1 John Bible Study

Am I Really Saved?: A First John Check Up ~ Lesson 1: Introduction

1 John Study

Today, we’re taking a brief break from our regular Wednesday’s Word format. For the next (approximately) six to eight weeks, we’ll be studying the book of 1 John.

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you’re really saved, think a loved one might be a false convert (someone who thinks she’s saved but isn’t), or are wondering about that “Christian” author who keeps promoting unbiblical ideas, you’ll find that 1 John has the answers to a lot of your questions.

So let’s dig in and get those questions answered. There’s just one ground rule- you must read the entire text of the chapter of 1 John we’re dealing with in each lesson. (Don’t freak out, though, the longest of the five chapters is chapter two, weighing in at a lightweight 29 verses.) This isn’t going to be a line by line study. We’re going to focus on the “Am I Really Saved?” check points in each chapter. So, you’ll need the entire chapter for context, plus, it’s a phenomenal book and I don’t want you to miss any of it. Ready?

Am I Really Saved? A First John Check Up
Lesson 1: Introduction
Please Read: 2 Corinthians 13:5; Matthew 7:21-23;
1 John 1:1-4, 5:13

Our relationship with Christ can be a hard one to quantify. It’s not like a big red “C” for “Christian” appears on our foreheads when we repent of our sin and trust Christ for salvation. We look the same, we talk the same, we live in the same place. We can’t even trust our feelings to validate that we’ve truly been born again.

So sometimes, we’re left wondering, “Am I really a Christian? How can I know for sure?” Those kinds of thoughts can produce a lot of anxiety. But God doesn’t want us to worry or live in constant fear that we don’t belong to Him. He’s very clear that He wants us to know for sure, one way or the other.

How can we know? Second Corinthians 13:5 tells us that we need to examine our hearts, test ourselves, to see whether we’re in the faith. As Christians, we use God’s word as a measuring stick for our salvation, not a prayer we once prayed, an emotional or spiritual “experience” we once had, baptism, church membership, being a “good person,” or external “Christiany” behavior, activities, or knowledge. Remember, Jesus said that there will be many people who claim to be Christians and look like Christians on the outside whom He will turn away from Heaven on the day of judgment because He does not know them as His own. So, maybe the people John was writing to had some of the same questions and anxieties about their salvation that we have about ours.


First John is the first and longest of three brief epistles, or letters, written by the apostle, John. You might remember John – along with his brother James – as one of the “sons of thunder,”or “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Originally a fisherman, John became one of Jesus’ “inner circle” (with his brother James and Peter) of disciples. John was the longest living of the original twelve disciples, and is believed to be the only one of the twelve who was not martyred for his faith in Christ (though he was eventually exiled). John also wrote the gospel of John and the book of Revalation.

First John is classified as a “general epistle” and was probably written circa 90-95 A.D., toward the end of John’s life, to the churches he shepherded in Asia Minor. It is likely that these churches were encountering the heresy of gnosticism, which may have been why they needed a little refresher course in salvation, and which John seems to combat in this epistle. In 1 John 1:4 and 5:13, John personally explains two of his reasons for writing the epistle.

Questions to Consider:

1. In 1 John 1:1-3, which words and phrases indicate that John knew Jesus and was an eyewitness to His ministry? Why would his eyewitness testimony have been important to the churches he was writing to?

2. What were some of the things John witnessed and learned from Jesus that transformed Him from “Son of Thunder” fisherman to “John the Revelator” over the course of his life? (see the gospel of John)

3. Why was it important for John (and other New Testament writers) to actively combat false teaching rather than take a more passive approach such as simply praying for the false teachers?

4. Think back to your salvation experience. Do you believe you’re saved because you prayed a prayer, got baptized, or because you’re a good person? Reflect on Matthew 7:21-23. What impact does this passage have on you?

5. List some specific ways your relationship with Christ has, over time, changed the way you think, speak, act, regard others, and regard the Bible. Do you see evidence of your growth in Christlikeness?

6. If you prayerfully examine your heart (2 Corinthians 13:5) during this study and suspect that you might not truly be born again, what will you do? What Scriptures can you turn to for help?

Additional Resources:

1 John Summary at Blue Letter Bible

Book of 1 John at Got Questions

We Know: The Things Christians are Certain Of– A sermon series on 1 John by Dr. Hershael York

True or False? A Study in 1 John (Lessons 1-5) at Naomi’s Table

15 thoughts on “Am I Really Saved?: A First John Check Up ~ Lesson 1: Introduction”

  1. First, thank you for your dedication to glorify Jesus as Lord and Savior through this ministry. There are so many false and/or empty Biblical teachings. I have examined your information and found you to be solid in the use of Scripture and you continually point back to God’s Word as the only authority! Thank you! My question: in the fall I had planned on facilitating the women’s Bible study using 1 John. and I was wondering if I can use some of the questions from your study? I never want to use someone else’s work without permission. I like the organization of your 1 John study and the discussion questions and if possible, would like to incorporate them in my study. If that is not acceptable, I understand. At this point, I am making myself the student so I don’t know what the study will be in the final form, but I thought I should inquire. Once again Michelle, I know how much time true study takes plus your additional research regarding other teachers (false and reliable) so thank you dear sister for using your gifts to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ! (I think we have so much in common – just love spending time with you). (If you are ever in Brookings, Oregon come visit me. NiCole


    1. Hi NiCole-

      Thanks for your kind words and your sweet invitation. I hear Oregon is quite lovely, so I’ll have to take you up on that sometime :0)

      You are more than welcome to use the 1 John study or any of the other studies or lessons in their entirety as long as it’s made clear in some way to the folks in the class that I wrote it. (Please understand, that’s not an ego thing or a credit thing for me. That’s how I take responsibility for what I’ve written and stay accountable.) It is absolutely fine with me if you want to print out the lessons for the whole class or whatever, as long as they’re made available for free. Or if you just want to use it as prep material while you study, that’s fine too.

      I hope it’s helpful :0)


      1. thank you. Plan on doing this study myself this summer and lead a group using this study in the fall. It is heavy on my heart. The church is my mission field.
        Seriously – let me know when you want to come to the Oregon coast. We will have great praise time at the beach!


  2. Dear Michelle,

    I hope this finds you well and doing better!

    You’re the first person I thought of to ask how to highlight Bible verses using specific colors. Do you have a system for this skill that you can share? I’m 61 and have never had a church that taught it.

    My husband gave me a MacArthur Study Bible for Christmas! It’s a precious gift, so I want to use it wisely.

    I also want to learn how to study my Bible without a formal study, so I thought I would start with a few of your studies before going solo. I believe systematically highlighting what I learn will help me focus better and provide order to my efforts. Brain fog and focus are current challenges for me, so keeping things simple works best.

    My daily structure was shattered last year, but God used it to get my attention. Now, I’m working on re-establishing self-discipline to restore the structure as God directs me.

    Thank you for your time in considering my thoughts. Your assistance is greatly respected and appreciated.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Until then, God bless you.

    Kindest regards,


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