NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.
Bible Passages: 1 John 2:3-11,15-17
- What does 1 John 2:3-6 teach us about God’s commands and our love for God?
- What helps you live a life that is obedient to God’s Word?
- What would you like your actions and attitudes each day to reflect about your relationship with God?
Food for Thought:
Life has a way of surprising us and throwing us into a sea of unknowns. When unknowns happen, confidence and assurance can disappear. In their place come fear and doubt. John’s message to us in 1 John 2 shows us that when it comes to living the Christian life, we can know for certain that we are saved.
In short order in 1 John 2, John used the word “know” four times. John wrote that Christians can know with certainty they are in a relationship with God. Living in Oklahoma, we often hear that weather conditions are right for a tornado. When warm, humid conditions in the lower atmosphere make contact with colder conditions in the upper atmosphere, an intense spinning occurs which produces a tornado.
Similarly, assurance of salvation is based on the right conditions. The right conditions for a Christian to have the assurance of his or her relationship with God result from walking daily with God.
Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commands” (John 14:15). We demonstrate our love for Jesus through our obedience. Therefore, if we lack assurance of salvation, all we need to do is to look at the pattern of obedience in our lives.
Obedience to God’s commands doesn’t save us; we are saved by grace through our faith in Jesus, the One who kept the law perfectly. We obey because we have that relationship. Our obedience reflects our relationship with Christ. It’s true that no Christian obeys God perfectly, but every genuine believer has a desire to obey God. The proof of our love for God is our loyalty and obedience to Him.
John wrote of love as both an old and new command. Love is “an old command” (1 John 2:7) in that it is mentioned in the Old Testament law (Leviticus 19:17-18; Deuteronomy 6:5). So, in what sense is the old command also new? We see the newness of this old command in how Christ perfectly obeyed and manifested it. Up to that point, no one had demonstrated love perfectly on earth. Jesus fully and perfectly demonstrated agape love, like no one before Him ever had. He showed us what obedience to these commands looks like.
Earlier, John taught us the critical importance of loving our brothers and sisters, but there is a limit in what we are to love. We are not to “love the world or the things in the world” (v. 15). When John used the word world, he was not referring to God’s creation or the people in it. John was talking about the organized evil system of darkness that encompasses this world. This sin-filled, worldly mindset is manifested in those actions and attitudes that oppose the things of God. Such things as secular worldviews, crime, immorality and materialism all stand in opposition to God. The person who seeks the things of God rather than the things of the world is someone who is prepared for eternity – and you can be assured of that!
Only in Christ is salvation possible. The way we live after coming to Him in faith reassures us that we have been saved and transformed by Him. We don’t have to wonder whether we have a right relationship with God; we can know for sure.
Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the internet at biblestudiesforlife.com.