Knowing God = Life Change
DISCERNING TRUTH FROM LIES – Part 2
October 2, 2022
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
1 John 2:3-11
1. The Theological Test (LAST WEEK): Do I believe the truth about Jesus?
2. The Morality Test: Do I obey God’s commands?
I’ll obey even when it’s inconvenient.
5 Trust in
the Lord with
all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not
be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
I’ll obey even when it doesn’t make sense.
8 “For my
thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
I’ll obey even when it hurts.
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.
3. The Ethical Test: Do I love others?
I’ll trust God to bring about justice.
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.
54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.
14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.
2 Timothy 4:14-16
I’ll ask God to help me when I hold a grudge.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
- Open my eyes see to how much I have been forgiven.
- Open my eyes to the high cost of my bitterness.
- Open my eyes to see how you want me to change.
Small Group Discussion Questions for the Week of October 2, 2022.
1. What was the most impactful life change that happened to you?
Read 1 John 2:3-11
1. Why does truly knowing God lead to obedience to his commands?
2. The Apostle Paul was a man who lived a life of obedience even when it was challenging and difficult. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-29, Paul lists some of the things he had to endure in order to carry out the ministry God entrusted to him.
3. How does 2 Corinthians 4:13-18 help explain what motivated Paul?
Living it Out
1. How would you explain to someone that obedience to God (as the Bible teaches us) is not an oppressive idea?
2. Why is hatred for someone contrary to love for God?
3. What factors or circumstances make it hard to forgive someone who wronged you?