Texts: 1 John 3:11-24
March 10/11, 2012
Pastor Matt Erickson
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16)
What Love Doesn’t Look Like (1 John 3:11-15)
- The picture of Cain
- The way of death and murder
- I wouldn’t do that!
What Love Looks Like (1 John 3:16-18)
- The picture of Jesus Christ
- The way of life and love
- Loving beyond words into action
Obeying the Leadings of Love (1 John 3:19-24)
- Our hearts at rest – persuading us
- Our hearts condemning us
- Our life in His life
- His life in our life
- Talk about a time when you really experienced love. What happened?
- This week’s Bible passage is 1 John 3:11-24. Read this passage out loud and take some time to identify words, phrases, or concepts that repeat throughout these verses. What would you say is the central theme or idea in this passage?
- John says loving one another is a “message you heard from the beginning” (1 John 3:11). Take a look at Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John 13:34-35 and 15:12-17 and compare them to what John is writing.
- In writing about love for one another, the Apostle John gives the example of Cain and Abel. What strong contrast is John marking out through this story? You may want to read this early story in Genesis 4:1-16.
- Since Jesus is the model of self-giving love (1 John 3:16), John offers some specific ways that followers of Jesus can show that same love. What are they?
- In verses 19-22, John talks about having our hearts at rest – literally ‘persuading us’ – or condemning us. John here links the action of loving others with an internal conviction about what we should do. Describe a time when you internally knew you were to practically love someone else. What happened?
- What does John say is the result of keeping God’s commands to believe in Jesus Christ and love others in verse 24? What does this mean?
- Name one specific way that you will show self-giving love to another believer this week. Write it down, reflect on it, and put it into practice this week. If you are in a small group, discuss this with one another.