This study features notes from Enduring Word.
1. How can we have confidence when Jesus returns?
Abiding in Jesus means that we don’t need to be afraid or ashamed when Jesus returns. This is because we have intimately known him, and can therefore have confidence at his coming. John used “we” instead of “you”; he needed this confidence also.
2. Why is the idea of abiding or living in Jesus so important?
When you abide in him, you are ready for Jesus to come at any time. It gives us confidence as we know we wouldn’t change our lives dramatically if we somehow knew Jesus would come back next week. We’d already be abiding in him.
3. How do God’s children resemble God the Father?
We will practice righteousness in our lives because we are born of him. God is righteous, so those who are born of him also practice righteousness.
4. How does John feel and how does he speak in v1?
Having just mentioned being born of him, John speaks in amazement about this manner of love that makes us children of God.
5. How is the greatness of God’s love shown in that we are called children of God?
There’s a sense that this is an unnecessary blessing that God gives in the course of salvation and a demonstration of his true and deep love for us. Someone might help or save someone, but not make them part of their family, but this is what God has done for us. It’s one sided – not a return for something earned.
6. How should we expect the world to treat us?
Because of our unique parentage from God, we are strangers to this world (or should be). We should expect the world to treat us as it treated him – rejection and hostility.
7. What can we expect in the future if we are children of God?
Our future destiny is clouded. We can’t even imagine what we will be like in glory. When Jesus is revealed to us, we shall be like him. We will still be ourselves, but our character and nature will be perfected into the image is Jesus’ perfection. None of us will be finished until we see Jesus.
8. How does John describe sin?
It’s a disregard for the law of God, which is inherently a disregard for the law maker, God himself.
9. How does John describe the mission of Jesus?
To take away our sins. Jesus had no sin to take away; therefore he could take away our sin, taking it upon himself.
10. How does John describe Christians? What does he mean when he says Christians no longer sin?
To abide in him means to not sin. John is talking about a continued lifestyle of sin, rather than occasional acts of sin. A true Christian can’t go on sinning without being concerned and without struggling to put it right.
11. Why should we not sin?
Our character reveals the family to which we belong. If we are made righteous by our faith in Jesus, it will be seen by our righteous lives.
12. How can we identify children of God and children of the devil?
Both love and righteousness are essential. We are to never love at the expense of righteousness and are never to be righteous at the expense of love.
13. What difference will it make to our lives (even this week) to remember that we are children of God?
We should want to live for him and resemble our heavenly father, so that others can see righteousness, only through faith in Jesus.