First John


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Brief Description

Intersection includes complete resources for teaching both younger and older youth, including learner’s materials, teaching guides, and handouts. The teaching guide is options-based, so teachers can customize sessions to match their favorite approach.

“First John”

This unit introduces the First Letter of John, describes the situation to which it was written, and helps teenagers reflect on relevant biblical truths. The language of the letter is basic; indeed, the Greek sentences contained in 1 John are among the easiest in the New Testament to translate into English. The background and concepts, however, can be difficult to understand. This unit helps youth see that, even though some portions of Scripture seem old-fashioned and confusing, when the Bible is studied, relevance can be discovered.

Although the letter is anonymous, its similarity to the Gospel of John is clear, and it is widely accepted that the author is John. Although the exact message of the letter cannot be determined, it depicts a church in conflict. The author counters opponents likely associated with Gnosticism (pronounced nos-tuh-siz-uhm), an influential movement that developed during the era of the early church. The false teachers denied Jesus’ full humanity, renounced the saving effect of his death, and didn’t show love for their Christian brothers and sisters. Due to the controversy, the believers in the Christian community to whom John wrote were in need of assurance that they were holding the right beliefs.

A session one review of 1 John 1:5-2:2 reveals that God calls us to abandon thoughts and actions that are contrary to God’s pure light. In addition, this passage emphasizes that God’s love can penetrate even the darkest of sins. Lead your teens to reflect on the thoughts and actions that might cause a breakdown in a relationship with God.

Session two focuses on ways that the desire to obtain material possessions can adversely affect one’s relationship with God. First John 2:12-17 challenges young people to wrestle with the influence of their faith on their desire for accumulating possessions. There is a fine line between desiring “the things of the world” and serving God faithfully.

In session three 1 John 3:11-18 challenges teenagers to recall God’s message of love as they identify their brothers and sisters and to determine how they can best love them. Our society is much more diverse than in the past. So, it is important not only to understand the differences that exist, but also to learn how to live with persons who may be very different from ourselves.

In session four, we explore the challenge of believing and confessing that Jesus is the Son of God. Believing in Jesus and confessing Christ entails more than simply saying the right words or going through the rituals of joining a local congregation. The best indication that someone believes and confesses that Jesus is the Son of God is the way that person lives. First John 5:1-13 outlines three marks of a Christian and three witnesses that confirm that one is indeed “living in the Son.”

by Don Deavers

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The purchaser of this file has permission to print twenty copies of this Learners Study Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

The purchaser of this file has permission to print one copy of this Teaching Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold, copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

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