1 John–Lesson 11
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world.”
1 John 5:4
Overcomers are conquerors. They experience superior power and overwhelming success in battle; they overthrow their enemy. In John 16:33, Jesus said to His disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Because of our union with Christ, believers partake in His victory.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.”
2 Corinthians 2:14
1. Read 1 John 5:1-12. In verse 1, John uses the word “everyone” two times. What did he write about “everyone”?
2. According to 1 John 5:2-3, how can we know that we love our brothers and sisters?
3. Read 1 John 5:3 and John 14:15, 21. What does obedience to God’s will confirm?
4. God’s commands can seem burdensome (heavy), but in truth, submitting to His commands leads us to freedom and eternal life. Read Matt. 11:28-30. What are characteristics of Jesus’ yoke and burden? Why? Read 2 Cor. 3:17 to help with your answer.
(Note: John may be contrasting God’s commands which lead to faith, freedom, and victory, with the false teachers’ lives of lies and immorality which lead to a life of bondage to sin and death. “Yoke” in the New Testament denotes servitude, bondage or hard labor.)
5. According to 1 John 5:4-5, who are the overcomers? What do we overcome?
6. From 1 John 5:19, what does John mean by “the world”?
7. Review 1 John 5:1-5. John wrote that every believer is an overcomer through faith in Jesus as the true Son of God. This is positional truth. How may a believer demonstrate positional victory in practical life experience?
8. If you are a believer, you are an overcomer, a victor. What attitudes do you demonstrate most often when loving God or others becomes a challenge? Share an experience that tested your love for God and/or a brother or sister.
9. Do you view yourself as an overcomer? Read 1 Cor. 15:57-58. Explain how acceptance of your position with God, in spite of your feelings, should change your approach to difficulties.
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57
10. Review 1 John 5:6-12. In the next seven verses, John addresses doctrine that verifies the uniqueness of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Remember that one sect of the false teachers taught that the Spirit came upon the “man” Jesus at His baptism and left Him prior to the passion. Therefore, they believed the man Jesus died on the cross, not the divine Christ. This teaching nullified the value of the atonement for the sins of mankind. It is believed that John wrote the following passage to prove that Jesus was always wholly man and wholly God; therefore, He was the perfect sacrifice for mankind’s sin. Most commentators agree, due to the context, that water represents Christ’s baptism, and blood is a symbol of His atoning death. What does John state in verse 6, about Jesus the man and the Divine Christ?
(Note: The phrase “it is the Spirit who testifies” is present tense in the Greek and refers to the continual ongoing testimony of the Holy Spirit.)
11. What was God’s testimony? Read Luke 3:22 to help with your answer.
12. Review 1 John 5:7-8. Who and what bore testimony to the incarnation and atonement of Jesus Christ? How did John put to rest the false teaching that these three were unrelated?
(Note: In the KJV, a different verse 7 was added to late manuscripts and is NOT considered to be true biblical text.)
13. Review 1 John 5:8-9 and read also Matt. 3:16-17 and John 1:32-34. What was John the Baptist’s testimony? What do you think John might have been referring to as God’s greater testimony?
14. According to Rom. 1:1-4, what does the Apostle Paul state as a confirmation that Jesus was truly the Son of God?
15. Christ’s uniqueness did not begin with His baptism. John wrote of Christ’s distinctiveness from the beginning. Read John 1:1-4, 12-14 and write a short paragraph in your own words expressing what John stated about the one and only Son of God.
16. What is especially dear to you when you reflect that God the Father sent His only Son on your behalf?
17. According to 1 John 5:10, how do believers know that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God–wholly man and wholly God? Why is this significant? Re-read the note in question #10 to help with your answer.
18. Review 1 John 5:11-12 and read John 5:26. What has God given to us? What is the source of this gift?
19. Every human being has eternal existence, but only believers have eternal “life.” Read John 3:36, John 5:24, and John 10:28. What is necessary for a person to receive eternal life? From what have we been delivered? What eternal benefits are given to us who receive His life?
20. Are you an overcomer? If so, is your life of faith demonstrated by godly attitudes and actions that are characteristic of an overcomer? Write a short paragraph, psalm, or poem expressing your assurance of eternal victory.
“Eternal life. An infinitely high quality of life in living
fellowship with God—both now and forever.”1
1NIV Study Bible General Editor Kenneth Barker
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