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The Epistles of John

John was one of the sons of thunder, but he was a tender loving man who would never compromise his convictions. He lived a transformed life and spoke the truth in love so that he attracted people to himself and ultimately Jesus Christ.

A Christian’s love for Christ, Christ’s love for His church, and the love for one another that is the hallmark of true believers. A love that is only learned from Christ. How is God shaping you as you grow in Christ and allow the Lord’s strength to be made perfect in your weakness?

John, the last surviving apostle, freely and graciously leaves with the next generation the mystery of the life-saving message of the gospel in his letters to the churches. In this series we will discover their fresh and exciting portrayal of the meaning of life and truth and love. God is life, God is light, God is love. 

 

June 16 (Father’s Day) “The Way of Life”

The Word: 1 John 1:1–10

Feel: Christianity is the only religion of all the philosophies and all the religions of the world that grants you the possibility of absolute assurance of where you stand with God now.

Know: Since God is light and there is no darkness in him, no person can claim that he is living in full fellowship with God while walking in sin at the same time. When we walk in the light (live in light of truth, knowledge, and righteousness), we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Desired Outcome: Jesus was a real man through whom we have fellowship with one another and with God. We must walk in his light, and we must confess our sin when we fail. We must also forgive others if we are to retain our fellowship with God and with other Christians who have wronged us. But we must also forgive if we are to keep from drying up spiritually.

 

June 23 “The New Relationship”

The Word: 1 John 2:1–29

Feel: John counsels strongly against sin; however, he is realistic about the needs of his readers. Therefore he decides to emphasize the source of their common help more than to warn them of their common crisis.

Know: “Why are you called a Christian?” by saying, “Because by faith I am a member of Christ and so share in his anointing. I am anointed to confess his name, to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks, to strive with a free conscience against sin and the devil in this life, and afterwards to reign with Christ over all creation and all eternity.” (HC 32)

Desired Outcome: In light of the appearance of the Righteous One and our future perfect righteousness, practice righteousness by abiding in him. (REC)

June 30 “Truth and Love”

The Word: 1 John 3:1–4:21

Feel: Would you say you're a herald of truth or love? What would others say about you?

Know: The importance of the demonstration of a proper attitude, love, is evidence of genuine faith. The chief revelation of love is in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. The chief manner in which we as believers demonstrate our love is by our kindness and mercy in ministry to others.

Desired Outcome: Our love brings with it an assurance of our standing with God. If we demonstrate this love, we are able to set our hearts at rest in God’s presence. The assurance that love brings will carry with it an experience of boldness before God and also an assurance of effectiveness in the practice of prayer.

 

July 7 (Communion) “The Victory of Faith”

The Word: 1 John 5:1–21

Feel: The life that is real is built on the divine certainties that are found in Jesus Christ. The world may accuse the Christian of being proud and dogmatic, but this does not keep him from saying, “I know!”

Know: The world boasts of its enlightenment, but a Christian walks in the real light, because God is light. The world talks about love, but it knows nothing of the real love which a Christian experiences because “God is love.” The world displays its wisdom and learning, but a Christian lives in truth because “the Spirit is truth.” God is light, love, and truth; and these together make a life that is real.

Desired Outcome: If we believe obedience to God and His Word is the shortest distance between us and the life we want, we will obey. Obedience is not nearly as hard if we become persuaded that it is not only for God’s glory, but also for our good. Yes, obedience sometimes has a high cost, but disobedience always has a high cost.

July 14 “Christians in the World” (Guest)

The Word: 2 John 1–13

Feel: Many deceivers are around, so I am glad to hear that some of you are walking in the truth, for God commanded that we walk in love. Be on guard against their teaching. “Wait, what?”

Know: We are not to be deceived by those who would sway us from the truth. We are to stand firm, strong, and resolute. When Jesus comes, or when we go to meet him, we are to be found at our post with our weapons in our hands, believing the truth and living the truth.

Desired Outcome: Show your love for God not by warm, fuzzy feelings on Sunday morning, but in gritty obedience Monday through Saturday. We must stand firm against the false teachers of our day, and we must live out our faith. In doing so, we remain strong; the church remains viable; and the lost are shown an accurate picture of Jesus.

 

July 21 (Guest) Open Theme

 

July 28 (River Church) “The Family of God”

The Word: 3 John 1–14

Feel: John ends the letter on the theme of Christian friendship. Do you need a friend to comfort you and pull you through?

Know: Fellowship is more than sharing a cup of coffee after the service; it is sharing life together—the joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats—so that together we might fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith, and long for the glory of God’s gospel to cover the earth.

Desired Outcome: Enjoy the compelling Christian community God has made you a part of. Open your home to other people when circumstances enable you to do so. Assist other people in ministry when you are able to do so and be grateful for the Lord’s reward when you do.

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