Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Remember we begin with the “what does it say?” questions, move to the “what does it mean?” questions, and then, “what do we do with it?” questions.
This first chapter is not really written in a flowing sort of way. One sentence does not really lead into the next sentence. So we’ll have to approach the text in a different way than with most of the rest of the book.
Who wrote the book? Who was it written to?
What is John talking about right from the start?
What other book begins by talking about the word?What has John done with the word? “Word of life” Phil 2:16
Why does he mention that he’s seen the word twice in verse 1? The first is simply that he saw Jesus. The second is that he understood him (cf. John 1:14).
Why is he going into so much detail about how well he is related to the word?
What kind of word is it?
What does word of life mean?
What does “manifest” mean?
What does John mean by “was made manifest to us” in verse 2?
Besides seeing, knowing, touching, etc. to John, what is John doing with the word?
Why is he telling his readers about the word of life?
What does fellowship have to do with knowing about the word of life?
What is fellowship? Scripture knows no life that is not shared life, life together (Leithart, 42-43).
Who all is the fellowship with?
Besides helping us to have fellowship, why was this letter written?
Whose joy? Joy, like the life is shared joy (Leithart, 43).
What does complete mean?
Who is the “we” referred to throughout this section?
Okay, so he’s proclaimed it, how does that translate into fellowship (v. 3)?
v. 5—Where did the message come from?
Who was it first proclaimed to?
After they heard the message, what did they do with it?
What was the message?
What does it mean that God is light as opposed to God is in the light, or God created the light? Barclay (26): Attributes of light à Light is associated with life (Job 33:30; Jn. 8:12), It tells us of God’s splendor and glory (Ex. 13:21; 14:20), it shows that God is self revealing, it reveals God’s holiness and purity, it lets us know that God will guide us (Ps. 18:28; 43; 89:15; 112:4; 119:105), and it is the great revealer (Ps. 90:8).
What is not in him?
What is light?
What is darkness? à Christless life: 1 Jn. 2:8; Eph. 5:8; Col. 1:13; 1 Thess. 5:4, 5; Jn. 8:12; 1 Pet. 2:9, Hostile to the light: Jn. 1:5, The ignorance of life apart from Christ: Jn. 12:35; 46, Immorality of life without Christ: Rom. 13:12; Jn. 3:19, Unfruitfulness: Eph. 5:11, Lovelessness: 1 Jn. 2:9-11, Where the enemies of Christ live: Eph. 6:12; 2 Peter 2:9; Jude 13.
v. 6—What can we have with God?
What does walk mean?
What does it mean if we say we have fellowship with God, but walk in darkness?
What would that look like?
What does “practice” mean?
What does practice truth mean?
What is truth?
Why would anyone think that they knew God, but didn’t have to live accordingly? Some folks view the Christian life as a way of learning, rather than as a relationship with the living God. Some think when they believe, or get to a certain place in their knowledge of God, the Christian life becomes a sort of forgone conclusion. They no longer need to live in a certain way, they have arrived. Sin no longer has any place in their lives. Then, of course, because sin is never absent, it slowly takes control of their lives and slowly, imperceptibly begins to rule them so that they live as pagans live with no compunction about their evil lifestyles. They have arrived, they have their theological ducks in a row and those lower on the spiritual chain have nothing to say to them.
v. 7—What happens if we walk in the light? Leithart, 50: “To say God is Light is to say that God has already eternally arrived at the consummation toward which all creation is moving.”
How should we walk in the light?
What does it mean to walk in the light? “To walk in the light is to walk according to the future Light of the new creation…” (Leithart, 50).
How do we get fellowship with one another?
What happens if we walk in the light?
How can we know if we are walking in the light?
Is there any such thing as a lone ranger Christian?
What else happens if we walk in the light?
What does it mean that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin?
Which comes first?
How much of our sin is cleansed?
What is our cleansing based on?
v. 8—What if we say we have no sins?
Why would anyone say they have no sin? Blame, it isn’t my fault (Others are responsible for his sin: heredity, environment, temperament, physical shape, mental disease, siblings, etc.), Denial, I didn’t sin (he has arrived, he cannot sin any longer. Nothing he does is sin, by definition.)
How can he say we are deceiving ourselves?
How does he know whether we are sinning or not?
What is not in us, if we say we have no sins?
v. 9—If we acknowledge that we are sinners, what should we do?
What does confess mean?
Why would he forgive our sins?
What does his faithfulness have to do with our forgiveness?
Besides forgiving us, what does God do when we confess our sins?
What does his faithfulness and justice have to do with this process?
How much of our unrighteousness does he cleanse us from?
What does this mean about our standing before God?
What does it mean about our standing before man?
v. 10—What happens if we say we have no sin?
Why would anyone say that?
Does that mean that you can’t say that you have no sin if you’ve just confessed it and been cleansed from it?
Why does your claim to have no sin make God a liar?
Where is his Word not?
How does this work? Why is his word not in us if we claim to be without sin?