How to Live Within God — 1 John 2:20-29

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father
(1 John 2:24).

In 1 John 2:20, John taught that believers in Jesus Christ, the Son, have been anointed by the Holy One—God is One. The New Testament teaches that the Holy One is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—three Persons. The Holy One anoints with the Holy Spirit all who believe in Jesus Christ. Then, the Holy Spirit begins living within each believer. In this way, believers in Jesus Christ become the temple of the living God. With the help of the Holy Spirit, believers abide (or remain) in the Son and the Father, like someone living in a house, but spiritually. Just as someone can enjoy dwelling in their living room, believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can spiritually enjoy living and remaining within the Son and the Father—their spiritual home. If you ask how God and believers can do this, John has answered that it begins with truths a believer has learned and believed about Jesus. In the beginning, John’s readers believed the message about Jesus, the Son of God, coming in a real physical human body to live, teach, die, and rise again as the Christ (the promised Hebrew Messiah). Then, John emphasized that to continue abiding (or living) in the Son and the Father, a believer must continue believing the truths they first learned about God as they are now recorded in the Bible. With the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit, through prayer and Bible study a believer will continue to abide within God and God within them.

Thinking Further

1. What kind of person do you think John meant when he wrote, “all of you have knowledge”?

2. How did John describe the liar and the antichrist?

3. How might you explain, “No one who denies the Son has the Father,” to someone who thinks all religions worship the same God?

4. How can you make certain that what you heard from the beginning abides in you?

5. What can happen to you if what you heard from the beginning no longer abides in you?


Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson on the Gospel of John
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Or Begin A Study of the Letters of John

Is This Like Our World Today?

I am thankful today that after about two weeks my family has survived the worldwide pandemic (so far). If it were not for truths I have learned from the Bible and have believed, these past several days would have been more difficult.

In my Bible reading today, I found a verse that seems to describe what I am seeing today in America, and I would suppose the teaching in this verse is seen in other countries too. John would have said it describes life “in this world.” I thought I would share it with you for your consideration: Proverbs 29:27 – “The unjust are an abomination to the righteous, but the upright are an abomination to the wicked.” At least it seems to me that when we look at many leaders or people of influence today, or when we look at those who govern and the governed, it is easier to distinguish the righteous from the wicked. It is worth thinking about. Feel free to share your thoughts or Bible verses that seem to speak directly of our world today, and how you might describe what life “in this world” is like today. Here is a “Bonus Verse” for your thoughts: Proverbs 29:2 – “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

The International Bible Study Commentary and Lesson will return this Sunday, and much of what you will need to prepare for teaching 1 John 4:7-12 is available at https://www.ouosu.com/IBLC/.

In the Lion and the Lamb,
L.G.

The Love of the World — 1 John 2:15-19

Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world (1 John 2:15-16).

John did not write that people should not appreciate and care for the beautiful world that God has made; rather, no one should love God’s creation more than they love the Creator. But the world has not remained exactly as God created it, so what God originally made does not point perfectly to the character and wisdom of God. Therefore, Jesus came and taught the truth about God and the world and how to live in the world. In the Bible, “the world” or “this world” can also mean a civilization, culture, fellowship, society, or philosophy that promotes rebellion against God and God’s commandments. So, a “worldly person” follows their feelings or thoughts to gratify themselves supremely instead of loving God supremely and others as the Bible teaches. By doing so, they misuse and damage themselves and others. A “worldly person” can easily become deceived by what they see or hear that someone else has  designed to manipulate them, take advantage of them, and lead them further away from God. A “worldly person” can love money so much that they become arrogant and search for “legal” ways to steal from others and further enrich themselves. John warned the followers of Jesus Christ that they can also be tempted to become “worldly persons,” so they must remember that the world is passing away, “but those who do the will of God live forever” (1 John 2:17).

Thinking Further

1. How would you define or explain “world” as John uses the word?

2. How would you describe someone who loves the world?

3. How would you describe someone who has the love of the Father within them?

4. What did John say comes from the world and not from the Father?

5. Who does John say will live forever? Do you agree? Why or why not?

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson on the Gospel of John

by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Or Begin A Study of the Letters of John

1 John 4:1-6 & 1 John 4:11-5:5 International Sunday School Lesson Archives – Uniform Lesson Series

On August 21, 2021, those using the Uniform Lesson Series will study 1 John 4:2-3 and 4:13-17 and 5:4-5.

From the Bible Study Archives (links listed below) you will find commentary on the verses you need, Bible lessons, and activities, such as Crossword Puzzles, True and False Tests, and Word Search Puzzles.

You may want to consider starting a Sunday evening, mid-week, or home Bible study group and study the completed Gospel of John lessons and/or begin the Letters of John study that is in progress. You can begin a study at any time.

1 John 4:1-6 & John 4:11-5:5

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John

Overcoming the Evil One — 1 John 2:14

I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one (1 John 2:14).

John addressed his readers as “beloved;” those he loved as Jesus Christ loved them and him. He wrote to those of all ages and levels of spiritual maturity who followed Jesus, and he commended each believer for their spiritual growth. For example, a new believer may not know much more than the fact that their heavenly Father loves them and has granted them the assurance that their sins have been forgiven and they have received the gift of eternal life. Spiritual children grow into spiritual young people, and John placed his emphasis on them. Knowing that their heavenly Father will protect them, the new follower of Jesus Christ can look forward to becoming spiritually strong through the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells them. The new follower of Jesus Christ can look forward to learning more about Jesus Christ, the Word of God, as they obey the commandments and teachings of Jesus Christ that the apostles preached and published for people to study. No evil one can take a believer’s relationship with the Father and the Son from them, and as they follow Jesus and His teachings, they will overcome the evil one. The evil one can be anyone who tempts a believer to sin, but particularly the devil who knows about our human weaknesses, who will exploit them, and who will try to lead people astray; however, by trusting in Jesus, anyone can spiritually overcome the evil one. — L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Thinking Further

1. What do you think the commandments were that John referred to?

2. If a believer in Jesus says, “I am in the light,” what do you think he means?

3. What can keep a believer in Jesus from stumbling?

4. What can cause stumbling?

5. What did John say about young people who were believers in Jesus?

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John

What If a True Christian Sins? — 1 John 2:1

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 (1 John 2:1)

Among the gospel writers, none of them expressed the tender love of Jesus Christ for His followers more than John, for he addressed his readers as “My little children.” Everything John wrote expressed the love of Jesus Christ that flowed in and through him. John knew the damage that sin could do to someone and to those they loved. John defined sin as lawlessness, and because he loved his brothers and sisters in Christ, he did not want them to act lawlessly. John also recognized that no follower of Christ will act, live, and speak perfectly until they meet Jesus face-to-face, either when Jesus Christ comes again or when they go to heaven to be with the Lord. John knew that every follower of Jesus would do something lawless sometimes, but lawlessness was the exception to the standard by which they habitually lived. To avoid utterly crushing the spirit of his fellow believers, John encouraged them by writing that if we do sin, we have an advocate, a defense attorney, who will plead for and  represent us before God our Father. There will be no better Defense Attorney in our behalf than Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, because Jesus “is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:2). Our Advocate will only need to say in our behalf that He justly and mercifully died a sacrificial death for us so we would not suffer eternal punishment. Moreover, the Father and He had agreed to graciously give eternal life to all who would follow Him.

Thinking Further

1.  Why do you think John called his readers “My little children”?

2. What reason did John give for writing them?

3. If anyone sins, what good news did John give his readers?

4. What did John say was necessary for Jesus to be “the atoning sacrifice”?

5. How can we be sure that we know Jesus?

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John

How to Find Joy in the Light — 1 John 1:4

We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete (1 John 1:4).

John wrote his letters to believers, but he also wanted everyone to find complete joy in Jesus. He wanted everyone to have the everlasting joy that his friends and those in Christian fellowship possessed. John’s letter tells us how we can have everlasting joy beginning with and based on fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. John wrote that Jesus revealed himself as the life that was from the beginning, the eternal life, and the word of life, even as John began his gospel saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John also briefly stated the message of Jesus Christ that he heard and proclaimed: “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Remember how you have felt walking into a totally dark room without light and then switching on the light to see. The light kept you from stumbling into various objects and hurting yourself. The light overcame the darkness in the room, and you walked safely. John’s gospel and letters remind us that moral and spiritual darkness exists in the world; however, there is no darkness in God. Therefore, the Father sent Jesus, the light, into the world to keep us from stumbling into situations the darkness hides. From experience we know that in a lighted room and in the world, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). John’s letter teaches us how to walk in the light that pushes back the darkness so we can have joyful fellowship with God and other believers.

Thinking Further

1.  What did John declare to his readers?

2. What did John want his readers to have?

3. What was the message that John proclaimed?

4. What did John say is the result of walking in the light?

5. What did John say is the result of confessing our sins?

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John

International Bible Lesson — Romans 5:1-11

The Uniform Lesson Series from the Romans 5:1-11 Archives (2016) — The Way to Peace with God

English Standard Version

Romans 5:1-11 ESV Easy-Print Commentary

Romans 5:1-11 ESV Easy-Print Large Print Commentary

English Standard Version and Student Study Handout for Romans 5:1-11

King James Version

Romans 5:1-11 KJV Commentary

Romans 5:1-11 KJV Large Print Commentary

King James Version and Student Study Handout for Romans 5:1-11

New American Standard Bible

Romans 5:1-11 NASB Commentary

Romans 5:1-11 NASB Large Print Commentary

New American Standard Bible and Student Study Handout for Romans 5:1-11

New International Version

Romans 5:1-11 NIV Commentary

Romans 5:1-11 NIV Large Print Commentary

New International Version and Student Study Handout for Romans 5:1-11

New Revised Standard Version

Romans 5:1-11 NRSV Commentary

Romans 5:1-11 NRSV Large Print Commentary

New Revised Standard Version and Student Study Handout for Romans 5:1-11

Audio Edition with New International Version

Audio Edition Romans 5:1-11 Commentary

Teacher Study Hints for Thinking Further

Teacher Study Hints for Romans 5:1-11

Teacher Study Hints for Romans 5:1-11 Large Print

Crossword Puzzle with Answer Key

Romans 5:1-11

True and False Review Test with Answer Key

Romans 5:1-11

Word Search International Bible Lesson Puzzle

Romans 5:1-11

International Bible Lesson

“For if, while we were God’s enemies,
we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,
how much more, having been reconciled,
shall we be saved through his life!”

(Romans 5:10).

Jesus Justifies and Reconciles God’s Enemies

Jesus Justifies and Reconciles God’s Enemies (Large Print)

Jesus Justifies and Reconciles God’s Enemies (Bulletin Size)

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John

The Only Reason to Become a Christian — John 21:20-25

This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true (John 21:24).

Why should someone become a Christian? Christians can think of many lasting benefits for becoming a Christian; benefits beyond what we can even begin to imagine that will only increase throughout eternity. As we study the New Testament, we learn how Jesus Christ made these benefits possible for His followers by His death, burial, and resurrection. Unfortunately, some people believe in God only for the benefits, and they remain selfish and self-centered, thinking only of themselves and of what God will give them in the future. Satan accused Job of trusting in and honoring God only for the benefits, but Job showed Satan that he served God because God was worthy to be loved. In John’s gospel, we learn the best reason to become a Christian. The best reason to follow Jesus is because Christianity is true, and because Christianity is true the followers of Jesus turn from selfishness and self- centeredness to God-centeredness, to loving God supremely, to obeying God, and to loving others as Jesus Christ has loved them. From the way John’s gospel concludes with these words by one who knew John, “his testimony is true,” we know the greatest, most important, and the only real reason for becoming a Christian — because Christianity is true. Thinking further, John used the words true and truth far more than any of the other gospel writers. Depending on the translation, in John, John’s Letters, and Revelation, John used the word “true” or “truth” 82 times. Dr. Francis Schaeffer concluded: “There is only one reason, and not two, for becoming a Christian, and that is because Christianity is true.”

Thinking Further

1.  Why do you think Peter was concerned about the future of John?

2. When Peter asked about the future of John, how did Jesus answer him?

3. Can you think of one or more ways Peter and John differed as Apostles?

4. Why do you think John wrote about the circulating rumor?

5. What do you think was the most important declaration that John made about his gospel?

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John


From Fear to Faith to Love — John 21:9-19

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord (John 21:12).

After Jesus’ resurrection, the first two times He appeared to His disciples they were hiding in a room behind locked doors, and He frightened or surprised them. The final time John recorded Jesus’ appearance may surprise us. Before Jesus called His first disciples, He helped them catch fish. He had just finished speaking to the crowds from their boat, and He “paid” them by telling them where to fish. After they obeyed Him and let down their nets, they began bringing in so many fish that their nets began to break. Then, Peter exclaimed, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). Instead, Jesus called Peter, James, and John to follow Him. After Jesus had taught His disciples for three years and had risen from the dead, Jesus could still help His disciples catch fish and keep their net from breaking. This time, after Jesus told them from the shore where to fish and John said, “It is the Lord,” Peter jumped out of the boat and waded one hundred yards to shore to be with Jesus. He knew the depths of the love and forgiveness of Jesus. Beginning with nothing, Jesus could create a charcoal fire, cook fish, bake bread, and serve breakfast to His disciples. As the Word made flesh and risen from the dead, Jesus could still make anything by simply speaking the word. In John 10:27, Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me,” and that is why the disciples did not need to ask, “Who are you?”

Thinking Further

1.  How many times did Jesus appear to His disciples?

2. What fish did Jesus use to feed His disciples?

3. What do these verses tell us about Christians who sin being given another opportunity to serve Jesus?

4. What did Jesus ask of Peter before He restored him as an apostle?

5. What type of love has Jesus shown for His people (His sheep)?

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John