Why We Lay Down Our Lives — 1 John 3:11-17

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another (1 John 3:16).

In describing the followers of Jesus, among other truths, John wrote that they have passed from death to life. They no longer abide or remain in death; therefore, they love one another. Furthermore, they have eternal life abiding in them. In 1 John 1:2, John called Jesus “eternal life,” writing, “this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us.” The followers of Jesus have Jesus abiding within them. In Colossians 1:27, Paul described, “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The followers of Jesus know love because Jesus and His love live within them. They also know love because Jesus Christ laid down His life for them when He died on the cross for the forgiveness of their sins and their cleansing from all unrighteousness. Knowing the quality of eternal life that they enjoy from knowing Jesus within them, knowing that nothing can separate them from the love of Christ, and knowing they will enjoy this wonderful quality of eternal life with Jesus forever, the followers of Jesus prayerfully endeavor to live, love, and live again like Jesus did. They know they ought to lay down their lives for one another just as Jesus laid down His life for them. Therefore, they pray and watch for opportunities to bless and help others. They pray for the means and the wisdom to act and give helpfully when they see a brother or sister in need.

Thinking Further

1. From the beginning, what lesson did John teach the followers of Jesus? Does this lesson still apply to Christians today?

2. What two reasons did John give for Cain murdering his brother Abel? Can you think of one or more additional possible reasons or motivations?

3. What distinguished Abel from his brother Cain?

4. From these verses, how can a follower of Jesus Christ know that they have passed from death to life and have eternal life?

5. How did Jesus demonstrate His love and teach us what loves does?


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

Living as the Children of God — 1 John 3:1-10

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him (1 John 3:1).

God loves everyone, and that is why God sent Jesus Christ into the world. Those who believe in Jesus Christ receive eternal life, but this is not God’s only gift. John reminds us that God has also given His love to those who trust Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, and they become children of God. God becomes their Father and Jesus becomes their Brother. Their Father and Brother then expect them to live differently from the world. Living differently from the world includes God’s children purifying themselves because God is pure, avoiding sin (which is lawlessness) because Jesus came to take away sin, doing right because God is righteous, and loving their brothers and sisters in the family of God. Even with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit, no child of God always thinks and acts perfectly. Only Jesus was and is the perfect example and teacher. Thankfully, as members of God family, “What we do know is this: when He (Jesus) is revealed, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). The followers of Jesus are not all they want to be in the world, but someday they will live exactly as Jesus has planned and they will always think and act perfectly. John explained that the world behaves differently from the way God expects His children to behave because the world does not know God or His children; therefore, God’s children love others and share the truth about God.

Thinking Further

1. List three ways the Father has shown His love for us.

2. As followers of Jesus Christ, why does the world not know us?

3. When will the followers of Jesus be like Jesus?

4. List three things the followers of Jesus will do.

5. From these verses, why was the Son of God revealed?


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

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