1 John 2:7-27
7-8: The old commandment John is referring to is that we should love God and love others. The new commandment is similar, that we should love one another just as Christ as loved us. (John 13:34)
9-11: To hate people or even someone is in darkness, and not living how believers are called to live.
12-14: John’s purpose in writing is to encourage Christians to walk in righteousness. Children, young men, and fathers, could represent stages in Christian maturity. Another view is that little children refers to all of John’s readers, while young men refers to newer believers and fathers older believers.
Question: Who in your life is hard to love (family member, coworker, someone who is in your circle of friends)? How does remembering how Christ loved us encourage you to love them? What does it practically look like for you to love them well in your specific situation?
15: John is not saying we should hate the world, for God himself “loved the world” (John 3:16). Instead, he is referring to loving things of and in the world over and above God himself.
16-17: Everything in the world is currently and will one day completely pass away. Believers should guard against desires of the flesh (i.e. selfish desires), and should instead direct their desires through God’s will.
Question: God gave us desires, and therefore it is not sinful to enjoy things in this world. What are some “earthly” things that you do enjoy, and when have you seen these things become “bigger” in your life then they should have?
18-19: The last hour began with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In a general sense, anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ is an “antichrist.”
23: John shows us again how Christianity is not “one of many paths to God.” Instead, no one who denies the Son has the Father. Without Jesus we have no hope of salvation.
24-27: John is writing to encourage believers in the Gospel, which is what you have heard from the beginning. Not to believe in and follow those who are trying to deceive you.
Question: Christians should test things that they hear and see. Just because someone said “God told me this” or “I feel like …..” does not mean God actually condones it (or said it). How should believers test whether or not something is actually possibly from God?
Question: Has there been a time in your life where you experienced someone saying or doing something that clearly was not Biblical, though claiming it was “from God” in some way?