May 24 Sermon Discussion Guide

Signs of Life: Righteousness

1 John 1:5-2:6, 3:4-10

5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1 John 1:5-2:6

4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
1 John 3:4-10

Digging Deeper

From the very beginning God has communicated his character and will to and for humanity through his commands.  His people are called to keep these commands throughout Scripture.  Take some time to look up these passages of Scripture about the commands of the Lord to develop a greater understanding of obedience and righteousness.

  • Deuteronomy 11:26-28
  • 1 Samuel 15:22-23
  • Psalm 19:7-11
  • Proverbs 21:3
  • Jeremiah 7:22-23
  • Matthew 5:19
  • John 14:15, 21
  • 2 John 6
  • Revelation 14:12

Digesting the Text

  • Why is it so hard for us to admit when we are wrong and give an unqualified apology? What is your typical reaction when someone confronts you with something that you have done wrong?  How does this reflect your perspective of yourself?
  • identifies the false teachings of the heretics regarding obedience and righteousness with the phrase, “If we say…” in 1:6-10. What are these false prophets claiming?  What is John’s answers to their false claims?  What steps does he teach that children of God will take?
  • Does John teach that Christians are immune from sin? What does John mean when he says that those born of God “cannot keep on sinning?”
  • Is confessing our sin enough? If not, what else does John expect to characterize the children of God?
  • As our advocate, Jesus is not trying to convince the Lord that we are more worthy than we are. Instead, he advocating his righteousness in our place.  How can this gospel truth free you from a tendency to try to “get better” before you come to the Lord in pray and worship?
  • The most significant fight against sin in the world today is in your own heart. What area of your life do you need to shine the light of God’s righteousness into this week in order to see your sins more clearly?  How can you incorporate confession into your daily walk with the Lord?  How can you turn from your sin and practice righteousness this week?