1 John 4:7-12
God’s People

Series Inspired by “Letters to the Church” by Francis Chan

Series Breakdown

  • 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.”
  • Koinonia
    • 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.

  • FAITH
  • LOVE
    • “Let us love one another, for love is from God” (1 John 4:7)
    • “Love one another: just as I have loved you” – Jesus (John 13:34)
    • “Through love, serve one another” (Gal. 5:13)
    • “Making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love” (Eph 4:2)
  • UNITY
    • “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)
  • ENCOURAGEMENT
    • “So encourage each other and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
    • “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24)
    • “Cheerfully share you home with those who need a meal or place to stay” (1 Peter 4:9)
  • HUMILITY
    • “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)

 

 

ACTION STEPS:

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.