COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE: 1 John 1

1.  Icebreaker:

-        What do you consider the fundamentals of Christian faith?

2. What (did the text say):

-        Read 1 John 1:4, 2:1-2, and 2:12-13.  What are three purposes of the book for the audience?

-        After reading 1:8-10, why is confession important?

-        List the sacrificial terms found in 1 John 1:7 and 9.

3. What Else (does the Bible say in relation to historical / literary context)

-        The overall theme of 1 John is a recall to the fundamentals of Christian faith.  This is in light of the historical context of the time.  John (the author) wrote the book in response to the second main trial to Christianity.  The first trial was Paul’s battle against legalism and the law.  The second trial (the context of 1 John) was Gnosticism.  Put simply, Gnosticism claimed that matter was evil and spirit was good.  Therefore, it contended that Jesus was not both fully man and fully human.  Read 1:1-4.  Pick up themes of John insinuating both the full humanity and full deity of Jesus.

-        Why does John use so many verbs involving the five senses?

-        Because Gnosticism stated that matter and spirit were separate, it would often lead to a lack of consequence for sin.  1:5-10 relates to the theological attempt to separate knowing God (theology) from following God (ethics). It represents an undue Gnostic overemphasis on knowledge.  How does John refute this? 

-        The beginning of 1 John implies three purposes for the coming of Christ.  These purposes are to reveal the Father (1:5), to give believers an example to follow (1:7), and to die on sinful mankind's behalf (2:2).  Knowing the historical context of the time, which one was most applicable for the original audience to hear?  Which one is the best reminder for the Church today?

4. Now What (should we do as a response to the text)  

-        What are tangible things we as Christians can do in response to John’s emphasis on confession?  How can community groups play a role in this?

FAMILY DISCUSSION GUIDE

-        Why is saying sorry important when you do things wrong?

-        The Bible teaches Jesus was both God and man.  Act out the nativity scene at dinner.  Explain the importance of God becoming man.  Authors note: a prize will be given to the best food-based metaphor of a sacrificial offering.