1 John–Lesson 12
John stated his first purpose for writing this letter in 1 John 2:26, “I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.” In his final remarks, he began with a secondary purpose statement, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
John used the word “know” seven times in the final nine verses of this letter. The false teachers claimed superior knowledge about the spiritual realm, yet they lived an immoral lifestyle. John again counters their allegations by reminding his beloved flock of what they KNOW, in order to offer them assurance and confidence through an intimate fellowship with God.
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory
that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
1 John 5:4
1. Read 1 John 5:13-21. To whom is verse 13 written? What does John want them to know?
2. “Name” in this context refers to the whole person: attributes, character, and deeds. What does it mean in verse 13 to “believe in the name of the Son of God”?
3. Why do you think believers, confronted by false teachers claiming supernatural knowledge and experiences, could experience feelings of doubts that might leave them unsure of their faith?
4. Have you ever questioned your salvation? If so, explain. How were you enabled to once again know that you have eternal life? Explain the changes this assurance made in your life.
5. Review verses 14-15. According to verse 14a, what can believers (those who are abiding in Christ) be confident of?
6. What is the condition for answered prayer?
7. How may a believer “know” His will? Read 2 Tim. 3:16 -17 and Heb. 4:12 for help with your answer. How do we know He hears? What else may we know?
8. From 1 John, choose three commands or exhortations John emphasizes that you can ask Him help you to obey, “knowing,” that He hears and “knowing” you will receive. Note references.
9. Write a personal prayer based on your answers to question #8.
“Prayer is an attitude of total dependence on God….Prayer [must] be in accord with the will of God, it must be in harmony with the Word of God.”1 — J. Dwight Pentecost
10. Review 1 John 5:16-17. Believers who live in fellowship with God and abide in Christ, dearly love fellow believers. They realize that “all wrongdoing is sin” and that sin separates them from God. Believers are greatly concerned for any brother or sister who commits a sin. How should a believer respond to observing a fellow believer commit a sin? Read 1 Thes. 4:7. In what sense would a “believer” need prayer for “life?”
(Note: In 1 John 5:13, John has established that those born of God know they have “eternal life.”)
11. When a believer commits a sin, what does he or she need to do to be restored to “life” in the light? You may need to review 1 John 1:5-9 to help with your answer.
12. When you need to pray for a believer who has committed a sin, what would you request?
13. Read Heb. 12:11 and Rev. 3:19. What may be needed to bring a believer who commits a sin back to the abiding life?
14. John does not tell us what “sin” leads to death, but it is evident that his readers knew what he meant. Many commentators agree that “death” in this context refers to physical death. Read Acts 5:1-11 and 1 Cor. 11:26-31. What do you think God’s purpose was in these two situations? What is your reaction to these two examples?
”God does not regard broken fellowship lightly. To live with unconfessed sin is to invite discipline.”2 — J. Dwight Pentecost
15. Review 1 John 5:18-19. According to verse 18, what do we know about overcomers? Read 1 John 3:9 for help with your answer. According to some commentaries, the word “him” in verse 18 could be read as “himself.” The verse would read, “the one who was born of God keeps himself safe.” This would suggest the idea of “setting a guard.” Explain how an overcomer (one who abides and is empowered by the Holy Spirit) could “keep himself” safe from the evil one.
(Note: Some commentaries believe “him” means Jesus Himself keeps us safe, and this is also true to Scripture. See John 17:12, 17; 2 Thes. 3:3.)
16. According to 1 John 5:19, what two things can believers know? From what are believers, who abide in Christ, separated? (In verse 18, the NIV uses the phrase “children of God” but the Greek text does NOT include the word “children.” It should read “of God,” and indicates a life lived in God, the abiding life, a life lived from the light.)
“The world is controlled by the evil one. The abiding life is controlled by the Holy Spirit.”3 — J. Dwight Pentecost
17. Beginning with verse 13, write the text as first person statements, stating the seven truths that John says that we KNOW. Give the reference for each one.
18. Review 1 John 5:20. This is John’s grand finale. Why did Jesus come? Explain how the incarnation and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ fulfilled God’s purpose.
19. In 1 John 5:21, John leaves his beloved flock with one last exhortation, “…Keep yourselves from idols.” Charles C. Ryrie wrote “An idol is anything that substitutes for God.” Re-read your “I KNOW” list. Is there anything you have substituted for these fundamental truths of God’s Word? If so, allow 1 John 1:9 to restore you to fellowship with the living God.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
1 John 1:7
What does walking in the light produce?
You bear Christ’s resemblance.
You reflect God’s love to others.
Faith’s victory shines through your life in a dark world.
“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
1 John 2:6
Lesson 13 will be a review of 1 John.
1 The Joy of Intimacy with God by J. Dwight Pentecost
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