Passage: 1 John 1:1 – 2:2
“This deep sharing of inner reality, this fellowship between father and son, has been extended. It extends to all those who came to know, love and trust Jesus while he was alive, while he was, so to speak, on display as God’s public unveiling of the coming life. And now (this, it seems is the point of the letter) this sharing this fellowship, is open to others too, who didn’t have the chance to meet Jesus during his period of public display. This sharing can be, and id being, extended to anyone and everyone who hears the announcement about Jesus. They can come into fellowship with those who did see, hear and handle him. And they, in turn, are in fellowship with the father and the son, with the two who are themselves the very bedrock and model for what fellowship, in this fullest sense, really means.”
—N.T. Wright, The Early Christian Letters
What is a piece of advice someone has shared with you recently or memorably that you have shared with others?
Read 1 John 1:1 – 2:2. According to these verses, what are John’s qualifications for sharing about Jesus and what is his purpose in writing?
A few times in this passage, John refers to fellowship (koinonia). Fellowship with God and with one another. What has shaped your understanding and experience of fellowship in the context of the church? What practices in your life and in the Bible encourage fellowship for you with God and with the members of his church?
It is vital for us to understand the problem of sin to enjoy the forgiveness of Jesus. We are prone to shield ourselves from our sin, trying to take a shortcut through our problem. John deals with three ways we do this. 1) In verse 6 we see we do this through license. Cheap grace claiming God’s forgiveness but not changing how we live. Like a physical limp we live with our sin rather than addressing it. 2) In verse 8, we think of sin as relative and deny we have a sin problem at all. 3) Read verse 10. We legalistically compare ourselves with others thinking we’re not as bad as “those” people who have really sinned. In what ways do you see yourself more likely prone to seek a shortcut through the problem of your sin?
Read 1:9 and 2:1-2. Confession is a matter of speaking truth and is an invitation for us to enter into the joy of our salvation. We are not forgiven based on the quality of our confession, but on the faithfulness, justice, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus, who is our advocate with the Father and with the Spirit helping us to fully enjoy and experience the love of God for us. How does this understanding of confession shape your practice of confession in following Jesus?
Share with your group how they can be praying for you: what is weighing on you from this past week? What are you praising God for from this past week?
“Jesus, friend of sinners, your resurrected life is not a private experience or a soothing metaphor but a stubborn public reality. May your well-attested resurrection impel me to openly announce the outrageously good news – that sins are forgiven through what you have done when the gospel promise is received in true faith. Amen.”
– from Heidelberg Catechism 84 in Seeking God’s Face, Easter – Day 8