Two thousand years ago on a dark and starry night outside the little town of Bethlehem, the midnight sky was split by a laser beam of light in the form of an angel who announced that the Messiah, the One who would save His people from their sins, had been born! The shepherds followed the angel’s directions, and found the Light of the World wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And the Light still shines today.
Read 1 John 1:1-10
I. THROUGH A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS 1:1
- Make a list of phrases from the Gospel of John 1:1-5 that describe who the Light is. Put each into your own words.
- Who was John? Matthew 4:18-22
- What other personal encounters with Jesus during the three years as a disciple did John have that you can remember? Give references.
- What three encounters would have been especially etched on John’s memory? Matthew 17:1-8; John 19:25-27, 20:19-20
- When did the Light first penetrate your life? When have you personally encountered Jesus? Write out your testimony as if you were sharing briefly with someone who is not saved.
II. THROUGH A POWERFUL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS 1:2
- Instead of a second-hand experience or hearsay, what difference do you think John’s personal encounter with Jesus made to his testimony?
- Describe the power of a personal encounter with Jesus in John 4:28-30, 39-42; 2 Peter 1:16-18; Luke 22:54-62 with Acts 4:13.
- If you have had a personal encounter with Jesus, what difference has it made in the way you set priorities? In the way you schedule your day? In the way you share your faith with others?
- What phrase is repeated in 1 John 2:3, 13, 14, 3:1, 4:6, 7, 8? From these verses, list some of the evidence that should be demonstrated in our lives as a result of knowing God through a personal encounter with Jesus.
- Which of these would your spouse or best friend recognize in you? Which ones are missing?
III. THROUGH A PURPOSEFUL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS 1:3-4
- As a result of his personal, powerful encounter with Jesus, what purpose did John have? v.3; John 20:30-31
- Describe the personal, powerful encounter Saul of Tarsus (who became Paul the Apostle) had with Jesus. Acts 9:1-6
- As a result, what purpose did Saul/Paul have? Philippians 3:7-10
- What are three implied results that should impact our lives following a personal, powerful encounter with Jesus in v.3-4?
- Match each result with one of the following verses: Acts 4:18-20; Luke 24:36-53; Acts 8:4-8, 16:22-34; Romans 15:30-32; Acts 15:27; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; Hebrews 12:2.
- Do you have a clear sense of purpose as a follower of Jesus? If not, why not?
IV. THROUGH A PURIFYING ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS 1:5-9
- What are some primary characteristics of light, and how do they apply to an encounter with Jesus? v.5
- What do you think darkness represents in v.5-6? See Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 John 2:9.
- What does the light represent in v.7? See John 3:19, 8:12.
- What phrases refer to the No-See-Ums… the sin in our own lives? Give verses.
- Write out the practical steps you would tell someone to take who can’t “see um.”
- What would you tell someone who can see their own sin? v.7, 9; Romans 3:23, 6:23; Ephesians 1:7; Acts 13:38; 1 John 2:12
- From v. 6-10, how does John describe the difference Jesus should make in our lives?
- How does Paul also describe this difference in Ephesians 2:1-7? 12-13? 4:17-32? In two columns, list the contrasting characteristics of those who walk in darkness and the characteristics of those who live in the Light. Which list most accurately describes you?
The best way to see the sin, the No-See-Ums, in our own lives is to have a personal, powerful, purposeful, purifying encounter with Jesus…every day! So…turn on the Light! Ask God to shine it into the deep recesses of your heart and mind. Be courageous and look at what is revealed there. Then join me, this Christmas, in giving the King, for His birthday, our No-See-Ums.
This Bible study was prepared especially for the Fall 2013 Newsletter.
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