Sunday, April 8th, 2018
God is Light
The Roman world of the first century was a time of testing and comparison between the Eastern and Western religions. The gods of the Greek and Roman pantheons were in ill repute. The religions that were deemed more mysterious were very popular because of their emphasis on personal relationship with the deity and secret knowledge. This is what Gnosticism taught. The more secular Greek philosophy was popular and was merging with other worldviews. Into this world of eclectic religion came the exclusiveness of the Christian faith (Jesus is the only way to God, cf. John 14:6). 1 John was written to help correct these 2nd generation of believers and put this bad teaching to rest, encourage them in their identity in Christ, and propel the church into the next century on solid ground.
As you read and study together, make sure to work hard at hearing from everyone that has gathered together. Pray for one another and be accountable to applying the word of God to your lives.
- After reading 1 John 1:1-4, what do you think the author meant when he says that he is saying all this to them so that their “joy may be complete”?
- It seems that when we choose to walk in darkness instead of light, we jeopardize both fellowship with God and also with each other. What are some things in your life that you could call “darkness” that have kept you from relationship with God and others?
- Confession of our sin and acceptance of the limitless forgiveness of God is how we remain in the light, even though we may falter now and then. Why is confessing sin and accepting forgiveness so hard for us? What are the obstacles we face that keep us from them?
For Further Discussion:
- For the following question, click here for more background: We know from looking at the historical context, that at that the time this letter was written, there was a group of people trying to say that Jesus wasn’t fully human, and really just an appearance of a being who was purely spirit. Why do you think it’s so important to John that we understand Jesus was real and that he himself saw, touched, and knew Jesus? What significance does the humanity of Jesus play in the story of the gospel?