‘First Love’ Life – Lesson 12
A. How committed are you to the Word of God? As we focus on some passages from Psalm 119 this week, commit your heart to upholding God’s Word in your life. Meditate on Psalm 119:1-7.
B. Read I John 2:18-27. John and other New Testament writers, referred to the time between Christ’s resurrection and His second coming as “the last hour” or “the last day.” “Antichrist” means “against Christ.” Apparently, some had left the church and were teaching falsely about God by denying Jesus as the Christ or Messiah.
1. These antichrists stopped having fellowship with their teachers and other Christian. What does John say about them in verse 19?
2. John reminded his listeners of their anointing by God. He was encouraging them to stay focused on the truth. Read verses 20-23 again.
a. How do we know if someone is “anti” Christ according to verse 22?
b. What is clear about these people from verse 23?
c. Read II Corinthians 1:21-22 along with I John 2:20. What are these verses saying?
3. Read verses 24-27 again. Antichrist teachers were saying that the teaching of the apostles was not enough. They said that they possessed a higher knowledge and they were trying to lead Christians astray. These people were called Gnostics.
a. In what way is John comforting the believers?
b. What is John saying should be priority? (verse 24)
c. What have they heard “from the beginning”? (I John 1:1-4)
d. Why is it so important that we keep this truth at the forefront?
Life Points . . .
- It’s easy to get confused with so many sincere people telling us things that are not in accordance with God’s Word. That’s why it’s so important to know what His Word says. Discuss I John 2:23-25 with your Father. Thank Him that He has anointed you with the truth.
- Begin memorizing I John 3:18.
A. Read Psalm 119:9-16. Write down any phrases or thoughts that stand out to you.
B. In our secular culture today “spiritualism” is very popular. People are even promoting “God” and a “Higher Power.” However, if you pay close attention you will notice that the name of Jesus is rarely brought into the picture.
1. From your study yesterday, what did you learn about this type of teaching? (I John 2:23)
2. Read I John 3:1-3. What is the result of God lavishing His love on us? (verse 1)
3. Why doesn’t the world recognize Christians as children of God? (verse 1) (see also John 15:21 and 16:3)
4. What do we know is in store for us as His children? (verse 2)
a. What does Colossians 3:4 say?
b. What did Jesus pray for us in John 17:24?
c. What kind of hope do we have?
d. What does this hope motivate us to do?
e. What does II Corinthians 7:1 say?
5. From the following verses, explain how we, as Christians, purify ourselves.
a. I Peter 2:1
b. Colossians 3:5
6. Is this hope shaky? (Hebrews 6:19)
7. What does Romans 8:38-39 say that gives us hope?
Life Points . . .
- The Bible says that hope in God will not disappoint. Our hope is based on the promises of God and they are secure. What is this hope doing in you? Do you understand what a lavished gift it was when God made you His child? Can you comprehend what it means to be like Christ and share in His glory? Where is your hope? Write our II Corinthians 4:18 in your journal. Ask God to help you develop an eternal perspective.
- Continue memorizing I John 3:18.
A. Will you make Psalm 119:33-40 your prayer today?
B. Read I John 3:4-10. The Gnostic teachers that John is confronting lived immoral lifestyles.
1. What does John say in verse 6?
2. What did Jesus say in John 15:5?
3. Being “in Christ” or “remaining in Christ” changes us from the inside out. Why do we become uncomfortable with sin? (John 1:4)
4. John reiterates these same points in I John 3:7-10. Summarize what he says about trying to look beyond words to the actual lifestyles of those we hear.
a. How can we use this same test today?
b. John doesn’t say that we will never sin. He is saying that overall we should pull away from a lifestyle of sin and live to please Jesus. Who is doing this transforming work in us, according to Philippians 1:6?
c. What does Philippians 2:13 say?
5. How do we know who the “children of God” are?
6. Why did Jesus come? (I John 3:8)
7. What is the thief’s (the devil’s) work according to John 10:10?
8. How does Jesus describe the devil in John 8:44?
9. What does Jesus say in John 8:42?
Life Points . . .
- Are you getting the clear picture that Jesus and God are one? They are inseparable. Whose lies are people believing when they say they believe in God, but ignore Jesus (see John 8:41-42)? Is your heart’s desire now to do right? Praise God. Thank Him for making you His child and for patiently working in your life. Write down anything you want to remember from today’s lesson.
- Keep memorizing I John 3:18.
A. Psalm 119:73-77. Make this your prayer.
B. Quickly read the story of Cain and Abel from Genesis 4:1-15. Then read I John 3:11-15. Today we are looking at what love is not. Tomorrow we will learn about what love is according to the Bible.
1. Why did Cain kill Abel?
2. Why do you think Cain was so offended by Abel?
3. Why would the world hate believers? (I John 3:13) Do you think it has anything to do with light?
4. What is a sure sign that a believer has passed from death (separation from God) to life (union with God)? (verse 14)
5. Why can’t love and hate coexist? (verse 15)
6. When we are angry at someone and feelings of hate arise, how would the disciplines that are listed below help us?
a. Pray for them specifically (Luke 6:28)
b. Read Scripture about God’s gracious love (Ephesians 2:4)
c. Remind ourselves of our own unworthiness to be loved by God (Romans 5:8)
d. Be sympathetic, compassionate, loving, and humble (I Peter 3:8)
7. What does Jesus say about those who not only hear His Word, but also put it into practice? (Matthew 7:24)
8. Do you have a choice when it comes to anger?
9. What did Jesus decide to do when He was mistreated? (I Peter 2: 23)
Life Points . . .
- Love and hate cannot coexist. Do you struggle with hate? Honestly talk to God about it. Apply His Word to the situation. Talk to a godly person you respect in the Lord. God will do this work in you — it’s a promise. We have to surrender our right to be hateful. You may not hate, but there may be someone in the family that you’re really struggling with. Write their initials in your journal and begin praying for them often. See what happens to your attitude.
- Keep memorizing 1 John 3:18.
A. Read Psalm 119:129-136. What does this passage show you about how God’s Word can help you today?
B. How do we know what love is? John paints a clear picture for us. Read I John 3:16-24. Think about the verse in I John 3:16 at says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us…” God wants you to know His love. The rest will fall into place. Until we embrace that truth into the innermost places of our being we cannot do any of what John is describing.
1. How does the fact that Jesus laid down His life for you affect your life now?
2. What are some ways we can “lay down our lives” for our brothers and sisters in Christ? (Be very practical, using God’s Word to guide you.
3. What does I John 3:18 say?
4. What does James 2:14-17 say?
5. Is the love of God (by faith) passive or active?
6. What is God’s command in I John 3:23?
a. Sometimes our own hearts may doubt or be filled with fear, but God is bigger than our hearts (our emotions). Do you think we are to just practice this commandment when we “feel” like it?
b. What does I John 3:24 say? How can we be sure God is living in us?
c. Whose Spirit makes this possible? (verse 24)
Life Points . . .
- Our natural response is to say, “I can’t.” That is our heart condemning us, but God is bigger than our feelings! He has given us His Spirit to accomplish His purpose through us! Isn’t that amazing? It’s not about us, and how inadequate we feel. It’s about God and us becoming completely adequate through Him. Meditate on this for a few moments, and talk to God about how He will love through you as you obey. Thoughtfully answer the questions under Wrapping Up This Week. Be prepared to share concisely with your group.
- Recite I John 3:18.
Wrapping Up This Week…
Review this week’s lesson. Pray and ask God to identify one or more statements or Scriptures that He wants you to understand, learn, or practice. Underline them, then respond to the following questions.
- What was the most meaningful statement or Scripture you read this week?
- Pray that statement or Scripture to God.
- What does God want you to do in response to this week’s study?
About the author
I've been a Bible Study teacher for years! I LOVE God's word and am thrilled when others fall in love with it too. However, I've noticed that too many of us stop at the 'information' part of study and don't take the time for the 'transformational' power of lingering with the Living Word. I hope you will journey with me as we listen to what the Spirit in us longs to teach us as we pay attention to His Voice. May God richly bless you with deep roots in Him.View all articles by: Grace Cabalka
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