Review: “Are you sure you have the right joy?”
1 John 1:8-10 (ESV) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
This week: A biblical understanding of Jesus leads to OBEDIENCE and LOVE.
1 ) When we come to know Jesus, we live a transparent, truthful life, wherein we confess our sin to Him.
1 John 2:1-2 (ESV) My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
● Jesus is our advocate and the righteous one.
● Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.
Out of love and gratitude for the price Jesus paid for us, we respond in obedience by offering our bodies as a living sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 (NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
2 ) When we come to know Jesus, we live an obedient life of love.
1 John 2:3-6 (ESV) And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
John 14:15 (ESV) “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
● Jesus calls us to obey. Our love for God is demonstrated through our obedience.
● Obedience is an act of worship
Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: obedience – “to hear God’s Word and act accordingly.”
Deuteronomy 5:33 (NIV) Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
● Obeying God is best for us. He knows what we need and when we are obedient, we are rewarded with His favor, peace and spiritual blessings.
● Obedience is an important act of the will, irregardless of how we feel in the moment.
“Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That’s why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which a few months later you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparent trivial indulgence today in lust or anger may be the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.” C.S. Lewis
James 1:12 (NIV) Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
“Sin would have fewer takers if its consequences occurred immediately.” Dennis Rainey
● John tells us that the love of God is perfected (made complete) in us as we obey Him.
3 ) When we come to know Jesus, we know how to love.
The love John is talking about refers to an unconditional love, (agape). It says “I’m committed to loving you know matter what”.
1 John 3:16-18 (NIV) “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
● Love implies action toward others.
John 14:21 (NIV) “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
● Biblical love is NOT a feeling, but an act of obedience!
Matthew 5:43-47 (NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
● Loving those who hate you requires trusting God and obeying His command to love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
For Small Group Discussion:
Read/Tell the Story: 1 John 2:1-17; see also 1 John 3:16-23; 1 John 4:7-21; Ephesians 4:22-24
1. Why do you think God cares about our obedience?
2. What have you been holding onto that you will surrender to Jesus by obediently doing what He commands? How will you surrender this to Him and follow up with obedience?
3. If we say we know God but don’t keep His commandments, what does that communicate to the world around us?
4. What comfort can you find from today’s passage for when we do sin?
5. What things of the world are we warned about in verses 15-16?
6. What would be a practical example of some of those things in today’s culture?
7. What things of the world do you struggle to show compassion towards?
8. Who in your life do you need to choose to love, regardless of how you feel about them? How must your actions towards that person change as a result?