1 John 2:3-11
3 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.
7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
A High Stakes Question
One of the most common and confusing questions for a typical Christian is “how do I know I’m saved?”
Considering the high stakes involved in knowing whether or not you are saved, it would only be logical for every young believer to go through a time where she struggles with her salvation.
In all likelihood there are people in your small group who have recently had doubts about the reality of their relationship with Christ. We should establish as a ground rule that these are the types of doubts that we should be honest about. The Bible is given specifically to encourage us to ask these questions of ourselves and to find answers that are based on real evidence.
The next few weeks in Life Group we will be digging deeply into 1 John 2. This passage contains some of the best Biblical proofs about how to identify genuine saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Let’s start by walking section-by-section through 1 John 2:3-11.
- How do we know we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ? (vv.3-5a)
- What is the difference between obeying Jesus out of love and obeying Jesus out of legalism?
The theme of abiding is fleshed out most famously in the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John. Take a moment to read John 15 in your group. It may help you to answer the questions that follow.
- Why is it important to understand a relationship with God as “abiding” and “walking”? (1 Jn. 2:5b-6)
- How do you know when you are abiding and walking in Christ?
- Should it be complicated to know whether or not we are walking in Christ? (1 Jn. 2:7-8)
- What is the difference between holding to a standard of loving your brother and living to a standard of following rules? (vv. 9-11)
- Is it easier to obey a rule or to love?
- In what ways do you find it easy to love other people?
- In what ways do you find it difficult to love other people?
- How has abiding in Christ allowed you to love other people in a way you couldn’t otherwise?
Ask these questions of your group to help identify where they are on their discipleship pathway. We are not merely interested in box checking religious acts. We want to shepherd group members and evaluate how measurable actions reflect personal journeys of faith.
These questions will be on the discussion guide each week. If you don’t get to all of them, don’t worry. Next week, you will have another chance. If you need more information as a discussion leader, please contact Jonathan Pugh.
- Have you come to a place in your life where you can say that you have trusted God for salvation?
- Have you publicly stated that faith through believers’ baptism?
- In what ways are you serving God with your time?
- How are you making prayer a part of your daily life?
- How is your personal Bible study going this week?
Have you been able to talk about faith with somebody outside of church this week?
How are you currently being led to give of your resources to God’s work?