WHO YA GONNA CALL? Chapter four opens with instructions on how to "test the spirits," as if regular interaction with supernatural spirits was a regular thing for people, but John's not referring here to goblins or ghosts who are disguising themselves as messengers of God. Rather, he's referring to ideas, thoughts and teachings that come from people who claim to be Christian, but who actually are ripping people away from salvation in Christ alone. We're surrounded by these kinds of demonic influences each and every day, so whether you realize it or not, you're in the middle of spiritual warfare. Test / evaluate every teaching, idea and opinion you hear, and if it doesn't point you to the finished work accomplished by Jesus Christ, it's "the spirit of the antichrist (v3)," and you need to put it out of your life.
MASSIVE TROVE OF MEMORY VERSES:
Pick at least one to memorize and meditate on throughout the day.
The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (v4b).
Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (v7-8).
This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (v10).
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us (v12).
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God (v15).
We love because He first loved us (v19).
GIVE IT SOME EXPRESSION: Take one of these verses from chapter four and give it some expression. For some of you it might be a song that uses these words, others have the ability to express these truths artistically in a drawing or sculpture, or maybe reword the verse using a bit of poetic license. Share it with us using the comment box below.
I'm a certified nerd - an engineer who became a theologian - so artistic expression doesn't come easily to me, but putting passages into an outline format really helps me visualize and understand the concepts it teaches. Here's how I'd outline v4b, although this blog does not allow me to do as much formatting as I'd like...):
who is in you: is greater
than the one
who is in the world
Here's what v10 looks like:
This is love:
not that we loved God,
He loved us, and
sent His Son
as an atoning sacrifice
for our sins
Your turn! Share with the group something you use to help you understand God's Word using the comment box at the bottom of the page.
Communion Preparation For Sunday, 9/27/20
Heidelberg Catechism QA 76
Q. What does it mean to eat the crucified body of Christ and to drink his poured-out blood?
A. It means to accept with a believing heart the entire suffering and death of Christ and thereby to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
But it means more.
Through the Holy Spirit, who lives both in Christ and in us, we are united more and more to Christ’s blessed body. And so, although he is in heaven and we are on earth, we are flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. And we forever live on and are governed by one Spirit, as the members of our body are by one soul.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is love (v16)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to help you live in love, so that God lives in you (v16)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: