Life Group Discussion Guide

“The heart is a citadel and it must be guarded against insidious assailants from without”

Commentator on 1 John 5:21

18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

1 John 5:18-21

Jesus ultimately offends because he makes an exclusive claim to our devotion and worship. Every person who is born again has made a choice to follow Jesus and reject other gods.

What is an Idol?

The biblical title for any false god is “idol.” This concept did not originate in the New Testament. One of the core tenets of the law was that God’s people would be bound to have “no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) 

We are often blinded to the idols in our own lives until we hold them up next to some manifestation of the goodness and majesty of God. This is why the godliest people among us often are the most sensitive to their own shortcomings and need for Jesus to battle sin.

We have to allow our hearts to be consumed by Jesus to such an extent that there is no room for idols to take his place.

And this is ultimately eternal life: to overcome the sin of idolatry and live with a pure heart toward God.

Discussion Questions

  • Does an idol have to be a physical object?
  • What are the idols of our time and place?
  • How do those idols rob us of the joy of life?
  • Does the world see Christians breaking free from the bondage to those idols?
  • How have non-Christians responded when you have broken free from some idol?
  • What idols are you still battling?

Prayer time

Break into groups of two or three and pray specifically for victory for each person in the fight against idolatry.

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