In this first chapter, John identifies three ways of walking in darkness. The path to darkness begins with the words, "If we claim .. ." Not only are the same things propagated by false teachers today, but they lurk in the corners of each of our hearts. These deceptive claims are infections caused us to underestimate sin. We are then drawn to the light by the key word, “if ..” And once we have understood correctly, we can encounter the reality of the powerful and life-changing experience of walking in the light.
Read 1 John 1:5-7
1. John says that God is light. What are the parallels between light and God?
2. What is the first false claim about sin (v6)
3. What does John teach us about sin to correct this faulty understanding (v7)
4. How have your relationships with others changed since you have confessed your sins and become a follower of Christ?
Read 1 John 1:8-9
5. What is the second false claim about sin (1:8)?
6. What did John teach about sin to correct this false understanding (1:9)?
7. What are some of the traits and characteristics you see in the lives of people who are working overtime to prove to themselves, others, and God, that they are "good people" and not sinful?
8. How have you experienced freedom and peace when you have admitted your sinfulness to God?
John uses very powerful words to describe those who have confessed their sins. He says we are "purified from all unrighteousness." How does God see you?
Read 1 John 1:10-2:2
9. What is the third false claim about sin (1:10)?
10. What do people prove about themselves if they accept this false claim (1:10)?
11. What are Christians to do (2:1-2).
12. If Jesus Christ is the final and complete sacrifice for our sins, what would he say to those who feel the need to measure up or do something to "pay for" their sins?
13. Jesus Christ did not just die for "my sins" but for the sins of the whole world. How should this truth influence the way you will conduct yourself in the coming week in one of the following places:
• In your workplace
• In your neighbourhood
• In your shops or restaurants
• In your home