1 John: Knowing Jesus Study 5 (Vicki K)

This post by christinecoltman was originally published at GRACE PLACE

1 John 3: 11-24

1 John is a New Testament book written by the apostle John, who was a witness to Jesus’ ministry, teachings, death and resurrection so we can be assured that what he is saying is true. This book is to give us the confidence as believers in Jesus, to fully know we have the gift of eternal life through Jesus’ redemption based on 3 things that we can use to assess our own lives and hearts: 1) belief in Jesus; 2) Obedience to God; 3) that we love one another.

This passage focuses on this assurance based on how we demonstrate love to other believers.

Read 1 John 3:11-24
Anger and love are two of the strongest human emotions and they are presented to us in this passage with a sharp contrast. As Jesus’ disciples we are required to love each other. This is counter-cultural to the way of the world and the evil one.
1) We are initially given a reminder of Cain and Abel (you might want to read Gen 4:1-11 to recap).
a. What do you notice about Cain’s attitudes towards God?
b. What does this passage tell us about Cain’s motive for murdering his brother? (3:12)
c. What two basic categories of humanity are illustrated in these two characters and what do they represent eternally?

There is a clear distinction that we fall into either one of two camps: 1. Love camp (following Jesus, eternal life); 2. Hate/anger camp (following the ‘world’ and Cain’s example, excluded from eternal life).
2) From this passage,
a. How can we know that we have been saved and belong in eternal life camp? (v14)
b. What do we know is true of us if we hate our fellow believers? (v14-15)
c. In what ways are we murderers if we hate our fellow believers? What does refusing to love someone have in common with murder?

3) Verse 16 gives us the greatest example of love: Jesus. In each of the following verses, how does John say we can tell genuine love from fake love? Give examples of what these look like in reality.
a. Verse 16
b. Verse 17
c. Verse 18

4) What do you think John means by ‘God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything’? How should that thought ‘reassure our heart’? (v19-20)

5) We have a reminder of two of the checks to have assurance of our salvation in verse 23, to believe in Jesus and love one another. Is there a fellow believer(s) that you struggle to love? How has this passage encouraged you to act on that?

• Thank God that we have been given the ultimate example of love in Jesus and because of Him we are invited to a life of eternity when we believe in him.
• Ask God to shine His light in your life to see if you are harbouring hate against fellow believers. If you are, repent of this sin and ask for a heart that is truly loving, like Jesus.
• Praise God that there is ‘no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1)