1 John Study Questions #9
Live As Visible Pictures of God
1 John 4:7-21
INTRODUCTION: John has been clear in his letter when we believe in Jesus, something fundamentally changes within us. That change is to our identity. We become children of God, and we are filled with the love of the Father. In this third treatment, John is concerned to relate the love which should be in us not to the true light which is already shining (2:8, 10), nor to the eternal life of which it is the evidence (3:14–15) but to God’s very nature of love and to his loving activity in Christ and in us.  There is eternal importance to living out love; when we do, we live as visible pictures of God.
GETTING STARTED – There is always someone in our lives that seems to live a truly authentic life. In that, we are able to know who they are, not by what they say but by how they live. Discuss with your group who that has been in your life. And, what did they do that made their values abundantly clear from their lifestyle?
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), 160.