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 Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passages: Luke 6:46-49; James 1:22-25; 1 John 2:3-6
Discussion Questions: Why do you think John connected obedience to God’s commands and our assurance of salvation? What do our actions communicate about our beliefs? What would it look like for us to “walk as Christ walked”? What is the significance of Christ connecting love and obedience together?
Food for Thought:
In 1 John 2:3-6, John began by pointing out that obedience to the commands of God gives a foundation for assurance. In fact, John noted that if a person says he has come to know God yet does not live according to God’s commands, that person is a liar. This is similar to the person who is “self-deceived” in James 1:22-25. The truth escapes the person who is not doing the Word. There is a profound disconnect between what is professed and what is expressed in action.
John highlights the spiritual disconnect between mere profession and concrete expression. If a person says he loves God yet doesn’t live out His commands, something is terribly wrong spiritually. The person is lying by his words and his (lack of) actions. On the other hand, living out God’s commands out of a love for God gives us great assurance. We see our relationship with God authentically manifested in our lives.
In our culture, we sense a disconnect between love and obedience. We think of love as an emotion and obedience as action. A mother may say of a horribly rebellious child, “But she really does love me,” appealing to emotions rather than what is manifested in the child’s life. But God has always associated love with obedience to His commands. You can’t say that you love God while living contrary to His will.
What did Jesus say in John 15:10? “If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love.” This is how our Lord Jesus lived, in perfect obedience and love for the Father. We listen to God’s Word so we can walk as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). We remain in Jesus’ love by keeping His commandments.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered curriculum that examines the grand narrative of Scripture and how the gospel transforms the lives of those it touches. Through a three-year study plan, participants are immersed in the gospel through stories, theological concepts, and calls to missions from Genesis to Revelation. Separate study plans for kids and students/adults ensure the proper focus and depth. The Gospel Project is designed to unify an entire church under a single Christ-centered curriculum. More information, free samples, and The Gospel Project blog can be found at gospelproject.com.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.