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Week4 Chapters 4-5

STUDY QUESTIONS Week 2 Week 3 Chapter 3

  1. 1.Describe your experience with your own father.  Did he reflect our heavenly Father to you?  Whether or not you had such a father, what does it mean to you that God is your father?

  1. 2. In what ways do you feel out of step with the world?

  1. 3.Read. Romans 8:29.  What does it mean to you to be conformed to the image of Christ?  What will the world see?  What does the world see now?

  1. 4. What are some of the things you do to show Christ’s image?

5.  If you have any unsaved family, is there some kind of barrier between you?  Are you closer to some Christians than them?

Chapter 4

Verses1-3 We are not only warned about falling prey to false doctrine, we are told the yardstick to measure doctrine.  Do not believe any who do not proclaim that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh.  The faith that Christ was God in flesh is what unites us.   Such differences as infant baptism, which is not scriptural, or taking a stand on whether believers go directly to heaven or wait until Christ’s return should not divide us!  Read vs. 15. 

Verse 4 Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.  We have God, the Holy Spirit, within us.  It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to tell the difference between truth and error in theological matters.

Verses 5-6 We do not think, behave or speak like the world because we believe.  The world does not believe the Bible is God’s infallible word.  Read John 3:18.

Verses 7-11 Love. In verses 7-10  John lays out both that God loves us more than we deserve or can imagine and how we know, He sent His Son to die for us.  The bottom line is verse 11, because He loves us so much, we should love one another.  Again, Romans 8:29, we are to be conformed to Christ’s image.  We love each other to be like Him, and as an act of obedience (We are commanded by Christ to love each other. John 13:35) with grateful hearts.

Verses12-14 We are able to love one another because the Holy Spirit, God is in us.  We have the Holy Spirit because because, as verse 14 says, we believe, bear witness “that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” 

Verse 15 Through John God hammers on this principle, that all those, “whoever”, Confesses Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him.”  That is the sole criterion we should use. It is really 2 prong, that is a person can profess he/she believes, but their behavior does not reflect the presence of the Holy Spirit.  (verses 20-21, James 1:21-27)

Verses 16-21 All these verses repeat what we have already been told, That all who profess the deity of Christ abide in God and need to love one another.

Chapter 5

Verses 1-3 Reaffirms the basis for someone being a Christian, to believe and love God our Father and Christ and do His commandments. This is the criterion John set forth in 1John 2:3-6 and Christ himself set. Read  John 14:14 and 14:23-24.

Verses 4-5 Christ, of course, was born of God.  We are also. Because of our faith, we have been been “reborn”  Read John 3:3-7 Because we have been born again, like Christ, we can over come the world, if we keep His commandments, if we love and obey Him.

Verses 6-8 The testimony of 3 who Christ is. God established the need for multiple witnesses. Deuteronomy 17:6 forbids carrying out capital punishment on less than 2 or 3 witnesses.  Jesus reaffirms the in Matt. 18:15-16 in confronting a believer who is in sin.  These three witness, the water (baptism), the blood (the crucifixion) and the Spirit, (the Holy Spirit Who give us the conviction that Christ is Who He said He is). 

Verses 9-10 God is more reliable than man.  If we accept the testimony of men, we must accept the testimony of God. We have the testimony of God in us because the Holy Spirit convicts us of Who Christ is and what He did.  We cannot say we believe Christ and not believe God or say we believe God but not believe Christ.  They are one.

Verses 11:13  The testimony is that we have eternal life.  This is what Christ promised. Read  Matt. 19:28-29, John 3:16. We cannot say we believe God and not believe this.

Verse 14-15  The crux of this is that what we ask must be in God’s will.  Remember Christ’s words in Gethsemane,‘Nevertheless, not my will but Thy will be done.” (Luke 22:42.

Verses 16-17  These verses were confusing to me, talking of sin leading to death versus sin not leading to death.  Of the several interpretations that I read, the one that makes the most sense to me, that is consistent with other scripture, is that the sins not leading to death are those we can confess and repent, turn away from.  As 16 says, if we see such a brother or sister in sin, we are to pray for him/her.  Actually, we are to do more than that.  Jesus laid it out for us in Matt. 18:15-17. Jesus says that if a brother continues sinning after being confronted, we should treat him like a tax collector. Heb. 10:26 says the is no sacrifice if a person continues sinning after being confronted.  Such sin, as well as the unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit, lead to death. (Matt. 12:31).

Verse 18 Again, this verse is difficult.  Three commentaries had two different interpretations.  This verse says that because I know I am born again, I do not sin. Yet, I know I sin and that when I confess my sin, He is faithful to forgive me and cleanse me from it. (1Jn 1:9) Some say the form of the Greek word “sin” contains the idea of a continual action. Another disagrees, saying we should not sin at all.  What is clear to me is that when we do sin, the Holy Spirit convicts us and we can turn from our sin.  Because of the Holy Spirit within us, we can resist temptations of the world.

Verses 19-20 Summarizes the whole of the epistle, that because we know the truth, we are in Christ and have eternal life and the ability to distinguish evil from good, holy from unholy, which is the world without Christ.

Verse 21 Guard yourselves from idols.  Idols equals anything you think about or treasure or trust more than God.

WEEK 4 Chapter 4

Study Questions

  1. 1. What are some of the differences between denominations that separate God’s children, all those who confesses that Jesus is the Son of God?  Have you encountered people of another denomination where you felt the difference divided you?

  1. 2. How are you different from the world?  What do they do that you don’t?  What do you do that they don’t?  Could someone who didn’t know you tell you are a Christian?

3.  What scriptures do you remember, what do you do when you meet a professed Christian whom you don’t like to get past your natural inclination?

  1. 4. How do you approach, confront a person who professes to be a Christian but does not behave as one?

  1. 5. Verse18 This verse gives us something to ponder in our own relationships, especially in our relationship to God.  Are you ever afraid of God, because of something you have thought or said or done?  Do you understand that such fear is groundless?  As we studied in 1John1:9. Read it. You never have a reason to fear God.  In our human relationships, do you ever fear someone you think loves you? What are you afraid of? Are there others whom you love who fear you?  How can you prove to them they need not fear?

Chapter 5

  1. 1.Verses 4-5 say we have overcome the world.  List outlooks, beliefs and activities the world condones that you do not.

  1. 2. Eternal life with God. What is the impact on your outlook, your life of knowing this life is not all there is to it, that when we die we will be in heaven with God?

  1. 3. How do you react when God seems to say, “No” to your requests?  What confidence does it give you that God loves you so much He died so you would have eternal life?

  1. 4.Depending on the translation, idols are mentioned 95-124 times in the Bible. What are some of the things people make as idols today? What are some of the things people  love and trust more than God?

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