It can be fun to dress up or pretend to be something completely different from what we are, but ultimately nothing feels more comfortable than being our true, genuine selves. This is particularly true for us when it comes to our faith. God is looking for people who are not comfortable settling with pretending to be something they are not. He wants sold-out, genuine followers of Christ. We are going to talk about this today in our study of 1 John 1 and learn what God teaches are the markers of a genuine follower of Christ.
When you were a kid, what did you like to dress up as or pretend to be?
1. What is harmful about pretending to be something you are not, for yourself and those you interact with?
2. Read 1 John 1:1-4. How did John's eye-witness account validate his message?
1 John 1:1-4
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
3. According to verse 4, what was one of the purposes of John's eye-witness account? How does this joy that John describes in these verses differentiate us from others?
4. Read 1 John 1:5-10. What are the evidences of being a follower of Christ? Where do you see these in your own life?
1 John 1:5-10
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
5. Consider the light metaphor in these verses that compare God to light. What impact does light have on darkness? Why do you think that John used this metaphor in these verses?
6. When have you seen the light of God expose darkness in your own life?
7. Is there an area of your life where you are struggling with the darkness of sin? If so, what is that area, and how can you fight against that darkness this week?
Work through the four evidences of being a follower of Christ described in the weekend message and list them out. How are you doing when it comes to these three areas? What can you do better?
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1 John 2:5
But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.