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Week 1: I John 1:1-4

  1. What comes to mind when you think of the word “unfiltered”? 
  2. What are some of the ways we live “filtered” lives, hiding our true selves?
  3. What are the consequences of living a “filtered” life? How does it affect us?
  4. Visit and read the article titled I John at a Glance. Now read I John 1:1-4. How do these verses challenge Gnosticism? 
  5. What insights stand out to you, either from the article or the text itself? 

Week 2: I John 1:5-10

  1. Read I John 1:5-7. How would you paraphrase these verses in your own words?
  2. What does it look like to “walk in darkness”? Would anyone like to share about a season in your life when you walked in darkness? 
  3. Read I John 1:8-10. How do we deceive ourselves according to this text? What are some other ways we deceive ourselves?
  4. Why do you think we deceive ourselves? 
  5. Living well is not living perfectly; it’s living truthfully. What’s one step you could take toward living more truthfully? 

Week 3: I John 2:1-11

  1. Raise your hand if you consider yourself to be a person who “loves everyone.” Explain why you did or didn’t raise your hand. 
  2. Read I John 2:1-6. Which of these verses do you find most convicting and why? Which do you find most hopeful?  
  3. Read I John 2:7-11. According to verse 10, what is required for “living in the light”? 
  4. How does hating a brother or sister in Christ cause us to stumble? In other words, how does it personally affect us? 
  5. What is the relationship between truth/lies and light/darkness? 

Week 4: I John 2:12-17

  1. Have you ever gotten something you wanted only to realize it doesn’t fully satisfy you? Share some examples.
  2. Can you think of biblical characters who got what they wanted only to realize it left them wanting? 
  3. Read I John 2:12-17. How do these verses explain why nothing in this world can fully and finally satisfy us? What should we ultimately be living for?
  4. John addresses three different age groups in this passage. Which one resonates the most and why? 
  5. How is this passage a picture of sanctification? How can we press into sanctification as opposed to resisting it?

Week 5: I John 2:18-27

  1. Read I John 2:18-27. What are the major themes in this passage?
  2. Reread verse 21. Have you ever known something to be true, but denied it by your lifestyle? Share some examples.
  3. Propositional truth is what we say we believe. Incarnational truth is how we live out our beliefs. Why do you think there’s often a difference between what we say we believe and how we actually live? 
  4. Where are you skeptical of the truth of God, whether propositionally or incarnationally? 
  5. How can we close the gap between propositional truth and incarnational truth? 

Week 6: I John 2:28-3:10

  1. Take turns reading I John 2:28-3:10 out loud. When you’re finished, share what stood out to you in the passage. 
  2. How does being a “child of God” change the way we approach Him? What’s the difference between repenting to an angry God versus a loving Father? 
  3. Would you say you view God like a loving Father? Why or why not?
  4. John is not encouraging perfection, but rather a lifestyle of transformation. Celebrate the growth you’ve experienced in your life through the work of the Spirit by sharing one way you’ve grown through the years. 
  5. Do you tend to be patient with your own spiritual growth? Why or why not? How could you become less judgmental toward yourself?

Week 7: I John 3:11-18

  1. Read I John 3:11-18 silently. Try to summarize the main point of the entire passage in a single sentence. Take turns sharing your sentences out loud. 
  2. In verse 14, John makes the strong statement that “anyone who does not love remains in death.” What do you think he means by this?
  3. How does a true understanding of Christ’s love empower us to lay down our lives for others? 
  4. How would you like to grow in love? 
  5. All in all, do you find this passage encouraging or discouraging? Why? How do you think John intended for it to be received?

Week 8: I John 3:19-24

  1. Read I John 3:19-20. Is the rest you feel at the end of the day connected to your performance? Why or why not?
  2. When was the last time you felt like your heart “condemned” you? What hope do we have when our hearts condemn us? 
  3. What’s the difference between conviction and condemnation?
  4. Read I John 3:21-24. How does John sum up the entirety of God’s commands? (See verse 23). How are these two mandates related? 
  5. How does keeping God’s commands lead to life? Does anyone have a practical example? 

Week 9: I John 4:1-6

  1. When was the last time you were misled? How did you grow or learn from that experience?
  2. Read I John 4:1-6. According to these verses, how can we discern between the Spirit of God and false ideologies? 
  3. In what sense have we already overcome deception? (See verse 4). In what sense, do we still need to be on guard against it?
  4. How can we help the next generation stand against false ideologies? 
  5. Take a moment to read through our 11 House Rules. Which of these rules specifically guard against false teaching? 

Week 10: I John 4:7-21

  1. Read I John 4:7-11. What is the basis for the love we are to show to others? 
  2. When you find yourself having a tough time loving someone else, can you trace your difficulty back to your own gospel-deficit? What might that look like? 
  3. Read I John 4:12. How is God’s love made “complete” in us when we love one another? Can you think of a time when you experienced “wholeness” or “completion” through loving someone else the way Christ has loved you? Tell us about it.
  4. Read I John 4:13-21. Would you describe yourself as someone who “relies” on God’s love? Why or why not? What does it look like in a practical sense to “rely” on God’s love?
  5. Explain verse 18 in your own words. Do you have a “fear-based” relationship with God? If so, why do you think you fear Him? How could you take a step toward cultivating greater trust with God? 

Week 11: I John 5:1-5

  1. Read I John 5:1-3. Do you ever feel like God’s commands are burdensome?
  2. What might cause us to feel like God’s commands are burdensome? 
  3. Read I John 5:4-5. How do we overcome the world according to these verses? 
  4. This isn’t the only time John talks about these themes. Read John 16:33 aloud. Difficulty in life is a guarantee, but what hope do we have when we face difficulties? 
  5. Where are you in need of “overcoming” faith today? How can we pray specifically for you?

Week 12: I John 5:6-12

  1. Would anyone like to share their baptism story? What led you to make the decision to be baptized? 
  2. If you haven’t been baptized, what’s holding you back? (Grace offers baptism classes at each of our campuses, but if you want a quick read to learn more about baptism, check out this article: Why Baptism?)
  3. Read I John 5:6-10. In what sense did Jesus come by water, blood, and Spirit? (See Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 15, and John 14:25-27).
  4. How do each of these avenues reveal who Jesus is? What do they teach us about Him? 
  5. Read I John 5:11-12. Do you look to Jesus for life, or do you tend to look elsewhere? Why?

Week 13: I John 5:13-21

  1. Read I John 5:13-15. What’s the difference between coming before God “confidently” versus “arrogantly”? 
  2. Why are we able to approach God with confidence?
  3. Read I John 5:16-21. Sin that leads to eternal death is unrepentant sin. What does repentance look like in your life? Imagine you are discipling a new Christian. How would you explain repentance to him or her?
  4. As God’s children, our sin no longer leads to ultimate death, but the consequences of our sin can feel like small, temporary “deaths.” Take a moment to read this article called The Beautiful Story by Pastor Mike. How have you experienced “small deaths” over the years in relation to your sin? How are you encouraged by the more beautiful story God has for you?
  5. What have you learned through our series on I John? What were some of your biggest takeaways? How have you taken next steps toward Christ through this study?

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