Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on November 1, 2020
Passage: 1 John 4:7-21
This Sunday, Mike continued our journey through the book of 1 John by showing us four signs that we have an authentic faith in Christ.
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 do you think has changed the most about you since you came to faith in Christ? What’s an area of your life that still needs work?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. This week we heard that every believer will begin to exhibit outward signs of the life of God in them. One of the evidences of a relationship with God is we confess Jesus as God’s Son and as our Savior. When we do this the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts. As John wrote (v. 13), “God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.” He goes on to say in verse 15, “All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.” What do the following verses tell us about the indwelling Holy Spirit and the believer?
Ephesians 1:13 (NLT2)
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.
Romans 8:9 (NLT2)
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
2 Corinthians 1:22 (NLT2)
He has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
- How has the Spirit worked in your heart and life?
- Do you think you have the ability to thwart or diminish the work that the Spirit wants to do in your heart and life? Consider 1 Thessalonians 5:19 in the Amplified Bible before you answer:
1 Thessalonians 5:19 (AMP)
Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit.
2. Another sign that we have a relationship with God through Christ is that we are growing more loving toward others. In verse 17, John wrote, “As we live in God, our love grows more perfect.” How does the following passage stretch you in this area?
Matthew 5:43-44 (NLT2)
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
- Who would you consider your “enemies” in your everyday life? Who do you find most difficult to love?
- Are you willing to make your “enemy list” your “prayer list?” How might prayer turn your heart toward these individuals?
3. John wants us to understand the nature of God’s love. In verses 7-8, John wrote, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” According to the verses below, what are some ways that our love should follow the example of Christ?
Ephesians 4:32 (NLT2)
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 5:2 (NLT2)
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Ephesians 5:25 (NLT2)
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her
Romans 15:7 (NLT2)
Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
- Why do we sometimes find it difficult to love people unconditionally?
- When do you find it most difficult to extend God’s kind of love to others?
4. When we fully grasp the grace of God for us, we can face the prospect of God’s judgment without fear of punishment. In verse 17-18, John wrote, “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” Although believers will not be judged and sentenced to an eternity separated from God, we will be judged and rewarded for the work we have done in Christ’s name and for His kingdom. How do the following verses motivate you?
Romans 14:10-11 (NLT2)
10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.’”
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (NLT2)
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (NLT2)
9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is the one thing that stood out to you most in this sermon and study?
2. What is one way that you can apply what you have learned this week?