1 John: Study Questions #1
The Stability of Joy
1 John 1:1-2:2
INTRODUCTION: Facing the dramatic shifting winds of doctrine and culture, John writes to a group that he loves and introduced to the Lord. They found freedom and hope in Christ, but now their confidence has been shaken, and they are being led astray with new teaching. The Apostle John affectionately writes this group a letter that will first help them to know with confidence that the teaching about Jesus that they first received from him is indeed the truth. He will use a literary device called amplification to revisit three themes of truth, love, and life throughout the letter. In this opening passage, we will see that, when we hold fast to Jesus, we acknowledge that he is our only hope and that we are not enough in and of ourselves. Instead of having to be enough, we have one (Jesus) who is our payment and our advocate to the Father, and through him, we can freely confess our sin and find forgiveness. In other words, because Jesus is so complete, we can admit that we’re not, and he then offers his completeness to us. And, it is in this deeply vulnerable confession that our joy is made complete through fellowship with Jesus.
GETTING STARTED – Talk about the difference between happiness and joy. At what point or experience in your life did you realize they are two different things?
IN THE WORD – Let’s dig back into the passage. First, before you read the passage, take a moment to ask God’s Spirit to quiet your mind and heart and to illuminate the text to you. Second, read the passage aloud to the group. Then, follow the simple method below. (O.P.A)
Observe: Make 8-10 observations from the passage. Pay close attention to observe and note repeated words and phrases, names, places, and themes.
Principles: From your list of observations, what patterns or big ideas do you see emerging? Can you distill it down into 2-4 big idea truths?
Apply: Moving from your list of principles, it is time to apply God’s Word. Remember, we believe that God’s Word is living and active and that it can change the way we live Monday- Friday. What is one tangible way to apply a truth from your list above?
All joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or still ‘about to be.’ – C.S. Lewis (Surprised By Joy)