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1, 2, & 3 John
Lesson 2: 1 John 1:5-10
Read 1 John 1:5-6
God is light—and to walk with Him, we need to become living reflections of that light. Light is the opposite of darkness, evil, sin, and worldliness. In God, there is nothing but light—because He IS light itself. While a lot will be said about God’s love in this book, we need to remember that God is multifaceted. Yes, He is love, but He is also holiness, justice, and righteousness. The Love and light are defined by Him – not by what we think they look like (2 Corinthians 11:14). His love is in direct harmony with His light. When we become more like Him, truth and love work together as one.
Because God is light, we cannot walk with Him while we walk in darkness. There is no fellowship between light and darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). To walk with Him, we must change our idea of right and good to match His. We must understand who He is and change ourselves in light of that. He is right and good, always—He cannot be anything else. He IS light.
How does considering God’s light/holiness change:
- How you approach Him in prayer?
- How quickly you want to make things right with God when you sin?
- What you choose what to be entertained by?
- The lengths to which you are willing to go to change your bad habits?
Are there any habits in your life that are inconsistent with the light/holiness of God?
How can we know when something is truly light or disguised as light?
Read 1 John 1:7-9
The way that we walk will determine who we are walking with. If we walk in God’s light, we have a relationship with God and one another—and are made free from our sins. The beauty of being a child of God is not that we are immune to ever sinning and falling from His grace—but that we have a Father who hears us when we call out to Him from a heart of repentance. God will never turn away a repentant heart (Psalm 51:17) or a humble servant (2 Kings 22:19). While men can sometimes make the path of righteousness seem complicated, making us wonder about the state of our salvation, God lays the steps to forgiveness out clearly:
The Cycle of Walking in God’s light
- Giving up former sins/giving up our old lives: Putting off darkness to walk in the light (Ephesians 5:6-10)
- Obeying the gospel:
- “Repent [change your mind and actions regarding sin—CS] and be baptized for the remission of your sins!” (Acts 2:38)
- Removing sins through baptism (1 Peter 3:20-21)
- Cleansed by washing of water and the truth (Ephesians 5:26)
- Walking in His way/living new lives
- No longer walking in sin, but walking a new life after being buried with Him in baptism (Romans 6:1-4)
- Walking after the pattern Jesus laid out while He was on earth (1 John 2:6)
- Calling on Him for forgiveness and reconciliation
if we stumble:
- Sin separates us from our relationship with God (Isaiah 59:1, 2)— but the privilege of being His children is that He hears us (John 9:31; Isaiah 58:9).
- “if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1)
- Walking again in His light, cleansed from sin
Think of Christianity as an upward climb: our aim is Heaven, our eyes are on Jesus. We keep climbing upwards. Sometimes, as we take our eyes off the goal, we may fall into a crevice or slide down the hill a little—and we have to ask for help to return to the right path and regain our focus. The beautiful thing about our Christian walk is that it keeps getting easier. The longer we climb, the easier the climbing gets, the closer we come to seeing Heaven, and the deeper our relationship with Christ becomes. Despite the falls and downhill slides that will likely occur along the way: our goal is Heaven, our example is Christ, and the climb is ever upwards.
How does the church hurt when one person is walking in unrepentant sin? Consider 1 Corinthians 12:26, 27 and 5:1-6 in your answer
What is our responsibility towards each other when we see others stumbling in sin? Consider Galatians 6:1, 2
What are some things we can do on a daily basis to make sure that we are confessing, repenting, and walking in the light like we should be?
Read 1 John 1:8, 10
These verses show us in bold language that no matter what we may feel about ourselves or those around us, the truth is that all of us have sinned in the past—and if we say we haven’t, we’re lying. Only Christ was sinless (Hebrews 4:15) and that’s what made Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. We often (incorrectly, as we will discuss in more detail throughout this study) call ourselves “sinners”. We don’t have a problem realizing that we have sinned, but what we need to remember and allow to shape our thoughts and actions are these 3 truths:
- ALL of us have sinned—Don’t think you’re alone in your struggles with sin (Romans 3:23)
- We were once outside of Christ—have compassion on those who are struggling or outside of Christ. Even if their struggle isn’t the same as yours, you have still struggled with sin yourself (1 Corinthians 6:11)
- Sin separates us from God—you can’t become complacent about it (Isaiah 59:1, 2; Romans 6:23)—walking in the light is a constant battle.
Feeling alone in our struggles with sin is a real problem in the church.
- What can we do to help others realize they are not alone? Consider James 5:16
- How can we effectively approach others in sin without making them feel like we are looking down on them for their sin? Consider the attitude on display in Galatians 6:1 and Jude 1:22
Consider the difference between the statements: “We all have sinned” and “We all are sinners.”
- What is the difference between these two statements?
- How does thinking of sin as being in your past help you to move forward?
- How does thinking of yourself as free from sin help you to grow a greater thankfulness towards what Christ has done for you?
by Chantelle Swayne