1 John – Study Question #7
Build a Portfolio of Love
1 John 3:11-24
INTRODUCTION: Love is a powerful force. That is something we can all agree on. Why? Because it is something we have all experienced. And, for believers, we have experienced it in full through Jesus! That is something John wants us to remember. After reminding his readers that the duty of reciprocal love is the original message they had heard (11), the first part of this paragraph concerns the hatred of Cain, the prototype of the world (12–13), while the second describes the love of Christ, which should also be seen in the church (14–18). In other words, for the Christian, love cannot be an idea alone, but must exist in practice.
GETTING STARTED – Discuss with your group a time in your life that you received love that came without strings attached? Too often we experience love that has conditions included in the fine print. But, this isn’t the kind of love God has for us, or wants us to give away.
IN THE WORD – Let’s dig back into the passage. It is important to strengthen our muscles in reading God’s Word. On Sunday, we walked through the passage in the sermon. Hopefully, that helped you to see the landmarks of the passage with fresh eyes. Now, with your group, go back through it and see what God is saying to you specifically.
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?
 John R. W. Stott, The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 19, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 141.