December 15, 2019 – 1 John 2:15-29
Lesson Date: December 15, 2019
Focal Scripture Passage: 1 John 2:15-29
AIM: To lead students to evaluate their love and discover more Tests of True Salvation, and use those criteria to determine if they are truly saved and if their affection is directed toward the right things.
Before class: Read the notes on 1 John 2:15-29 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Be sure the Tests of True Salvation poster is posted in your classroom. Write, “What Do You Love?” on the marker board or chalkboard.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Read aloud the question written on the board. Ask: “How would you answer that question?” Students may be slow responding, but encourage them to answer and allow time for responses (possible responses might be family, job, the Lord, grandchildren, chocolate, sports, music, or hobbies). Ask: “How can an outside observer tell you love those things? What do you do that shows you love something?”
Tell the class our love for things or people is revealed by the time, money, and attention we invest in them. For example, a person who loves hunting will devote time, money, and attention to hunting; someone who loves football will invest time, money, and attention to football; those who love their family will set aside time, money, and attention for them; if you love yourself you will devote time, money, and attention to the things that please you.
Ask: “With that said, what do you love? What do your investments of time, money, and attention indicate you really care about?” Tell the students in today’s lesson we will evaluate our love and discover some more Tests of True Salvation.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the class that we are studying the letter of 1 John.
- Direct the students’ attention to the Tests of True Salvation poster. Read the tests we have already encountered in the previous two lessons (1a & 1b, 2a & 2b, 3a, and 4a).
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (if we’re truly saved Christ is our advocate and propitiation).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (1 John 2:1).
- The Test of Our Love.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 2:15.
- Ask: “What should we NOT love?” (the world and the things of the world).
- Ask the students what they think the Bible means when it speaks of the world: the land, sea, and mountains, or the fleshly attractions and philosophies of the world (the latter).
- Tell the class the things of the world are in contrast and opposition to the things of God.
- Ask: “Have you ever known someone who loved worldly things?” (we have all probably known of those who lived for their job or worldly hobby or interest).
- Ask: “What does this verse say about the person who loves the world?” (he does not have the love of the Father; in other words, he is not saved).
- Tell the class this is the next Test of True Salvation – The Test of Our Love.
- Direct the students’ attention to the Tests of True Salvation poster and read the second sub-point under The Test of Our Love.
- Ask: “Do you love the world?”
- Tell the students the next verses give us two good reasons not to love the world or the things of the world.
- Read 1 John 2:16-17.
- Ask the students if they can find those two reasons (hint: one is in each verse). They should name the following:
- Reason # 1: The things of the world are not of God.
- Reason # 2: The things of the world are temporary and will soon pass away, but God and those who belong to Him will endure forever.
- Tell the class three things named in verse 16 characterize the world. Ask them to name those three things (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life).
- Ask the students what they think each of those phrases means.
- Tell the class these three things were the motivator of Eve’s sin (Gen. 3:6) and they still motivate all sin today.
- Ask: “Are those three things of God?” (no, they are of the world; in fact, they are evident in the excessive consumerism we see during the Christmas holiday).
- Ask: “According to verse 17, will those things last forever?” (no).
- Ask: “What does abide forever?” (those who do the will of God; in other words, those who are truly saved).
- Summarize: True Christians are not overly enamored with the things of the world. Instead, they seek to do God’s will.
- The Test of Our Faithfulness.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 2:18-19.
- Ask: “According to verse 18, what time is it?” (the last time).
- Ask: “How do we know that?” (because there are many antichrists in the world).
- Explain that the Antichrist (also known as the man of sin and the beast) is an individual who will rise to world domination during the time known as the Tribulation, but the Bible makes it clear that there are many antichrists in the world right now (2 John 1:7). An antichrist is someone who is an opponent of Jesus Christ.
- Ask: “According to verse 19, what is one way we can identify them?” (“they went out from us;” in other words, they departed from the church and from the faith).
- Ask: “Why did they do this?” (so it will be evident they were never truly saved).
- Tell the class this is the next Test of True Salvation – The Test of Our Faithfulness.
- Direct the students’ attention to the Tests of True Salvation poster and read the sub-point under The Test of Our Faithfulness.
- Ask: “Have you departed from the church (the family of faith)?”
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 2:20-23.
- Explain that the word “unction” refers to the filling (anointing) of the Holy Spirit. The indwelling Holy Spirit teaches us truth, so we may grow in Christ and recognize the lies of false teachers.
- Tell the class verses 22-23 give us more ways to identify antichrists and false teachers. Ask the students what those verses reveal (antichrists are liars who deny Jesus is the Christ, and they do not know God the Father).
- Ask: “According to verse 23, if you deny Jesus Christ can you still know God the Father?” (no, if you deny the Son you do not have the Father – John 14:6).
- Summarize: True believers do not depart from the family of faith. Instead, they have the Holy Spirit living within who enables them to recognize and reject false teachers.
- The Test of Our Walk.
- Tell the class that the next two verses contain an instruction and a promise.
- Read 1 John 2:24-25.
- Ask: “What instruction do you see in verse 24?” (abide in – continue and hold fast to – the things you learned from the beginning: the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ).
- Ask: “What promise do you see in verses 24-25?” (a never-ending relationship with the Son and the Father; in other words, eternal life).
- Read 1 John 2:26-27.
- Explain that John wrote to warn his readers because false teachers (antichrists) wanted to seduce them and draw them away from the truth. The anointing we receive from the indwelling Holy Spirit, however, never leaves us and enables us to distinguish between truth and lies.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 2:28-29.
- Ask: “What instruction did John give his beloved readers in verse 28?” (abide in Jesus Christ).
- Ask: “What do you think it means to abide in Christ?”
- Ask: “According to verse 28, what is the result of abiding in Christ?” (we will have confidence and not be ashamed when He returns).
- Ask: “According to verse 29, how can we tell if someone is truly born of God (saved)?” (he or she will live righteously on a day-to-day basis).
- Tell the class this is another Test of True Salvation – The Test of Our Walk.
- Direct the students’ attention to the Tests of True Salvation poster and read the third sub-point under The Test of Our Walk.
- Ask: “Are you trying to live righteously every day?”
- Summarize: True Christians abide in Christ and seek to live righteously.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention to the Tests of True Salvation poster. Read the three tests found in today’s lesson (1c, 4b, and 5a).
Tell the students their answers to the questions on the poster can reveal whether they are truly saved. Ask: “How do you measure up?”
Tell the students you have some important questions for them. Tell them not to answer out loud, but to be completely honest with themselves. Ask: “Which do you love most, the things of God or the things of the world? Would you rather go to church or pursue the ‘fun’ things the world has to offer? Would you rather read your Bible or keep up with social media?”
Stress that we cannot completely separate ourselves from the world, but we MUST NOT become overly captivated with or attached to the things of the world. They will invariably draw us away from God.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask them to take a few moments right now to confess their love for the world and its attractions. Tell them to make a conscious commitment to focus their affection on Jesus Christ, His Word, and the people of God. Voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize 1 John 2:15. Tell them to beware of over-attachment to the things of the world, beware of antichrists (opponents of Jesus), and abide in Jesus Christ this week.
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