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Bible Studies Written For YOU YOUth
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know you have eternal life.” - 1 John 5:13
The Bible is more than a book you find in a hotel dresser Written over a time span of 4,000 years, by 40 different authors, on three separate continents – the Bible is God’s Word to us. It is not an ancient history book. It is just as relevant today as it was 4,000 years ago. Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is living and active. Every time you open the Bible, God wants it to change you. Ever since the Bible was written, God expected His children to study it. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) Does God expect youth to study the Bible? Yes. In fact, youth are commanded by God to set the example Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12) The Bible is not a book only to be studied by pastors tucked away in their tiny, little church offices – although there are many pastors right now studying God’s Word in their tiny, little church office. God wants every Christian to study His Word, even youth. He has much to say to every age group. Where do I start? So many of us never study God’s Word because no one told us to; and if they did, they never told us where to start or how to do it. After reading these pages, you will be completely equipped to study God’s Word. Begin by finding a book of the Bible or a topic that interests you. There are sixty-six books in the Bible and all of them are equally inspired by God. Find a book that interests you and study it. If you want to learn about Jesus, turn to the Gospels. If you want to learn about Moses, turn to
Exodus. If you want to know how a Christian should live, turn to the Epistles. the How do I study the Bible? Always start studying the Bible by asking God to help you as you study His Word. Then study it just like you would study for anything. How would you study for a test at school? You would read it over once or twice, take notes as you go along, and make sure you understand the main points. You study the Bible the same way – read it, take notes, and make sure you understand the main points. Who knew it could be so easy? What will I need? First, you need a Bible. That is the one required thing you need. Find a translation that’s easy for you to understand. Not every translation is filled with ‘thees’ and ‘thous.’ Even I have a hard time understanding the King James Version. The New International Version and the New Living Translation are very easy to read and understand. Next, grab a pen and paper. When you study God’s Word you want to take notes. If you were trying to remember all the vice presidents of the United States, you’d take notes. Some other things that are helpful if they’re available – a dictionary for any words you don’t know, a Bible dictionary that will explain Christian words that a regular dictionary won’t, and a Bible concordance to look up similar topics, verses, and words in the Bible. Getting started Do this study at your own pace. If it takes you a month – great, if it takes you a year – great! Just make an effort to study God’s Word every day. All right, first things first – always pray before you study God’s Word. Then, as you go through this study, read the Bible verses for each section a few times. There will be a summary of the passage you just read, reading this will help you better understand what you just read. If there are words that you don’t know, look in the back at the glossary for the definition. Then answer the questions that go along with the Bible verses. You will find two types of questions - questions to help you better understand the passage and questions to help you live out God’s Word in your daily life. There will also be space to take notes and write out
The Epistle of 1 John
First John is like a family photo album. It describes those who are truly a part of the family of God. Just as you resemble your birth parents, so God’s children resemble Him. Not in physical appearance, but rather in our actions, thoughts, and words. 1 John describes these similarities very thoroughly. When someone believes in Jesus they become a child of God and receive eternal life. All who have truly believed in God set out on a path where they become more and more like Jesus. The Epistle (Book) of 1 John describes the qualities of a true child of God. Author: Author No author is named, but the writing style and content fall in line with the Apostle John’s writings. He also wrote the Gospel of John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation. John was one of the original 12 disciples and was the only disciple not murdered for his belief in Jesus as the Son of God. They tried to kill him by putting him in a pot of boiling oil, but God miraculously spared his life. He died in exile on the island of Patmos for his belief in Jesus. written: To whom written The letter is untitled and was most likely sent to many different churches. An important thing to remember as you read this letter is that it is written to Christians and therefore it is written to you. written: Date written This letter was probably written between 85 and 90 A.D. More than 50 years after Jesus’ death on the cross. Setting: Setting John was one of the original disciples who knew Jesus personally. He was probably very old when he wrote this and he writes with authority as a founder of the Church. At the time, there were many false teachings going around denying that Jesus rose from the dead. These teachings were from a cult, called the Gnostics. Through this letter, John affirms us that Jesus did in fact raise from the dead and we can have complete assurance of our salvation. Purpose: Purpose To help Christians know they have truly placed their faith in Jesus and are headed to heaven. verse: Key verse 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. (1 John 5:13)
died If you died today, how sure are you that you would go to heaven? Think about this question and then rate your assurance of salvation on a scale from 1 to 10. With 1 meaning you are completely unsure if you’d go to heaven and 10 meaning you are completely sure you’d go to heaven. (Circle your answer) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
What did you choose? Five? Seven? Two? When asked this question, very few respond with a ten. Why are we so unsure? Is it possible for anyone to be completely sure whether or not they’re headed to heaven? John states in 1 John 5:13 that this letter is meant to give us assurance of our salvation in Jesus. Throughout his letter John describes different ways that we can know we’re headed to heaven, with absolute assurance. As you go through this study and discover the different qualities of true believers, don’t start doubting your salvation if you don’t have one of the qualities. This letter was not written to make us doubt our salvation, but to give us assurance of our salvation and cause us to live more fully for Jesus. If you’re missing a few of the qualities, pray. Pray that God would help you develop these qualities in your life. When you first become a Christian there are only two qualities that are necessary for salvation. You must admit you’re a sinner and believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. All the other qualities will come with time. If you’re not quite hitting the mark, know that it will come as you grow in your Christian faith. As you study 1 John, let it assure you of your salvation. The question I asked before about how sure are you that you’re saved was a trick question. The only valid answers are 1 and 10. Either you know with absolute assurance or you have no assurance. And thankfully every Christian can have absolute assurance. Jesus is our true assurance of salvation. His work on the cross is our assurance. Hebrews 9:12 says that Jesus saved us, once and for all by shedding His blood on the cross, for our sins. If we have any assurance it is because of Jesus, not because of us. All of the qualities of a true believer that will be discussed show that Jesus is at work in us. Always remember, Jesus is our assurance of salvation. Nothing we do gives us assurance, only Jesus gives us assurance.
Chapter 1 (1 1:1The Word of Life (1 John 1:1-1:4) Imagine with me for a moment - what would it have been like to have actually known Jesus personally? To watch Jesus feed five-thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish? To watch Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? To feel His nail-pierced hands after He rose from the dead? Wow! John saw all of this and more, and he wants us to know it’s true! Jesus was a real man that walked on this earth. He was fully God, yet fully human. He descended from Heaven, He lived, He died, He rose from the dead, and He’s in heaven waiting to call us home. John knows because he saw it. He touched Jesus with his own hands, he heard Jesus with his own ears, and he saw Jesus with his own eyes. Jesus came to give us eternal life. He came so that we might have fellowship with Him and with His children (other Christians). Because of our sin, we separated ourselves from God. But Jesus came, paid the price for our sins, and wishes to restore our relationship with God. John is writing because he wants us to accept Jesus as Lord and experience the same joy he experienced. Understanding it What would it be like, actually knowing Jesus? What do you think He looked like? How tall was he? What color was His hair? Did He have a good sense of humor?
If we believe in Jesus, who do we have fellowship with? (1:3)
Living it Has there ever been a moment in your life where you felt like God was right next to you? What happened? What was it like?
Have you accepted Jesus as Lord of your life? When?
If you have accepted Jesus as Lord, how has it given you joy?
What does it mean to have eternal life? (1:2)
How do we receive eternal life?
The Bible says we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). God cannot stand sin, and when we sin, we separate ourselves from God (Romans 6:23). Only Jesus can bring us back to God (Romans 10:9). He died on the cross and took the punishment we deserved upon Himself. By admitting that we have sinned and that we need Jesus; we can have eternal life and experience the joy of heaven.
If you have never accepted Jesus before – do it today! • • • Admit that you have sinned and deserve hell (1 John 1:9) Believe that Jesus died for your sins (Romans 10:9) Commit to live for Jesus (Romans 12:1)
Qualities of a True Believer #1
Admitting that you’ve sinned and are in need of forgiveness
If you’ve never trusted in Jesus as Lord, write a prayer asking Him to forgive you and save you. If you have accepted Jesus, thank Him for saving you:
Why do you think God is light and Satan is darkness?
What is the difference between sin and intentional sin? (1 1:5Walking in the Light (1 John 1:5-1:10) When you think of light, what comes to mind? A light bulb? The Sun? Headlights on a car? God says that He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. What does that mean? Light is pure, bright, and clean. God is saying that He is pure. Darkness is often seen as dirty and something to be scared of. In the Bible darkness usually refers to sin. In God there is not even a hint of sin. He is perfect and holy [separated from sin]. If we say we are a Christian and continue to commit ‘intentional sin’ God says we’re only lying to ourselves. As Christians we will continue to sin throughout our lives, but we should stop intentionally sinning. What is the difference between sin and intentional sin? When you intentionally sin, you want to sin and you feel no guilt after you sin. When a Christian sins, they feel sorry for what they did and confess their sin to God. If we confess our sins, Jesus promises to forgive us from our sin and bring us back into the light [into a relationship with Him]. As Christians we must try and walk in the light on a daily basis. True believers admit that they have sinned and need Christ’s forgiveness.
Can we intentionally sin and be close to God? Why or why not? (1:6)
Will God forgive any sin if we confess it to Him? How many times will He forgive us? (1:9)
Chapter 2 What is the first characteristic of true believers? (1:8-9) (1 2:1Jesus is Our Defender (1 John 2:1-2:6) Jesus protects his children every time they sin. Whenever we sin, Satan is telling God what a horrible person we are and how we deserve hell (Revelation 12:10). But Jesus, like a true friend, is right there defending us – telling God how He died for our sins and took the penalty for us. He saved us and gave us His righteousness [goodness]. We do not need to be ashamed of who we are. We have Christ’s righteousness within us. We are in Christ and nothing can separate us from Him (Romans 8:38-39). In this passage of 1 John, John tells gives us another quality of true Christians. We can have assurance of our salvation if we desire to obey God’s commandments. We will never perfectly follow them, but true believers have a desire to do what God wants them to do. If we follow the Bible and obey His commands, God says that his love is made complete in us. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean He loves us more. It means that God’s love is being lived out in our lives and it’s more evident that God’s love is within us and we are a true believer. If we say we’re a Christian, we must walk like Jesus walked. This leads into another quality of true believers. A true believer gradually becomes more and more like Jesus. Take a moment and look over the past six months of your life. Would you say you are more or less like Jesus than you were six months ago? Don’t focus on bad days, but overall would you say you’re becoming more like Jesus? If you have a bad day, that’s ok, it doesn’t mean you’re not saved, it just means you had a bad day. But if we look at the overall past six months we should be able to see that we’re more like Jesus. True believers have a desire to grow in their faith and become more like Jesus.
If you were a light bulb, what would be the brightest part of your life? What would be the dimmest?
As a Christian, what hope do you have if you do sin? (1:9)
God doesn’t want any of His children to be stuck in sin. He wants all of us to walk in the light and He will always be there to bring us out of the darkness. Write a prayer to God thanking Him that He forgives any sin and helps us walk in the light as He is in the light. Also, take time to confess any sin that may be keeping you from the light:
Qualities of a True Believer #2
A desire to obey God’s Word
How can we know that we have come to know Jesus as our Savior? (2:3)
Qualities of a True Believer #3
Gradually becoming more and more like Jesus What happens as we obey the Bible? (2:5) Understanding it Some Bible translations say that Jesus is our advocate and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Look up advocate and atonement in the dictionary and write out the definitions in your own words. Advocate: What does it mean that God’s love is made complete in us if we obey the Bible?
Atonement: What gradually happens to true believers? (2:6)
How is Jesus an advocate for us? And how is He the atoning sacrifice for our sins?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how well are you obeying God’s Word? (Circle your answer) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
If your answer was lower than a 10, where is there room for improvement in your life? If we do sin, who defends us? (2:1)
Do you have a desire to obey the Bible? How would you explain your desire?
What command do you find easy to obey? What command is hard to obey?
How have you become more like Jesus in the past six months?
Write a prayer to God thanking Him for His commandments and ask for help to obey His commands and become more like Jesus:
little farther. He loved sacrificially. In other words, He not only loved others like He loved Himself, but He put others before Himself. The Old Testament told us to love our neighbors like we love ourselves, but Jesus wants us to love others more than we love ourselves, because that’s how he loved. So the command to love one another is old, but it’s also new because it’s taken a step further – put others first. If we claim to love God, but do not love our brothers and sisters (other Christians), how can God’s love be in us? If we love our brothers we are walking in the light and we are not allowing any bitterness or anger trip us up as we walk closer to God. If you’re finding it hard to love another Christian, love them by praying that God will help you love them. If you’re willing to pray for God’s help; that shows within you there is a love for your Christian brothers and sisters. A true believer has the desire to love other Christians. In the next set of verses, John speaks to all Christians (“dear children”) and then he breaks them up into two categories – those who are growing as Christians and facing battles (“young men”) and mature, strong believers that have been around for a long time (“fathers”). All Christians have been forgiven of their sins and know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But young men are in battle with the darkness and are striving to overcome sin. Fathers are mature and have overcome many battles with the darkness. Most of us fit into the ‘young men’ category. But that’s ok, everyone has to grow in their faith. Thankfully, whether we’re fighting battles or walking in victory, we all have been saved by Jesus.
Qualities of a True Believer #4
A sacrificial love for other Christians
The New Commandment (1 John 2:7-2:14) 2:7-2:14) This section of 1 John can get a little tricky, but if we take it slow, I’m confident you’ll get it. John presents what seem to be opposing thoughts. First he says that he’s not writing a new command, but an old one. Then he says he’s writing a new command. So which is it? I think it’s both. If you’re confused, read on. The command to love one another is from way back in the Old Testament, when God gave Moses the Law (Leviticus 19:18). But in the New Testament, Jesus took the command a
Understanding it What is the old command? (Leviticus 19:18)
What is the new command? (2:10)
How is the old commandment and the new commandment the same? How are they different?
What are some things you are currently doing to love other Christians?
What is true of all believers? (2:10)
Who is the hardest for you to love? Are you willing to pray that God would help you love that person?
How would loving our Christian brothers and sisters keep you from stumbling as you walk closer to Jesus? (2:10-11)
Write a prayer asking God to help you love Christian brothers and sisters that are hard to love:
Living it Living Give some examples of how you have loved other Christians in the past.
2:15-2:17) Do Not Love the World (1 John 2:15-2:17) Eminem. Southpark. Desperate Housewives. We live in a world that does not appreciate the values of Christianity. All around us there are movies, television shows, and music that approves of things God tells us to not approve of. Even Christian churches are approving of things the Bible says to stay away from. God commands us to stay away from things of this world. What does that mean? Does God want us to stay away from the planet earth? That’s a little difficult to do when we depend on oxygen. No, God doesn’t want us to leave the planet earth, God wants us stay away worldly things (things that are against Jesus) while we live in this world. Three things of this world that God wants all Christians to stay away from are envy, lust, and pride. Envy is desiring things that aren’t ours and we do anything we can to get it (For example, wanting money so bad, that you’ll lie and cheat to get it). Lust is seeing something and desiring it more than we desire God (For example, putting a boyfriend or girlfriend ahead of God). Pride is thinking higher of ourselves than we should (For example, making fun of someone because they’re not as athletic as you are). Envy, lust, and pride are things we must avoid. If we love the things of this world more than we love God, God’s love is not in us. True believers learn to avoid the things of this world. This world will end, but Jesus will never end. Which do you want to spend your time and effort on – something that will end or something that will never end?
Look up envy, lust, and pride. Write your own definition. (2:16) Envy:
What must true believers learn to avoid? (2:15-16)
What will pass away and what will last forever? (2:17)
Qualities of a True Believer #5
Learning to avoid the things of this world Living Living it What are some ways we love the world? (ex. Spending too much time watching non-Christian television)
Understanding it When God tells us not to love the world, what does He mean? (2:15)
What are some ways we love God?
Warning Against False Teachers (1 John 2:182:18-2:27) If you only had one more hour to live, what would you do? Go skydiving? Eat a fancy meal? John tells us it is our last hour. He is speaking symbolically, saying that it is almost time for Jesus to come back and take us to heaven. And since it’s so close to the end, there are many false teachers (antichrists) trying to get us to follow the wrong thing. Many people claim to be Christians, but they are teaching things that are false, things that are against the teachings of the Bible. We are warned to stay away from these people. If we truly believe in Jesus and rely on Him we have the Holy Spirit (the third part of God) within us that tells us what is true and what we should do. John says we have an anointing, that is the Holy Spirit given by God. Any man that denies that Jesus is the Christ (or the Savior of the world) is a false teacher. Do not be led the wrong way by these false teachers. Jesus is the Son of God! Don’t even listen to these false teachers. Rely on the Holy Spirit to tell you what is true. Stick close to God and you will always know what is true. Understanding it What does it mean that it is the last hour? (2:18)
To one degree or another we all love the things of this world a little too much. What are some steps you can take to love the world less?
Write a prayer asking God to help you love only Him and not this world:
What is an antichrist? What do they deny? (2:22)
Look up antichrist in a dictionary and write it out in your own words
Who do we have that tells us what is true? Where is this person? (2:20)
2:28-3:3 Children of God (1 John 2:28-3:3) As Christians we live for Jesus, by obeying the commands found in the Bible and loving one another. As true believers, we make a commitment to live a righteous life. One day Jesus is coming to take us to heaven. We need to practice righteousness [goodness], so that we can be confident of our salvation when Jesus returns to carry His children home. Who is a child of God? Is everyone a child of God? No. Just Christians are children of God. When we place our faith in Jesus, we become a child of the living God. How awesome is that thought! We are children of God! The book of Romans tells us that when we believe in Jesus we receive the Holy Spirit and the Spirit testifies that we are children of God (Romans 8:16). As a child, did you trust that what your parents said was true? I’m sure we all did most of the time. As a child of God we must trust our heavenly Father and follow Him. And one day, we will see our heavenly Father when He brings us to our eternal home in heaven. When we do see Him, we will be like Him. Not in physical appearance, but in righteousness. In heaven, we will be eternally righteous and enjoy all the benefits of heaven.
If we believe in Jesus and follow the truth of the Bible, what is promised us? (2:24-25)
Living it When has the Holy Spirit spoken to you? What did He say?
How can we ensure that we are close to God? (2:24)
Qualities of a True Believer #6
A commitment to righteousness in your life
Write a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to always lead you in truth:
Understanding it What should we be doing until Jesus returns? (2:28)
When Jesus returns, what will He do? (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
What should we be committed to practicing as true believers? (2:29)
Write a prayer thanking God for making you one of His children and ask Him to help you live in such a way that you are ready for His return at any moment:
Who is a child of God? (3:1)
When we get to heaven, how will we be like Jesus? (3:2) Children of God Cannot Continue in Sin 3:4-3:10) (1 John 3:4-3:10) What is sin? It’s a term that is thrown around without much explanation. Sin is breaking God’s commands. Jesus came and died for our sins. He died to take away our sins, but He also died so that we would not continue to sin. A true believer tries to remove intentional sin from their life. We discussed earlier that we will continue to sin throughout our lives and Jesus will forgive us if we confess our sin. But a true believer has a desire to try and remove as much intentional sin as possible from their life. A child of God desires to obey God’s Word and removes intentionally sin from their life. Jesus came to destroy Satan’s work in our lives. Everyday Satan tries to destroy us, but Jesus is stronger. We are His child and as His child, God promises to protect us from sin. True children of God overcome sin.
Living it Do you believe that Jesus could come at any moment?
If you knew that Jesus would come back tomorrow, what would you do differently?
Qualities of a True Believer #7
Continually trying to remove sin from your life
Understanding it What is sin? (3:4)
List some ways Satan tries to keep you from God?
Why did Jesus come to earth? (3:5)
Write a prayer asking Jesus to destroy the devil’s work in your life:
As a true child of God, what do we try to stop doing? (3:6)
(1 3:11-3:24) Love One Another (1 John 3:11-3:24) Why can’t a child of God go on sinning? (3:9) We must love our Christian brothers and sisters. The first brothers in the Bible were Cain and Abel; they were sons of Adam and Eve. One time, they both brought sacrifices before God. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but not Cain’s. It wasn’t so much what they sacrificed that was important, it was their heart. Abel loved God and Cain did not. Cain was angry with Abel because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, so he murdered his brother. We must love our brothers and sisters or else we run the risk of murdering a brother. That’s right – murder! We may not kill them physically, but God says if we do not love our Christian brothers and sisters, it is the same as murdering them in God’s eyes. Jesus is our greatest example of love. He died for our sins, nailed to a cross. Jesus asks us to do the same for others. He doesn’t want us to die physically for them, but He does want us to put their needs before ours. If we see a brother in need and do not help him, how can God’s love be in us? God’s love helps those in need. If we don’t help, that kind of love cannot be in us. Our love must be more than words; it must be acted out toward others.
Living it How many of your sins did Jesus take away on the cross?
Have you ever questioned your salvation? We all have. Why do we question it? Because Satan plants doubt in our minds. But God is greater than our doubts and that’s why He had John write this letter. 1 John is not meant for us to question our faith. It is meant to give us confidence and stir up our hearts to live more fully for God. If you lack confidence in your salvation, ask God for confidence and He will give it. God doesn’t want us doubting our salvation, that’s why He’s given us 1 John to show us who a true believer is. In this section, we are given another important quality that helps us identify a true believer. A true child of God believes in the name of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. In other words, we must believe that Jesus died for our sins to save us. If we trust in Jesus to save us, then we can have assurance of our salvation (Romans 10:9).
Believer Qualities of a True Believer #8
What gives us confidence in our salvation? (3:21-22)
What must a true believer believe? (3:23)
Believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life
Living it What are some ways that we can love one another in everyday situations?
Understanding it What is the same as murder in God’s eyes? (3:15)
Who shows us what true love is? What is true love? (3:16) On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that if you died today you’d go to heaven? (Circle your answer) 1 Can God’s love be in us if we don’t help those in need? (3:17) All of God’s children should be a 10 in confidence. He does not want us to doubt our salvation. If you’ve believed in Jesus, you can have assurance because of His work on the cross The qualities of true believers give us assurance that we believe in Jesus. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Write a prayer asking God to give you complete confidence in your salvation:
Who is greater, God or the Devil? (4:4)
Living it If we don’t know if something is from God or not, what should we do?
the The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of (1 4:1-4:6) Falsehood (1 John 4:1-4:6) How does God protect you from the devil? No where in the Bible does God ever say to just accept something as true. He wants us to test everything, to see what is from God and what is not from God. So how do we know what is from God? Anything that is truly from God, acknowledges that Jesus is who He says He is – the Son of God and the Savior of the world. This is our test on whether something is true or false. Does it acknowledge Jesus as Lord? In this section of Scripture, we are given a mighty promise from God. He is mightier than anything the devil tries to trick us with. Do not fear! God will protect you. Do not worry about being led astray by false teachers. If we try and follow God, He will help us overcome these false teachings. Understanding it Are we to blindly believe everything we hear? What are we to do? (4:1)
Write a prayer asking God to help you overcome the Devil and the things of this world:
How can we know if something is from God? (4:2)
(1 4:7-4:21) God is Love (1 John 4:7-4:21) We cannot even begin to imagine how intense God’s love is for us. He saved us with His own blood. No other religion anywhere speaks of their god dying for his people. Christianity is unique, and the only true religion (John 14:6). God demonstrated his love by sending His only son to die on a cross to save us from our sins. God is love. What a strange statement. It doesn’t say God loves, but it says God is love. 1 Corinthians 13 is often termed the love chapter of the Bible. Look up 1 Corinthians 13 and look at each of the characteristics of love and think how perfectly Jesus fulfilled each characteristic of love. As you read that chapter, you will see that God truly is love. Because of the love God showed us, we should love others. No one has ever seen God, but if we love with God’s love, others will see God’s love in us. When you became a Christian, Jesus gave you the Holy Spirit as a gift. The Holy Spirit is within us and guides us, strengthens us, and teaches us. Having received the Holy Spirit and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us, assures us that we really are a child of God. As we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us we allow God’s love to fill our hearts. True believers surrender their lives to the Holy Spirit and allow God’s love to fill their hearts.
Understanding it What is God? (4:8)
Look up 1 Corinthians 13 and list some ways that God is love.
How did God demonstrate His love to us? (4:9-10)
Qualities of a True Believer #9
Allowing yourself to be controlled by the Holy Spirit
Why should we love one another? (4:11)
Qualities of a True Believer #10
Allowing God to give you his love
If we love others, what will they see in us? (4:12)
True believers have what within them? (4:13)
Write a prayer to God asking Him to help others see your love for God and others:
What else do true believers have in their lives? (4:16)
Living Living it How have you let the Holy Spirit control you?
(1 5:1-5:5) Overcoming the World (1 John 5:1-5:5) How do we know if we truly love God and others? John says that we can know that we love God and others, if we obey God’s commandments. Does that sound overwhelming? There are so many, how can I keep them, much less know them all. God says His commands are not burdensome [difficult]. He’s not saying they’re hard to do – they are. He’s saying that God’s children want to obey His commands. When we love God, we want to do what He tells us to do. When you tell a new mother to take care of her baby, you are only telling her what she loves to do. The commands of God are the best thing for us and by following them we will experience true joy. As we follow God and obey His commands, we overcome the things of this world. What are the things of this world? Remember that John said in 1 John 2:15-17 that the things of this world come from envy, lust, and pride. Our faith grows as we seek God and increasingly obey God’s commands. And our faith gives us victory over the things of this world. This thought of overcoming the things of this world, brings us to our next mark of a true believer. A true believer overcomes the world. As our faith grows, we should find it easier to trust God and overcome the things of this world.
Give some examples of when you loved with God’s love.
Rewrite 1 John 4:20 in your own words and give an example
Qualities of a True Believer #11
A growing faith that overcomes the things of this world
Understanding it How do we know if we love God and others? (5:2)
Applying it How has your faith in Jesus grown this year?
What does it mean that His commands are not burdensome? (5:3)
What battles are you currently having with the world that are hard to overcome?
What is true of all believers? (5:4)
Write a prayer to God asking Him to help you increase your faith in Him and overcome this world:
What gives us victory over this world? (5:4)
The Testimony of the Son of God (1 John 5:65:6-5:12) This is another tricky section of 1 John. What does John mean when he says Jesus came by water and blood? Most agree that this is talking about how Jesus was fully God from the beginning of His life, as seen when God spoke from heaven at Jesus’ baptism (“water”) to the end of His life, as seen on His death on the cross (“blood”). And the Holy Spirit testifies that this is true – Jesus was God from birth to death. There were some false teachings going around at the time that Jesus was not fully God and fully human. So John writes this to prove that Jesus was in fact fully God and fully human. Scientists tell us that we are destroying the ozone layer. How can we tell for sure? Can we test for it ourselves? No. We trust what science tells us. If we trust the words of men, how much more should we trust the words of God, who cannot lie and knows all things? God has testified that Jesus died for us. If we believe this, the testimony is within us. If we do not believe God, then we are calling God a liar. Whoever believes God’s testimony has eternal life, because His testimony is true. Understanding it What does “water” refer to in this passage? What does “blood” refer to? Who testifies that Jesus was God? (5:6-8)
What does He testify about Jesus? (5:11)
If we believe in Jesus, what do we have within us? (5:12)
Explain what you know about the Holy Spirit?
Can God lie? Should we believe what He says?
Living Living it Do you believe that Jesus was fully God and fully human? How do you know?
How would you explain that Jesus was God and human at the same time to a non-Christian?
Write a prayer to God thanking Him that He cannot lie and Jesus does in fact offer us eternal life:
Christian brother or sister sinning, we should pray for them and God will help that person confess their sin and be forgiven. As Christians our sinning should become less and less over time. When we place our faith in Jesus, He gives us help to not sin. We are given the Holy Spirit. He protects us from Satan and Satan is not allowed to touch us. What a great promise! When we place our faith in Jesus, we are given the Holy Spirit to protect us from Satan. John closes his letter in a very powerful way. In 1 John 5:20, John says that we know Him who is true and more than that, “we are in Him who is true.” When God looks at us guess what He sees? He doesn’t see our sin or our shortcomings. He sees Jesus! When we believe in Jesus, we are placed in Jesus. And nothing can separate us from Jesus (Romans 8:38-39). We can have confidence in our salvation, not because of what we do, but because of who we believe in. Amen! Understanding it Why did John write his letter? (5:13)
What confidence can we have in our prayers? (5:14-15)
That You May Know (1 John 5:13-5:21) 5:13Why did John write this letter to Christians? So that all Christians may have confidence in their salvation. If we truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then we can ask God for anything in His will and He promises that it will happen. Does this mean that we can pray for a million dollars? Sure you can, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get it. But if you pray for strength, an increased trust in God, or the salvation of a friend – God will answer it. Anything in His will He answers, if we ask for it. One specific thing we should pray for is friends that are doing things they shouldn’t be doing – getting involved in sin. If we see a If we see a Christian brother or sister in sin, what should we do? (5:16)
Who protects us from evil? How does He protect us? (5:18)
What does it mean to you to be ‘in Christ’?
If we have any hope of salvation, who provides it? Do we have hope? (5:20)
Write a prayer to God thanking Him that you have assurance of your salvation, not because of your good works, but because of Jesus’ good work on the cross: Living it What is in God’s will that you should be praying for?
Do you have any friends in sin that you should be praying for? Who?
Advocate: One who pleads (speaks out) for another. Jesus stands in heaven as our advocate. Pleading to God on our behalf.
Faith: Believing in God and that what He says is true.
Holy: To be separated from sin.
Anoint: To pour or rub oil on. A symbolic representation of God giving us the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit: When we place our faith in Jesus, He puts the Holy Spirit (God) within us to guide us, teach us, and strengthen us.
Lust: Seeing something and desiring more than you desire God. Antichrist: An opponent of Jesus. One who denies that Jesus is the Son of God.
Pride: Thinking higher of yourself than you should.
Atonement: To make amends for wrongdoing. Making right something that was wrong. Jesus took our sins and became our atoning sacrifice.
Righteous: To be good, perfect, holy, or godly.
Sacrificial: To put someone else’s needs above your own needs. Believer: A Christian. One who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation: Being rescued from hell and given eternal life in heaven. Brother: Other Christians. All Christians are God’s children, so Christians are spiritual brothers and sisters.
Sin: To break one of God’s commandments.
Commands: God’s rules found in the Bible.
Epistle: A book of the Bible. The Epistle of 1 John
Envy: Wanting something that belongs to someone else so bad that you’ll do anything to get it.
Qualities of a True Believer
8. Believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life – 1 John 3:23; 4:15; 5:1, 10
1. Admitting that you’ve sinned and are in need of Christ’s forgiveness – 1 John 1:8-1:9 9. Allowing yourself to be controlled by the Holy Spirit – 1 John 3:24; 4:13 2. A desire to obey God’s Word – 1 John 2:3, 24; 3:24; 4:7 10. Allowing God to give you his love – 1 John 4:16 3. Gradually becoming more and more like Jesus – 1 John 2:6 11. A growing faith that overcomes the things of this world – 1 John 5: 4 4. A sacrificial love for other Christians – 1 John 2:9-10; 3:14, 17
5. Learning to avoid the things of this world – 1 John 2:15
6. A commitment to righteousness in your life – 1 John 2:29; 1:7
7. Continually trying to remove sin from your life – 1 John 3:6, 9-10; 5:4, 18
One Year Bible Reading Plan
25 Week 1 Sunday Genesis 1-3 Genesis 28 Genesis 50 Exodus 24 Leviticus 4-8 Numbers 1-2 Numbers 16 Numbers 32 Deut. 20-22 Joshua 1-5 Judges 1-3 Judges 20-21 1 Samuel 1718 2 Samuel 8-11 1 Kings 3-5 1 Kings 21-22 2 Kings 17-18 1 Chron. 7-9 2 Chronicles 14 2 Chron. 29-31 Nehemiah 4-7 Job 1-4 Job 31-34 Psalms 28-33 Monday Genesis 4-7 Genesis 29-32 Exodus 1-4 Exodus 25-27 Leviticus 9-12 Numbers 3-4 Numbers 1718 Numbers 3336 Deut. 23-25 Joshua 6-10 Judges 4-5 Ruth 1-4 1 Samuel 1921 2 Samuel 1213 1 Kings 6-7 2 Kings 1-3 2 Kings 19-21 1 Chron. 1012 2 Chron. 5-7 2 Chron. 3234 Nehemiah 8-9 Job 5-8 Job 35-38 Psalms 34-37 Tuesday Genesis 8-11 Genesis 33-35 Exodus 5-7 Exodus 28-30 Wednesday Genesis 12-15 Genesis 36-38 Exodus 8-10 Exodus 31-33 Thursday Genesis 16-19 Genesis 39-41 Exodus 11-15 Exodus 34-36 Leviticus 1921 Numbers 9-10 Friday Genesis 20-22 Genesis 42-45 Exodus 16-19 Exodus 37-40 Leviticus 2224 Numbers 1112 Numbers 2526 Deut. 12-15 Deut. 32-33 Joshua 21-22 Judges 14-16 1 Samuel 1314 2 Samuel 1-3 2 Samuel 2324 1 Kings 16-18 2 Kings 11-13 1 Chron. 3-4 1 Chron. 2426 2 Chron. 2124 Ezra 8-10 Esther 4-7 Job 21-24 Psalms 18-21 Psalms 56-61 Saturday Genesis 23-27 Genesis 46-49 Exodus 20-23 Leviticus 1-3 Leviticus 2527 Numbers 1315 Numbers 2731 Deut. 16-19 Deut. 34 Joshua 23-24 36 11 12 Judges 6-8 1 Samuel 1-3 Judges 9-10 1 Samuel 4-7 Judges 11-13 1 Samuel 8-12 1 Samuel 2831 2 Samuel 2022 1 Kings 13-15 2 Kings 9-10 1 Chronicles 12 1 Chron. 20-23 2 Chron. 17-20 Ezra 5-7 Esther 1-3 Job 17-20 Psalms 9-17 Psalms 50-55 Judges 17-19 1 Samuel 1516 2 Samuel 4-7 39 1 Kings 1-2 40 1 Kings 19-20 2 Kings 14-16 1 Chron. 5-6 1 Chron. 2729 2 Chron. 2528 Nehemiah 1-3 Esther 8-10 Job 25-30 Psalms 22-27 Psalms 62-68 41 42 43 18 1 Chron. 13-16 2 Chron. 8-11 2 Chron. 35-36 Nehemiah 1011 Job 9-12 Job 39-42 Psalms 38-42 1 Chron. 17-19 2 Chron. 12-16 Ezra 1-4 Nehemiah 1213 Job 13-16 Psalms 1-8 Psalms 43-49 44 45 46 47 48 21 22 23 24 49 50 51 52 Matthew 1820 Mark 6-7 Luke 3-4 Luke 19-20 John 9-10 Acts 4-5 Acts 18-19 Romans 8-10 2 Cor. 1-4 1 Thess. 1-5 Hebrews 5-8 3 John Matthew 2122 Mark 8-9 Luke 5-6 Luke 21-22 John 11-12 Acts 6-7 Acts 20-21 Romans 11-14 2 Cor. 5-9 2 Thess. 1-3 Hebrews 9-13 Jude Matthew 2324 Mark 10-11 Luke 7-8 Luke 23-24 John 13-15 Acts 8-9 Acts 22-23 Romans 15-16 2 Cor. 10-13 1 Timothy 1-6 James 1-5 Rev. 1-4 Matthew 25-26 Mark 12-13 Luke 9-10 John 1-2 John 16-17 Acts 10-11 Acts 24-26 1 Cor. 1-4 Galatians 1-6 2 Timothy 1-4 1 Peter 1-5 Rev. 6-10 Matt. 27-28 Mark 14 Luke 11-12 John 3-4 John 18-19 Acts 12-13 Acts 27-28 1 Cor. 5-9 Ephesians 1-6 Titus 2 Peter 1-3 Rev. 11-14 Malachi 1-4 Matthew 1-4 Matthew 5-6 Matthew 6-9 Matt. 10-11 Nahum 1-3 Habakkuk 1-3 Zephaniah 1-3 Haggai Zechariah 1-5 Zechariah 6-10 Matthew 1213 Mark 1-3 Mark 15-16 Luke 13-15 John 5-6 John 20-21 Acts 14-15 Romans 1-3 1 Cor. 10-13 Philipp. 1-4 Philemon 1 John 1-5 Rev. 15-17 37 38 26 Psalms 69-72 Psalms 107111 Proverbs 4-7 Proverbs 2729 Isaiah 1-3 Isaiah 29-31 Isaiah 50-52 Jeremiah 6-8 Jeremiah 2830 Jeremiah 49 Ezekiel 9-12 Ezekiel 2830 Ezekiel 4748 Hosea 10-14 Psalms 73-77 Psalms 112118 Proverbs 8-11 Proverbs 3031 Isaiah 4-8 Isaiah 32-34 Isaiah 53-56 Jeremiah 9-11 Jeremiah 3132 Jeremiah 50 Ezekiel 13-15 Ezekiel 31-32 Daniel 1-3 Joel 1-3 Psalms 78-80 Psalm 119 Proverbs 1214 Ecclesiastes 14 Isaiah 9-11 Isaiah 35-37 Isaiah 57-59 Jeremiah 1214 Jeremiah 3336 Jeremiah 5152 Ezekiel 16-17 Ezekiel 33-35 Daniel 4-5 Amos 1-4 Psalms 81-88 Psalms 120133 Proverbs 15-17 Ecclesiastes 58 Isaiah 12-14 Isaiah 38-40 Isaiah 60-63 Jeremiah 15-17 Jeremiah 37-39 Lamentations 1 Ezekiel 18-20 Ezekiel 36-38 Daniel 6-8 Amos 5-9 Psalms 89-94 Ps. 134-140 Proverbs 1820 Eccles. 9-12 Isaiah 15-19 Isaiah 41-43 Isaiah 64-66 Jeremiah 1821 Jeremiah 4043 Lament. 2-5 Ezekiel 21-22 Ezekiel 39-40 Daniel 9-12 Obadiah Psalms 95-103 Ps. 141-150 Proverbs 2123 Psalms 104106 Proverbs 1-3 Proverbs 24-26
2 3 4 5
28 29 30 31
Song of Sol. 1- Song of Sol. 54 8 Isaiah 20-24 Isaiah 44-46 Jeremiah 1-3 Jeremiah 2224 Jeremiah 4446 Ezekiel 1-4 Ezekiel 23-24 Ezekiel 41-43 Hosea 1-4 Jonah Isaiah 25-28 Isaiah 47-49 Jeremiah 4-5 Jeremiah 2527 Jeremiah 4748 Ezekiel 5-8 Ezekiel 25-27 Ezekiel 44-46 Hosea 5-9 Micah 1-7 Zechariah 1114 Matthew 14-17 Mark 4-5 Luke 1-2 Luke 16-18 John 7-8 Acts 1-3 Acts 16-17 Romans 4-7 1 Cor. 14-16 Colossians 1-4 Hebrews 1-4 2 John Rev. 18-22
Leviticus 13-15 Leviticus 16-18 Numbers 5-6 Numbers 19-20 Deuteronomy 1 Deut. 26-27 Joshua 11-13 Numbers 7-8
Numbers 21-22 Numbers 23-24 Deut. 2-6 Deut. 28-29 Joshua 14-17 Deut. 7-11 Deut. 30-31 Joshua 18-20
33 34 35
8 9 10
1 Samuel 22-24 1 Samuel 25-27 2 Samuel 14-16 2 Samuel 17-19 1 Kings 8-9 2 Kings 4-5 2 Kings 22-23 1 Kings 10-12 2 Kings 6-8 2 Kings 24-25
14 15 16 17