Sunday, April 29th, 2018
God is Love
The book of 1 John
The Roman world of the first century was a time of testing and comparison between the Eastern and Western religions. The gods of the Greek and Roman pantheons were in ill repute. The religions that were deemed more mysterious were very popular because of their emphasis on personal relationship with the deity and secret knowledge. This is what Gnosticism taught. The more secular Greek philosophy was popular and was merging with other worldviews. Into this world of eclectic religion came the exclusiveness of the Christian faith (Jesus is the only way to God, cf. John 14:6). 1 John was written to help correct these 2nd generation of believers and put this bad teaching to rest, encourage them in their identity in Christ, and propel the church into the next century on solid ground.
As you read and study together, make sure to work hard at hearing from everyone that has gathered together. Pray for one another and be accountable to applying the word of God to your lives.
- Practically speaking how do you know you are abiding in Christ? How do your interactions, thoughts, speech change?
- How can your Missional community spur you on and encourage you to continue to abide in Christ? How can they call you back when you are not abiding?
For Further Discussion:
- “Loving others” is something talked about so often in our community, but what does “loving others” truly mean for us? Take some time to think very practically and specifically about what God is asking you to do to love the people He has placed in your life, always remembering that our love for others should imitate Christ’s love for us – laying down His own life.
- In 1 John 4:20-21, John calls out hate in the Church:
“’20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.“`
So often, it’s easy to hate those who disagree with us, even those who are brothers and sisters in Christ. Take some to reflect on the dark areas in your heart and speak about those with your missional community. Invite them into those areas and to call you out like John calls out the early church.