Saturday mornings we gather at the church to study the Bible at 9:30 AM. Our current topic is 1 John. This Saturday we will cover 1 John 4. We all use the same translation: the handouts are from the CSB(2017) translation.
What is Bible Study?
On of the problems with most approaches to studying the Bible follows this line of thinking:
1. We read the text.
2. For clarity on some passages we read the commentary notes.
3. Ah ha! Now I understand.
In reality we may have only understood the commentary note, not Scripture itself. We depend more and more on the commentary and footnotes. not the text of Scripture.
Our approach in this Bible study is different than previous ones. We use the text of Scripture, and the text only—hence the handout with the same translation for everyone. No footnotes, no commentary notes, no outside resources. This forces us to read the text of Scripture and depend on it.
A second aspect of this study that is different is that we will study the text twice. Our first look at 1 John will be with the text only, focusing on how the sentences are constructed. What are key words/themes that appear? Is there a theme that runs through the text. Are some statements meant as commands? As encouragement? As statements of the Gospel? We are in this step right now.
The second time through the text (starting after Easter), we will examine it in light of our life as members in Christ at Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church. 1 John was written in the first century AD to a specific group of Christians gathered together as church. We live in the year 2017, a specific group of Christians gathered together as church. The questions then move in this direction:
What are the implications for us today?
How can we apply this individually and as a congregation?
If you have not yet attended the study, you are welcome to come this Saturday as we study 1 John 4. Bring a friend. and ask “What does the text say?”
1 John 4 (CSB)
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming; even now it is already in the world.
4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God—God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And we have this command from him: The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister.