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.

Background:

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

Why 1 John Is the Best Book in the Bible at Entreating Favor

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

Wednesday's Word

Wednesday’s Word ~ John 14

10986473_948035321904069_479617570637935784_n

John 14

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.


Questions to Consider:

1. Who is speaking, and who is being spoken to in this chapter?

2. What does it mean that “no one comes to the Father except through” Jesus? (verse 6) What does this mean for followers of religions which exclude Jesus or do not have a correct, biblical understanding of who Jesus is?

3. Some people say that Jesus was only a man and never claimed to be God. Does this chapter support or refute this idea? Which verses would back up your answer?

4. Does verse 14 mean that God will give you anything you ask for in prayer as long as you say the phrase “in Jesus’ name” when you ask for it? What does it mean to ask for something in Jesus’ name?

5. According to verses 15, 21, 23, and 24, what is the evidence that someone truly loves Christ as she claims to?