WHO ARE YOU?
1 John 2:28-3:10
THIS IS WHO YOU ARE:
“See (Behold!) what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a
- Remember who you are
- If you confess Christ as Lord and Saviour, you are a child of God.
- “Behold” the love of God – sit back and take it in! The cross displays God’s love for us (recall Romans 5:8!)
- “Of what country?” is it? It is wild, out of this world!
- Lavished: Another word, bestowed – an event that has caused this love to be given – like a wedding day – love officially acted upon and changes lives forever – the cross of Christ is that event!
- Knowing God is more than knowing about God.
BE WHO YOU ARE:
All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:3
- Do Not Sin. (3:6) You are a child of God. However, when we sin, confess it (1 John 1:6)
- What happens in your body is important to Christ. It’s not just a “mind game.”
- You are BORN AGAIN! (3:9) How can we make a habit of sin? Sin goes against our new nature. We are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6). It doesn’t make sense to sin.
- Love your brothers and sisters. (3:10)
HOW CAN YOU REMEMBER?
- LOOK BACK. (v.28-29) Look to the Cross of Christ! Christ has taken your place on the cross. The wrath of God was poured out onto him instead of you! You know can have a relationship with God because of Christ, you can be called God’s child!
- LOOK AHEAD.
“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28
“But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
The end goal is a beautiful hope, but also a truth revealer. It will reveal ultimate loyalties.
- Remind yourself what Jesus came to destroy.
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 1 John 3:8
Remember what Christ came to destroy.
- Do what is right, and actively love.
Life Group Study Questions
- In his message, Pastor Colton mentioned that “Beholding” the great love the Father has “lavished” on us is a game changer for us knowing God rather than just knowing about God. Share or right down a time when God’s love moved from your head to your heart.
- John speaks of the “world not knowing us because it did not know Jesus.” What exactly does John have in mind here?
Gary Burge comments that what John will get at in this passage, is that it is not the feeling (of being born again) that the world does not recognize or understand, but the behaviour. He says “the feeling, power of rebirth is not the foremost measure of being reborn…[but the] impulse to do right, to obey God’s Word…that shows us that something divine has happened with us…”
What exactly makes this love so radical to the world?
- “No one who lives in him keeps sinning.(3:6)” It’s likely that at some point reading this section, you’ve thought to yourself “If I can’t always act like God’s child, perhaps I never was.” Or “If I’ve messed up again and again, maybe I’m not God’s child.”
Burge comments “Holiness (living without sinning) becomes an imperative fueled not by fear of jeopardy but by a heartfelt response to the security that God’s love gives us.” How do you hold that in tension with John’s stern warning on sin, how lives that are “characterized by sin, willfully disobedient cannot be lives that are born of God”?
Explore what else scripture says about the new nature that we get when we believe in Christ.
John 3:3-21; Colossians 3:1-10; Ephesians 54:17-24; Romans 6:15-23
Notice that there is mention in all these verses of God’s love and gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus, as well as looking forward to Christ’s appearing. Why is the end goal so helpful to hold up, to look to, as you seek to walk in holiness?
Have you ever had a goal of something – an end goal, maybe to run a race or some kind of competition or work goal. What kinds of attitudes might overlap with that and directly apply to your spiritual life?
What might make that kind of attitude more than a momentary possibility (training for a race eventually finishes, but the running of this race won’t finish until our time on earth is done?) is the fact of being born again (1 Jn 2:29, 3:9-10). What are some of the practical ways you’ve seen the impact of being born again affect your life? Or the lives of others?
Take some time in your group to confess sin and pray for one another. Pray against returning to old patterns of sin, and remind each other of your identity in Christ and what that means.