Believe │Series: First John



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This Sunday’s Message —  Believe  │ Scripture: 1 John 5:1-12

Series: First John │ Pastor Adam Kohlstrom

1 John 5:1-5. Here, John again interweaves the three tests of knowing God: obedience to “his commandments” (5:2-3); love for “the children of God” (5:2); belief the Jesus is “the Son of God” (5:1,4-5). How are these three related? How is each essential? What is left if any one test is excluded (e.g.: obedience and love but not belief? etc.)?


1 John 5:1-3. Why are God’s commands not burdensome for those who are born of Him (see Matthew 11:28-30; 23:4; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Galatians 2:20)? When faced with the choice to obey, can the believer ever claim it’s “too hard”?


1 John 5:1-3. John writes that “love” for God is not an emotional experience, but a moral choice (cf. John 14:15,21,24; 1 John 2:4-6; 3:9-10). Similarly “love” for “the children of God” (5:2) is not mere emotion, but a commitment to act lovingly (cf. 3:16-18; 4:20-21). Why is the emotion of love, devoid of the content/commitment love, not enough in our relationship with God or one another?


1 John 5:4-5. Three times in just two verses, John uses the word “overcome.” What does it mean to overcome the world (see 2:13-14; 4:4; John 16:33)? How does our faith overcome the world?


1 John 5:4-12. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m spiritual but not religious”? What do you think he or she meant? John emphasizes the importance of belief’s content – the WHAT of belief/faith. Why is having a non-specific (just a spiritual feeling of) faith not enough? How would you respond to someone who said, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you believe it sincerely”?


1 John 5:6-12. John writes that Jesus’ baptism, crucifixion, and the Holy Spirit unanimously testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that God has given us “eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (5:11). In light of this, what stark declaration does John make in 5:12 (cf. John 14:6; 3:36)? How would you answer someone who said, “Jesus might be the way for you, but not for me” or “There are many ways to God”?






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