Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recap on Ist John 1:5-2:2
     We need God's light in our lives if we want to become a better person and have loving, selfless relationships with others.

1st John 2:3-17.  Abiding in _________(fill in the blank)

     In this section, I'd like y'all to consider the word ABIDING.  Can we abide in something that is "not there"?

1.     1st John: 2:3-6  "A man is only as good as his words".  "Say what you want, but actions speak louder than words".  "Stop talking so I can hear what you are saying".  We hear these quotes a lot.  Can you honestly SAY that you try to live, walking the talk, in the will of God in your everyday living?  Have you ever stopped and honestly looked at yourself in the mirror the way others see you?  Who would you see?  Yourself, Christ, or something else?

2.     1st John 2: 7-11     'New' commandments and 'old' commandments.  Love and hate.  Light and darkness.  Lets suppose that the commandments John is referring to is love encompassing.  And lets suppose that the way we walk with our brother is a reflection of that love.  In verse 11, it sounds as if we cause someone to stumble (be it a brother, sister, or even your best friend), you really don't love them...even though you think you do.  Do you make them stumble on purpose? NO, of course not!  You don't realize it because you are living in darkness and are blind.  My question for this paragraph, how is it then, if we are 'blind', that we can become illuminated?

3.     1st John: 12-14     It appears John is writing to everyone of all ages.  When I read it the second time, I thought about the men of old (maybe even those of the old testament), those of the current church that he was writing to, and those of the future church.  Regardless, you are part of both the current and future church (that's the irony of being a teenager...we just don't know where to place you Emoji)  Anyways, when you have children, and if you continue the path you are on, what will they see in the reflection of your past?  Do you feel you are walking life in the direction that will bring life (light) to those after you?

4.     1st John: 15-17     Compare this section to Genesis 3:6.  Surely Eve was not hungry, and I would think the garden was a really pretty place to see.  And she had a good relationship with God, also.  But, she thought she was missing something.  This 'thing' that we are 'missing' will never be filled by the world.  In what ways do you feel the youth in our local body struggle with:
     A)  The lust of the flesh (wanting to please ourselves)
     B)  Lust of the eyes (wanting what we see)
     C)  Pride of life (being proud of what we are, have, etc)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

1st John 1:1-4 recap

1.  The minor epistle of John was written AFTER the fall of Jerusalem.  Many of second generation of believers in some churches were compromising their faith by conforming to the worlds standards.  John's church was in Ephesus, one of the churches that is written to in Revelation.  (Revelation 2: 5 "You have left the LOVE you had in the beginning")  In the minor epistle of John, John wanted believers who "lost their first LOVE" to get back on track.

2.  It's one thing to 'see' something, it's another to 'SEE' something and to take it in.

1st John 1:5-2:2  Consider 3 things...Who God is, what we are, and what we have as a result.

1.  1:5-7    WHO GOD IS.....God is LIGHT.  We can chose to live in the light OR the dark.  If we walk in the LIGHT, we are walking in fellowship with ANYONE else walking in the LIGHT because we are in fellowship with God.  Remember, we SEE things in the LIGHT, we see what we want to see in the dark.   Question, Why would someone falsely claim they have fellowship with God?

2.  1:8-10  WHO WE ARE.....We are sinners, and that's OK if we realize that and get a relationship with God.  But it is more than just talking, it's walking the talk.  It's walking with God.  (I find it interesting the part that says "if we confess our sins".  It does NOT say who we are to confess to.  The Catholics say to a priest, parents say to 'mom or dad', but I personally think it is to God.  I don't think we have to spill out our guts to each other, but to God.  Not saying that we wouldn't feel better if we wronged someone to clear it up with them.  I am saying, if we want a genuine fellowship with God, we will confess our deepest sins to Him and, from then, walk in the light)  Anyways, my question is, what does Christ's cleansing blood have to do with this fellowship?

3.  2:1-2  WHAT WE HAVE.....We have an advocate, a helper.  We will never be sinless, but if we do sin and mess up, we can say we are sorry, and keep on going.  Christ is our advocate as long as we keep out fellowship with Him.  Two questions here  
     A.  Can we really be sinless?  It kinda sounds like that in 2:1.  If not, why would John say "that you sin not"?
     B.  Christ does not automatically act as our advocate, but the believer must first do something - we need to confess.  Is He an advocate for the WHOLE? (For those of you who want to really go deeper, the greek word parakletos is used here in 2:1.  In those days, the word is kinda used like a defense attorney in todays court.  It's someone who pleads a case before the judge in defense of the one being charged.)  Is this advocacy to us as individuals, or through us, as a church, is Christ is an advocate us as a whole (specifically RCV)?  Another way of asking, is this advocacy horizontal, vertical, or both?