In the summer of 2011, I preached a series of sermons on the book of 1 John in a series entitled “In the Light.” I am organizing this 7 week sermon series into 5 weeks of personal Bible Study/small group discussion questions. I will be posting a new section of this study each Monday for the next month. If you are looking for a way to get into God’s Word in 2013, maybe these resources will be helpful for you!
Week 1: 1 John 1:1-2:6
Preview of the book of 1 John:
Have you ever been jealous of the original disciples? Ever wish that you could have seen the sea stilled, the 5,000 fed, the dead rise, the lame walk, and the blind see? Ever wish you could have heard (from Jesus own mouth and with His own voice) the Sermon on the Mount, or been a fly on the wall during His high priestly prayer? Ever wish you were the one who had stayed up all night with the Savior in prayer or shared a meal with Him on the shore after a night of fishing? Ever wish you had that type of fellowship with God?
In our world, much of the time we feel disconnected from God. Since we cannot see God, our relationship with Him can sometimes be out of sight out of mind. When we read the Scriptures, specifically the Gospels, we oftentimes wish we could have been there with Him in the flesh, believing it would be more difficult to neglect our relationship with Him face to face than across the invisible barriers we feel between this world and our heavenly home. If only we could have the intimacy in our relationship with Christ that the disciples had . . .
If this is your desire, I have news for you . . . it was also the desire of one of the original disciples, the Apostle John! John wrote a letter to second generation Christians around 90 AD expressing His desire that their relationship with Christ be as intimate as his. John spent lots of time with Jesus on the earth, and He believed that level of fellowship was still accessible for himself and others who had not seen Jesus face to face. John wrote this in the first four verses of his letter we know as 1 John:
“The One who existed from the beginning is the One we have heard and seen. We saw Him with our own eyes and touched Him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of Life. This One who is Life from God was shown to us, and we have seen Him. And now we testify and announce to you that He is the One who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then He was shown to us. We are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy will be complete.” NLT
John’s joy would be complete if we had the fellowship with Jesus that he had, and the book of 1 John lays out his argument for how we (who have not seen Christ face to face) can have intimate fellowship with Him right now in our lives. We will take a look at this argument over the next five weeks in this Bible study entitled “In the Light.” By looking at the truth of 1 John, we will see what an intimate relationship with Christ looks like. Each week will include a written devotional (like the one you just read), a selected set of verses from 1 John to read and reflect upon, some questions to ponder individually, and answer corporately if you choose to talk about this in a small group setting, and an audio recording (or two) of sermons on the selected verses. May God richly bless you in your study!
- Read 1 John 1:1-2:6
- What are some things that keep CHRISTIANS from having a deep and vibrant relationship with God? Do you think the intimate relationship with Christ John spoke of in 1 John 1:1-4 is even possible? Why or why not?
- John declares that fellowship with Jesus is found in the light and not in the darkness (1:5-7). What do you think he means by this? Have you ever seen this to be true in your personal relationship with God? In the lives of others?
- Is there an area in your life where you are choosing to live “in the dark”?
- Reflect upon 1 John 1:8-10. Is perfection expected in our earthly lives? If perfection is not expected, what is? How does this play itself out in your daily life?
- In 1 John 2:1-2, Jesus is described as doing two things for us. What are they? How does knowing Jesus is serving in these roles allow you to have deeper fellowship with God?
- What is the correlation between obedience and intimacy with God according to 1 John 2:3-6?
- What is one thing you are challenged to do in response to the verses you have read today?
Here is the audio file from a sermon on 1 John 1:5-2:6 – In the Light part 1.
To listen to the sermon online, you can listen below: