sins of the whole world.

2:3-4 – John says that we know Jesus if we obey his commands. What does this say about you if you claim to know Him but you’re not obedient? Do you want to know Jesus? What command are you currently not obeying that you could start?

2:5 - If you obey His word, God's love is made complete in you. What does this mean to you? We know that we are in Him if we walk as He did. How did Jesus walk? Obediently, humbly, confidently, compassionately, lovingly. What else?

2:7 – What do you think the old command is?

the old command – love your neighbor.

2:8 – What is the new command?

the new command – love your brother. See 2:9.

2:9 – This is a powerful verse. Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness. This doesn’t mean a disagreement. Hate is equated with murder in the Bible. Do a word study on hate when you have the time. In fact, make the time.

2:10 – Conversely, whoever loves his brother lives in the light. This is awesome, and a very high bar to achieve consistently. How are you able to live this verse out? I think another word study is called for: look up “love”.

2:11 – How do you think the darkness blinds us?

2:12 – John wanted his children to know that their sins had been forgiven because of the name of Jesus. Do you know this? When was the last time you shared this with someone else?

2:13-14 – Why do you think the fathers would know “Him who is from the beginning”? What do you think is the significance of the young men overcoming the evil one? Does it have anything to do with their strength or the Word of God living in them? What do you think the source of their strength is? How did John’s “dear children” come to know the Father?

2:15-16 – This is a very specific instruction: “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” This refers to the sinful nature – cravings, lusts, boasting. If we love the sinful nature, we don’t have the love of the Father in us. How important is it to you to have God’s love in you?

2:17 – The world and its desires are temporary, “but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” Are you doing God’s will? How do you know? Test it against His Word. Are you obeying His commands? If so, you’re doing His will.

2:18 – Apparently, the coming of antichrists is a signal that it is the last hour. Do not become complacent in this. Stay alert, keep seeking Jesus and sharing Him with others. He will be back to take us home before you know it!

the antichrist – Satan doesn’t know when Christ’s kingdom will come, so he must have candidates for this position “in every generation so that when the time comes, he can inhabit and use his prime choice.” (Daniel – Beth Moore)

“One of the most notable characteristics of the antichrist is his genius. I believe he will be a Gentile (Rev. 13:1), emerging from a reunified Roman Empire (Daniel 7:8; 9:26), who is an intellectual genius (Dan. 8:23), an oratorical genius (Dan. 11:36), a political genius (Rev. 17:11-12), a commercial genius (Dan. 11:43; Rev. 13:16-17), a military genius (Rev. 6:2; 13:2), and a religious genius (2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:8).” (Daniel – Beth Moore: The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy) I do not agree with the use of the underlined verses to support the genius reference.

2:19 – John appears to be saying that these antichrists went out from his own group. He states that they didn’t really belong to his group, though, because they would have remained with them if they’d truly belonged to them. What does this tell you? It tells me that there will be those among you in church who won’t belong to Jesus. Don’t be fooled. Keep your eyes, ears and heart and God’s Word OPEN! Why do you think John included this in the text?

2:20-21 – Believers have an anointing from the Holy One. This anointing reveals the truth. John reveals this as part of the reason he wrote this letter.

2:22 – John identifies the liar as one who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a denial makes this person the antichrist because he denies the Father and the Son.

2:23 – John explains that you can’t have the Father without the Son. Does this remind you of another verse – “I am the way, the truth and the life”?

2:24 – What do you think they’ve heard from the beginning that John wants to remain in them?

2:25 – The promise of eternal life comes to us through Jesus Christ.

2:26-27 – see Revelation 2-3.

2:26 – Why do you think John was writing about those who were trying to lead others astray? Do you think such warnings are timely today?

2:27 – Remember what was said in verse 20? The anointing in us reveals the truth. It teaches us.

2:28 – If we “continue in Him”, we may be confident and unashamed when He returns.

2:29 – We can identify those who belong to Jesus because they do what is right, as He is righteous. Can you identify a couple of people you know as belonging to Jesus?

• First John instructs us in how to live a life of love. Like First Peter, it also llustrates several life lessons and warnings for Christians. What is God teaching you in this chapter of scripture? How will you apply it to your life this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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