1st John

Abide: Keep His Commandments

March 21, 2023 • Erin Morris

 As followers of Christ, we are called to keep the commandments of the Lord without stain or blemish. If we do so we have confidence before the Lord as we present our requests before Him. As we strive to do what He commands, we must be careful not to fall into legalism, believing our obedience grants us righteousness before the Father. Join us for session eleven as we discuss the motive of our obedience and the result it produces in our lives. Verses Used: 1 John 3:19-22 Romans 5:17-18 1 John 3:23-24 Galatians 2:16 Romans 7:4-7 Romans 7:7 & 12 Discussion Questions: 1. When does our heart condemn us before the Lord?  When is this valid and when is it not? 2. What should be our attitude toward God’s commands and why are we told to be careful to keep them? (See Homework, Day 5) 3. What is the balance between grace and keeping the commands as believers? (If we are freed from the Law, do we no longer have to keep it?) 4. What is the blessing of keeping God’s commands? What are the consequences of breaking God’s commands? (See Homework, Day 4) 5. How can we grow in our understanding of and obedience to God’s commands? (See Homework, Day 5)

Abide: Lay Down Your Life

March 14, 2023 • Diane Clift

John calls us to take a deep look at how we are to love in a sacrificial way. The Biblical command is contrary to the world's system and therefore, we can expect challenges in doing so. Nonetheless, we are instructed to love in deed and truth so as to reflect God's love and display our transformed lives. Join us for session ten as we discuss how and why to lay down our lives for the sake of others. Verses Used: 1 John 3:11-18 Mt. 22:37-39 Gen 4:2b-8 1 Jn. 3:16 Jn. 10:7-18 Discussion Questions: 1. Who is our example of laying down our lives, what did He do, and why? 2.What does it look like for us to lay down our lives for others? 3.John says we “close our hearts” against others if we are able to offer help, but refuse to do so. What are reasons we would refuse to assist another person?  4. Even though we act loving toward others, the Bible says the world may hate us anyway.  How are we called to act toward our enemies and how is this possible? 5. What is our motivation for laying down our lives in love for people?

Abide: Practice Righteousness

March 7, 2023 • Angela McAlister

As John walks us through what it really means to be children of God, what does this look like in our daily lives? Scripture provides us with key indicators that we have come to know the Lord with a real, saving faith…so what are we called to be (or NOT to be) as believers? Join us for session nine as we look at what it means to practice righteousness as followers of Christ.  Verses Used: Romans 6:11-15 1 Peter 2:24 1 John 1:6 1 Peter 1:14-16 Discussion Questions: 1. Why is it impossible for an unbeliever to live righteously? (See John 8:34, Romans 6:16, & Romans 6:3-6 & 17-18) 2. Why is it impossible for a true believer to live a prolonged lifestyle of continued, habitual sin? 3. The Bible is clear that our spiritual growth is the work of the Holy Spirit, but we also have a role in it.  What is our role? What are we responsible for? 4. How do we practice righteousness? 5. Why should we care to practice righteousness?  What is our motivation to do so?

Abide: Children of God

February 28, 2023 • Paula Thorp

We often hear the phrase, "child of God," tossed around in everyday life, but what does it actually mean? Who is qualified to be a child of God. and what does this position grant us? Join us for session eight as we examine our role as daughters of the Most High God.  Verses Used: 1 John 3:1-3 John 1:12 Romans 8:15 Hebrews 4:16 Ephesians 5:1 Colossians 4:6 Philippians 3:20 Discussion Questions: 1. Sometimes you will hear people remark that we are all God’s children.  How does the Bible describe our relationship/standing with God before we know Christ? 2. How do we become God’s children? 3. What rights do we gain as children of God? 4. As beloved children of the Most High God, how should we act? How should our role impact our behavior? 5. What does the Bible mean when it says that when Christ appears we will be like Him?

Abide: Eternal Life

February 21, 2023 • Erin Morris

The Bible says eternity is written in the heart of man. Deep inside us is the understanding that our souls are eternal. What is the destiny of our souls after we die, and how can we be assured we have believed the truth? Join us for session seven as we consider how to be sure we are in the faith and how to live with eternity in mind. Verses Used: 1 John 2:24 1 John 2:25-27 John 5:24-29 John 10:27-28 1 John 2:28-29 Matthew 24:44-46 Jude 1:20-23 Discussion Questions: 1. How does the eternal destination for a believer in Jesus differ from that of an unbeliever? 2. How does the Bible say we gain eternal life? How can we be certain that we have it? 3. 1 John 2:28 tells us to abide in Christ so that we will not shrink back in shame when He returns? What would give us cause for being ashamed?  4. In Matthew we are told to be ready and on the alert, awaiting the promise of eternal life. What does it look like to live ready? 5. Are you prepared for eternity? If no, what must change so that you are prepared? How are you helping to prepare others for the reality of eternity?

Abide: Spirit of Antichrist

February 14, 2023 • Diane Clift

We live in a world where people are more than happy to influence us to believe and accept their truth. Real truth, however, has one source. It is rooted and grounded in the faithful and true God, regardless of the age or culture in which we live. Join us for session six of Abide as we study our need to stay alert so we can discern the times and not be carried away by the deceptions of the Deceiver or the spirit of the antichrist.  Verses Used: 1 John. 2:18 Matthew 24:42-51 Romans 16:17-18 1 John 2:19 Matthew. 24:24 2 Thessalonians 5:2-9 Discussion Questions: 1. Describe the difference between the False Christ and antichrists?  2. How/Where do you see the deception of the enemy in the world around you right now?  3. Have you found yourself falling prey to any of his deceptions? How do you battle against it? How do you discern the Truth? 4. What are the signs of the “last hour” or the end of this age? How are you discerning the times? Are you easily swept up in the controversies of the world? 5. How can we make the best use of our time and stay alert in our Christian walk because “the days are evil?” (Eph.5:16)

Abide: Do Not Love the World

February 7, 2023 • Paula Thorp

The world is constantly pulling us in a variety of directions, and we face a constant battle to keep the affections of our hearts and the priority of our lives in order. As believers, we are not to love the world but rather love God first and foremost. Join us for session five of Abide as we learn how to engage in the battle to keep God first. Verses Used: 1 John 2:12-17 Psalm 103:12 1 Corinthians 10:12 1 Corinthians 10:14 Matthew 22:37 Revelation 2:4 Discussion Questions: 1. Why does John tell us not to love the world and why is it an impossibility to love both the world and God? 2. How are we tempted by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life? How are these three the root for all sins we carry out? 3. In 1 Corinthians 10:12 Paul urges “let him who thinks he stands take heed that that he does not fall.” Why is it dangerous to think we are incapable of falling?  4. What things can we do to set up safeguards or accountability for ourselves in areas in which we are weak or apt to fail?  5. Can you honestly say you are devoted to the Lord above all else? Is He your first and highest love?  If not, what must change in your heart and your actions to put Him in His rightful place?

Abide: In the Light

January 31, 2023 • Erin Morris

John tells us that if we claim to be in the Light we must prove it by how we live. In this passage he challenges us to follow Christ's example in laying down our right to hate and instead walking in forgiveness toward those who have wronged us. If we fail to do so we prove ourselves to be hypocrites, asking for the grace of God for ourselves while refusing to extend it to others. Join us for session four as we discuss how we can forgive our enemies through the power of Christ. Verses Used: 1 John 2:7-8 1 John 2:9-11 Jonah 3:9-10 & 4:1-4 Jonah 4:8-11 Titus 3:1-7 Discussion Questions: 1. What causes us to hate people and what other sins does hatred lead to? 2. Why are we, as believers, not entitled to hate others? How does it make us hypocrites? 3. What effect does harboring hatred have on us? 4. How does trusting in the justice of God help us walk in forgiveness toward those who have hurt us? 5. What steps can you take to walk toward forgiveness toward those you hate?

Abide: Our Advocate

January 24, 2023 • Diane Clift

Scripture is clear that if we love the Lord we will keep His commandments, so why do we struggle to keep them? How can we have a relationship with the Lord when sin is in our lives? Join us for session three as we discover how Jesus Christ, our Advocate, bridges the gap between us and the Father and grants us victory through his sacrifice on the cross. Verses Used: 1 Corinthians 14:20 Genesis 3:21 Hebrews 9:25-26 John 14:15-16 Discussion Questions: 1. How did sin disrupt our relationship with God and what is the consequence for our sin? 2. What does an advocate do? 3. Who was the mediator between us and God in the Old Testament and how were sins covered?  Why was this an imperfect system? 4. How does Jesus function as an advocate or mediator between us and God? Why can there be no other mediator except Christ? 5. How should the truth of who God is revealed to be in this week’s passage change the way we live? How should it change our attitude and heart toward our circumstances?

Abide: God is Light

January 17, 2023 • Paula Thorp

God is the epitome of light. There is no shifting shadow or darkness in Him at all. As believers we are called to walk in the light and turn from darkness. How can we do so as we walk through a world permeated with darkness? How can we battle the darkness of our sin nature? Join us for session two as we examine how to engage this fight and allow His Word to aid us in walking in the Light. Verses Used: 1 John 1:5-10 Ephesians 5:8-11 Ephesians 5:13 Psalm 119:105 Psalm 91:8 Discussion Questions: 1. What does the Bible mean when it uses “light” and “darkness” to describe spiritual things? 2. The Bible says that there is no darkness in God.  What does this mean? Why does it matter that we know and understand this?  How does this impact His dealings with us? 3. What prevents people from coming to the Light? Why is it difficult for the heart of man to turn away from darkness? (See John 3:19-20) 4. Light exposes darkness.  What does this mean for us in our lives and how should this impact how we live? 5. Light illuminates darkness. What does this mean and why is this important to us when the path upon which we walk seems confusing?

Abide: The Word of Life

January 10, 2023 • Erin Morris • Exodus 3:14–15, John 1:1–4, 1 John 1:1–4, John 8:51–59

Scripture is clear that Jesus was present at the beginning of time and that He is God. Why is knowing and understanding this so vital to salvation? Is it possible to be saved and believe that Jesus was simply a good teacher or a divine being, but not fully God? Join us for session one as we examine the Scriptural case for both the deity and humanity of Christ. Verses Used: 1 John 1:1-4 John 8:51-59 Exodus 3:14-15 John 1:1-4. (Please note, this is NOT 1 John, but the Gospel of John) John 10:27-33 John 20:17, 24-29 Discussion Questions: 1. Who is “The Word” as described in these verses and how do we know that from Scripture? 2. What views exist or have you heard about who people say Jesus is? 3. Why is it impossible for Jesus to simply have been a good teacher and nothing more? 4. Where in Scripture, does the Bible say that Jesus is God? 5. Why is it important to understand that Jesus was fully God and fully man? How is this doctrine a dividing line between those who are in fellowship with God (saved) and those who are not?

Abide: Introduction

December 20, 2022

Join us on January 10th as we begin our verse by verse study through the book of 1st John. The letter of 1 John is written with both a sense of  urgency and love for those who know Christ.  John, the author, is concerned that we would understand truth, stand firm in the deity of Christ, and be fully assured of our salvation.  He challenges us to not only know God, but to also keep His commands, flee from darkness, and walk in the Light.  Doing so is only possible as we ABIDE in Him.   You can download the intro week of homework below and complete it before listening to the opening session.