1 John 4:7-12
Series Inspired by “Letters to the Church” by Francis Chan
- Week 1: God’s Church (ch. 1 – 3)
- Week 2: God’s People (ch. 4 & 5)
- Week 3: God’s Path (ch. 6 & 7)
- Week 4: God’s Mission (ch. 8 & 9)
Series Big Idea: Re-discovering God’s purpose and plan for his church
1. Problem: Cultural & Natural Challenges to Community
- Cultural Challenge
- “We live in a time when people go to a building on Sunday mornings, attend an hour-long service, and call themselves members of a church.” Francis Chan, Letters to the Church
- Natural Challenge
- Fear – vulnerable, rejection, commitment, shame, admitting struggles,
- Time – Time on Sundays (kids, Sundays seem formal, season of life), extra time during the week
- Take initiative and intentionality (proximity, priority, presence (attendance) subgroups in a church, importance)
- We value our social comfort over other people
- Do we focus on our difference or what unites us
- Simple things like how to contact one another (proximity, etc
- There was another great comment on FaceBook that said, “Knowing what we mean by ‘community’ is a good question. Is it having good friends at church? Going to Bible Study? Feeling comfortable and at ease with those around you? Oneness as a body?”
2. Biblical Community Commanded
- John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”
- Shared (in common) confession that Jesus Christ is Lord
- Shared (in common) relationship and commitment to one another
- Sharing in gifts (Rom. 12:5-8) , ordinances (church) (Heb. 10:25), grace, love, joy (2 Cor. 8:4) , strong care for the weak, not just ourselves (Rom. 15:1) , and in glory and worship (Rev. 7:9)
- True community is supernatural, not natural
3. Jesus Provide Ability for True Community
- 1 John 4:7-12 “Let us love another… For….”
- Love is from God – Love comes from God, he shows love to others
- God is Love – God is in his nature, his being – love.
- God sent his Son into the world
- We live through Jesus, God’s Son
- God loved us – Again, God specifically showed his love to us personally
- Jesus is our Propitiation – “a sacrifice the bears wrath and turns it into favor”
- “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another”
- In this way, people will God’s love even though we have not seen God himself.
4. Communion with God leads to Community with others.
- “Live in harmony, let there be no divisions…” (1 Cor. 1:10)
- “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. (Eph 4:3)
- Don’t be conceited, jealous, or provoke one another (Galatians 5:26)
- “Be kind, tender-hearted, forgiving one another – just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
- “Don’t speak evil against each other.” (James 4:11)
- “Don’t grumble about each other” (James 5:9)
- “Don’t be selfish, don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of other better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3)
- “Serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13)
- “clothe yourselves in humility toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5)
- “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10)
1. Partnership Renewal
- Pray, Consider, Sign
2. Share a Meal Together
- Invite, Schedule, Share
Community Group Questions:
- Describe a memorable meal you shared with someone? Maybe it was funny or meaningful or simply a nice time to connect.
- What are some ways to world tries to create a sense of community among people?
- How is biblically community/fellowship ‘Koinonia’ different? Supernatural?
- Take time to walk through 1 John 4:7-12 and discuss the various ways God supernaturally provides for us the ability to have true community that cannot be replicated by the world.
- Discuss the four categories of the one another statements. Spend time discussing how God supernaturally provides the ability for our love, unity, encouragement, and humility.
- Ask if people have invited anyone to share a meal yet. Brainstorm people who could be asked if not.