We have an Advocate who is also the propitiation for our sins and to truly know Him we must keep His commandments (1-‐6), especially to love one another (7-‐11). Describing his original readers’ spiritual state (12-‐14), John cautions against loving the world and being deceived by antichrists (15-‐23), by letting truth abide in them and they in Christ (24-‐29).
Observation: What does the passage say?
Our Advocate and how we know him
A new commandment
The spiritual state of various groups
Love not the world. Beware of antichrists
Let truth abide in you, and you in Christ
Record observations and write questions that come to mind from each verse.
1. How can Jesus be of aid to us when we have sinned?
2. What does propitiation mean?
3. How do we know we have come to know Christ?
4. What commandment is both “old” and “new”?
5. What does loving or hating one’s brother have to do with light and darkness?
6. Why did John decide to write these particular groups (v. 12-14)?
7. What three things does John stress again in verses 12-14?
8. What does John mean by “the world” in v. 15-17?
9. Are all human desires contrary to God’s will? Why or why not?
10. Why did John write the truth to people who already knew the truth?
11. What is the anointing John talks about in verse 20?
12. Is everyone on earth a child of God (v. 28). See also Col. 1:16, John 3:16, John 1:12; 11:52
Interpretation: What does the passage mean?
1. In verses 3-5, John speaks about the importance of knowing Christ. How is obedience connected to knowing Christ?
2. According to verse 5, how is the love of God “made complete” in believers? What does this look like?
3. In verses 4, 6, and 9, John writes “The man who says…” What is he trying to communicate to the recipients here?
4. In verses 7 and 8, the old commandment (Leviticus 19:18) and the new commandment (John 13:34-35) to love one another are referenced. How can this be both an old and new commandment?
5. Verses 12-14 give us a picture of three stages of spiritual maturity. What does John say is the experience in each stage? (Children, Young Men, Fathers)
6. What three things in the world should we not love? (15-‐17)
7. Read Matthew 5:21-26 and 1 John 4:20-21. From these and verses 9-11, how does someone’s relationship with others correspond to their relationship with God?
8. Why did John write the truth to people who already knew the truth?
9. What was the importance of John teaching believers that they were living in the “last hour”?
Application: How does this passage apply to me?
1. From this passage, what areas of your life demonstrate that you know Jesus Christ?
2. Does increasing your knowledge of Christ increase your obedience? Explain.
3. Is it possible to hate your brother and love the Lord? Is there anyone that you need to be reconciled with? What are practical steps to take to reconcile your relationship with them?
4. Describe a time when you have chosen to love someone you were tempted to hate. How has that affected your relationship with them?
5. What are areas in your life where you are not abiding in Him? What are steps you can take to change them?
6. What areas do you walk in light and what areas do you walk in darkness? Explain how you know the difference.
7. What specifically are some things in the world that you are “contented with”? How has this hindered your obedience to the Lord?
8. How has pride affected your past? How is it presently affecting your life?
9. Verse 17 is the climax of this section of Scripture. It is easy to get caught up in this present world, but John reminds us this world is passing away. What area in your life do you need a perspective change from worldly to spiritual?
10. Most of the bondage to sin believers experience is a result of a lie they believe. Consider the areas in your life where you are enslaved to sin. What is the lie you believe that has led you into bondage to that sin? What is the Scriptural truth that proves the lie to be false?
11. What are some blessings you have experienced from abiding in the truth? What are some ways you can abide more in truth?
12. What are 3 concrete ways you can apply today’s chapter to your life?
The Holy Bible, New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland
Serendipity Bible for Groups Third Edition, Zondervan Publishing Grand Rapids © 1998
The NIV Study Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition, Zondervan Publishing Grand Rapids © 1995
Life Application Bible New Revised Standard Version Tyndale House Wheaton © 1988, 1989, 1990