A. This week we will face the challenge of loving as Jesus did. I Corinthians 13 gives us a clear picture of God’s definition of love. Meditate on these verses this week, and turn them into prayers. Remember, God’s love is perfected in our obedience. He will love others through us! Write out I Corinthians 13:4. Meditate and pray over these attributes of God’s love.
B. Read I John 4:1-6. At some point in the future there will be an antichrist on earth, in the flesh. The antichrist is Satan, and his spirit is already in this world.
1. What is the clear test to evaluate whether or not a spirit is from God? (verses 2-3)
a. Why do you think this is a difficult test to evaluate?
b. If the one speaking is from God, will all he teaches be consistent with the teachings of Christ?
c. What one thing will the Spirit of God acknowledge? (verse 2)
2. What does Jesus say about God in John 4:23-24?
3. God wants us to worship Him in truth; in accordance with what we know about Him. Sanctify means to set apart, to purify. What did Jesus pray for us in John 17:17?
4. What does Psalm 119:160 say?
a. If we want to truly worship God, what should be our guide?
b. Why do you think it is so important to be accurate when it comes to what we believe?
c. What can you conclude about the one who does not claim that Jesus came in the flesh and is from God?
Life Points . . .
- The reason it is so important to worship God in truth is because it’s a way we will grow in our relationship with Him and experience true fellowship. Do you know the One you say you worship? Use His Word to guide you as you worship Him, and you will be centered in truth. In your journal, write down three true things you’ve learned about God in your study of I John. Use these to guide you through a time of worship with Him.
- Begin memorizing I John 4:9.
A. Write out I Corinthians 13:5. Will you apply these attributes of love today? Pray that they will become part of your life.
B. Read I John 4:1-6.
1. How does John address his readers? (verse 4)
a. Where are we from, if we are followers of Christ?
b. What have we overcome?
c. Why have we overcome?
d. What does Jesus say in John 16:33?
2. People who are not from God (not His adopted children) speak much differently about spiritual things than His own children. Why is that and who listens to them? (I John 4:5)
a. Who will listen to God’s children? (verse 6)
b. If someone refuses to hear when we speak the truth about God, what can we conclude?
c. What spirit do they have?
d. Can the Spirit of truth overcome this false spirit?
3. Why should we not take it personally when someone rejects our words about Christ?
4. Now that we know how to recognize these false spirits, what do you think we can do when we face them?
Life Points . . .
- When you think about it, nothing this world does should shock us. Many people are listening to the lead of the spirit of falsehood (darkness). Spend some time thanking God for overcoming that spirit and for making you His child.
- Keep memorizing I John 4:9.
A. Write out I Corinthians 13:6. What does God’s love look like? Meditate and pray about what you can apply from this verse.
B. Slowly read I John 4:7-21.
1. What word is the theme of this passage?
2. Having read this passage, would you define love as an emotion or an action?
3. Read verses 7-12 again. Where does love come from?
a. Love is the effect of what cause? (verse 7)
b. How did God show His love? (verse 9)
c. What was God’s purpose in doing this? (verse 9)
d. How does the Bible describe the epitome of love? (verse 10)
4. What does verse 11 say about who we are to focus on as we love others?
a. How would you summarize verse 12?
b. How does God’s love come alive in us? (I John 2:5)
5. We are commanded to love God, and love each other (Mark 12:30-31). God expressed His love by giving to us when we didn’t deserve to receive it without expecting anything in return. What are some practical ways we can love each other deeply?
Life Points . . .
- Who is the first person that comes to your mind when you hear “love one another?” Stop and ask God to love this person through you (verse 7). Ask Him to show you practical ways to express His love. Communicate your desire to obey this incredible command.
- Think about this truth and write it in your journal: “God’s love is fulfilled in me as I love you.” Write down any thoughts you have about this.
A. Write out I Corinthians 13:7. Thank God for His love. Praise Him for His ability to love through you.
B. Read I John 4:13-16. What does verse 13 say?
C. Jesus is teaching His disciples about the future arrival of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This took place at Pentecost (Acts 1-2). From that point on, all believers have the Spirit of God living in them. How does Jesus describe His Spirit to us? (John 14:15-18)
- What else does His Spirit do according to John 15:26?
- What is the Spirit called in John 16:7-8?
- What does the Spirit do according to John 16:13-15?
D. In I John 4:14, John reiterates the point that he and others were eyewitnesses of the Savior.
- What does he declare in verse 15?
- How sure does John sound on this point?
- Read about Peter’s confession of Christ in Matthew 16:13-17. Why was Peter blessed?
- Who reveals Jesus as the Son of God to us?
- What does John 6:44 say?
- From 1 John 4:19, who initiated our relationship with Jesus?
E. Read I John 4:16-18 carefully.
- What do we rely on?
- Is our security in God based on Him or us?
- Why do we not need to fear?
Life Points . . .
- God drew you to Jesus. He loves you so much. He gave His Spirit to keep you company until you are physically with Him. You can rest assured that you are His and nothing can change that because of the reliability of His love. You live because of Him! Will you take a few moments and praise Him with these truths?
- Continue to memorize I John 4:9.
A. Slowly read I Corinthians 13:4-7. Consider the fact that this is how God loves you! Finish this sentence using these verses. “Lord, I praise you that your love for me is…” (patient, etc.) Keep going. Embrace God’s love for you in Christ Jesus. Verse 8 says “love never fails.” Praise God!
B. Before you begin, pause and pray. Become aware of God’s presence with you. Invite His Holy Spirit to speak to you as you listen to His amazing words.
1. Read I John 4:16-21. What do you learn about God from these verses?
a. What do you learn about love?
b. What do you learn about you?
c. What will allow us to stand before God with confidence on the Day of Judgment?
d. How are we like Him in this world?
2. Read verse 18. Why would living this way eliminate fear?
a. What do we tend to fear most?
b. If God is love, and we know that, how can this truth overpower fear? (Be specific as you can.)
3. In verses 19-21, John is repeating the paramount command to love each other deeply. How is it made possible that we can love? (I John 4:19)
4. John seems determined that we understand the application of this command. The proof of God’s love in us is the ability to love our brothers, especially those we naturally want to hate. Read verses 13, 16, and 18 again. How do these truths help you with verse 21?
Life Points . . .
- The Spirit of God in us is able to love the unlovely people. It’s a matter of surrendering our will and walking in obedience to this command. Take a few minutes and ask God to search your heart. Are there people you would rather not love? Will you confess it and invite His purifying work? (I John 1:9) In your journal, write down anything you want to remember from this week’s lesson.
- Recite I John 4:9.
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?
[button style=”2″ caption=”Lesson Download” link=”https://thriveministry.box.com/s/1j5j2mopm9ivlp0axyfs”][/button]