1 John-Lesson 2
What a joy it must have been for John’s readers to hear his eyewitness account verifying that Jesus Christ was fully human and fully God–the Word of life–the eternal life. Not only is a relationship with God made possible through salvation, but also fellowship, personal communion with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. Fellowship with God and other members of the body of Christ produces a unique “oneness” and glorious joy in the faith.
“Light reveals God; light produces fruit; but light also exposes what is wrong.”
—Warren W. Wiersbe
(Note: It is important to understand that John is teaching believers about “fellowship” with God, not “salvation” in the following verses.)
1. Read 1 John 1:5-10. In verse 5, John describes God as “light.” “Light” denotes God’s holy character and truth. “Darkness” pictures sin, evil, and wickedness. What is the message John heard from Christ? What is meant by the words “at all” that end verse 5?
2. According to verse 6, what is characteristic of believers who claim to be in fellowship with God and others, but who allow sin in their lives? (Note: The word “walk” is a metaphor for “living,” or “a way of life.” It is helpful to think of “walking” as steps we take one at a time. Walking in the light is a moment-by-moment lifestyle.)
3. What condition, found in verse 7, must be met to walk in fellowship with God?
4. From verse 7, explain what has made fellowship possible between a holy God and sinful man.
5. Reread verse 8. Though we may be living in fellowship with God (walking in the light) and our attitudes and conduct are reflecting God’s holy character moment-by-moment, there will be times when we choose to sin (walk in darkness–disobedience). Define deceive as it is used in verse 8. What prevents us from applying truth in our daily walk? Why is it important to continually grow to know God and His Word? (Note: The words “the truth is not in us” mean we are not applying the truth of God in our daily lives.)
6. Read John 3:19-21. Using your own words, write what darkness hides. What is a function of light? What is the attitude and conduct of those who walk in darkness? (Note: In context, this passage is about salvation, but the principles of light and darkness apply to what John wrote in 1 John 1:5-8.)
7. From verse 21, what does John indicate is true of a person who walks in the truth? If a believer’s life reflects God’s character qualities, what does that tell you about him or her? What does a life that reflects God’s character qualities indicate?
8. John contrasts two lifestyles: one lived in the light (fellowship with God, a lifestyle that reflects His holy character); one lived in the dark (sin and wickedness). Is there another lifestyle? If not, what does your answer indicate?
9. According to 1 John 1:9, what must a believer do when a specific sin is exposed by the light (truth)?
10. What does God promise to do to restore the believer back to a walk in the light?
11. How do we know that this promise of God is certain?
12. How much does God promise to forgive? Does this promise cleanse us from sin of which we are unaware? Discuss the implications of His complete, total forgiveness.
13. Explain how confession (agreeing with God by naming our specific sin–I lied, lacked love, lusted, lacked patience, complained, etc.) restores us from darkness to fellowship (light) with God moment-by-moment in our lives.
14. According to 1 John 1:10, what is true in the life of a believer who denies that they have sinned? (Note: The phrase, “His word has no place in our lives,” or, “His word in not in us” means that the Word is not taken seriously, or we have disregarded it in our lives.)
15. Why do you think God wants us to confess our sin by being specific about what sin we have committed? Is this a moment-by-moment habit in your life? (Note: Confession is made from an act of your will. It is an act of obedience, by faith in the truth of God. Sometimes we need to ask God to give us the desire to NOT repeat the sin.)
16. When believers have no unconfessed sin, they are in fellowship with God. Light is very productive. Read Eph. 5:8-9 and Gal. 5:22-23. Of what does the fruit of light consist?
17. Explain how walking in the light moment-by-moment is the act of obedience necessary to obey the command of 1 Pet. 1:15.
18. Review 1 John 1:1-10. What is made possible in believer’s lives when they chose to live in the light moment-by-moment? What must a believer do after they have chosen to sin?
In Ann Ortlund’s book, “My Sacrifice His Fire,” she wrote,
“Part of our very sinfulness is that we’re so dull, we don’t understand much of our own sins. In the light of God’s perfect standard of holiness, we are much worse than we think, but God is so kind. When we confess our sins–whatever sins we do become aware of–He is ‘faithful and just, and will…purify us from all unrighteousness’! As you confess what you know, He will also forgive what you don’t know. Partial confession produces total forgiveness. Praise the Lord!”
19. Share a brief summary of your appreciation of this powerful and amazing principle.
20. Write a prayer thanking and praising God for the opportunity to walk in the light and enjoy His forgiveness and fellowship.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
Journal your thoughts and insights.
* My Sacrifice His Fire by Ann Ortland
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