Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on September 13, 2020
Passage: 1 John 1:1-2:2
This Sunday, Mike began a new series called Culture Proof which journeys through the book of 1 John. In this first message of the series, Mike outlined four foundational truths we need to know when getting a relationship with God started.
Looking back at your notes from Sunday’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
What was your concept of God growing up? How has your idea about what God is like changed since then?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. In the first section of John’s letter, he seeks to correct four myths that were infiltrating the church through culture and false teachers. The first myth he wanted to dispel was that God wasn’t always good. John wrote “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
Do you ever wonder about God’s goodness when you see evil in the world? If God removed all evil from the world, would He have to remove us as well since every Christian still sins?
What insight about God’s character can you glean from the following passages?
Nahum 1:3 (NLT2)
The LORD is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet.
Romans 9:22-24 (ESV)
What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
Revelation 21:3-4 (NLT2)
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
- Think back to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve’s deception by Satan. Why do you think Satan wanted Eve to question if God was holding something back from her by making one of the trees in the Garden off limits? Why does the enemy want you to doubt God’s goodness?
2. Another myth that John sought to dispel in the opening of his letter was the idea that you can follow Jesus and live like “hell” and follow all the evil intentions of your heart. John said, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” John is referring to a way of life when he says “walk in darkness,” not the fact that we all still struggle with sin. What do you learn from the following verses about the role of the Holy Spirit to change you as you follow Jesus?
Galatians 5:16-17 (NLT2)
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
Galatians 5:22-25 (NLT2)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Philippians 2:13 (NLT2)
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
- How have you changed since you began following Jesus?
- What is one area (we all have many!) where the Spirit is still working on making you more like Jesus?
3. Another myth that John wanted to dispel was the belief that people are basically good at the core. John was clear this is not true when he said in verse 8: “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” How do the following verses further dispel this myth?
Romans 5:12 (NLT2)
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NLT2)
Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
- Why is admitting our sins and need for Jesus the only way to begin a relationship with God?
- Do you think it’s possible for a prideful person to begin a relationship with God? Why or why not?
4. A common myth in our culture is that we can try to be a good person and everything will turn out ok in the end. What did John say in 1 John 2:1 to dispel this idea? What does John say every person needs when standing before God?
1 John 2:1 (NLT2)
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.
How does Paul address this myth in Ephesians 2:8-10?
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT2)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
According to Ephesians 2:10, do good works come before or after faith in Jesus?
What are some good works God is doing through you lately that you would like to share?
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?