1.  Icebreaker:

-        What’s the hardest part of fighting sin?

2. What (did the text say):

-        What position has God’s love given us? (Think: What is involved in being children of God?)

-        What is our relationship to the world, and what are the consequences? 

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

Some context between the chapters:  Chapter 2 is directed at the Gnostic false teachers (especially Docetic Gnostics who denied Jesus' humanity). Chapter 3 continues to also focus on the false teachers who separated salvation (justification) from ethics and morality (sanctification). But, chapter 3 also addresses the believer more directly.

-        Connect 1 John 3:4-5 to 2:1. What is John teaching us about law?

-        Read John 3:4-10.  What is John saying about the relationship between the believer being a child of God and sin?   Notes:  This text presents the goal that all believers long for a total deliverance from sin. This same ideal is presented in Romans 6. Through Christ's power we can fight and have victory over sin.  This passage, however, must fit into the larger context of the entire book of I John.  To interpret this passage without regard for 1:8-2:2 (Christians still sin) would be unwise.  To interpret this passage in such a manner as to defeat the overall purpose of I John, which is the assurance of salvation against the claims of the false teachers, would also be unwise.  Therefore, this passage must be related to the false teachers' claims of sinlessness or sin's insignificance. Possibly 1:8-2:2 deals with one extreme of the false teachers, while 3:1-10 deals with another. Remember that interpreting the letters of the NT is like listening to one half of a phone conversation as it relates to the original historical context of the letters.

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

-        1 John 3 clearly makes numerous references to the familial nature of Christianity.  God is our heavenly father, and we are all children of God.  As brothers and sisters in a community group, how can we fully take advantage of these relationships?

FAMILY DISCUSSION GUIDE

-       How is God our heavenly father?

-        How can our friends help us do nice things?  Are there ever times where our friends pressure us to do bad things?