February 2, 2020 – 1 John 1 – 5
Lesson Date: February 2, 2020
Focal Scripture Passage: 1 John 1:6-7, 8, 10; 2:3-6, 9-11, 15-17, 19, 29; 3:6-10, 14-19, 23-24; 4:7-8, 13, 15, 20-21; 5:1, 4-5, 12-13, 18
AIM: To lead students to compare themselves to the Tests of True Salvation contained in 1 John, and to respond to those test results with either thanksgiving or through giving their lives to Jesus.
Before class: Review the notes found in the Sunday School Teacher Book on the above listed verses. Have enough copies of the “Tests of True Salvation” handout for your anticipated attendance (this handout is the same as the list found on page 6 of the Sunday School Member Quarterly and on the classroom poster, with the exception that references to 2 John and 3 John have been omitted). Write the following on the marker board or chalkboard: “X-Ray,” “CT Scan,” “Blood Tests,” and “MRI.”
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the names of the medical tests written on the board. Ask them what each one is. Ask: “Have you ever had any of those medical tests?” (they probably have). Ask: “Why did your doctor order such tests? What was he or she trying to discover?” (allow time for a few responses).
Tell the class that doctors are highly trained and skilled professionals. They have gone to college for four years, then medical school for four more years, followed by three to seven years of residencies and specialty training. That is at least eleven years of training! In addition, doctors must pass licensing examinations and continue to receive ongoing training to ensure that they are up on the latest developments in their field.
Ask: “Since doctors have so much skill and training, why do they want us to have expensive medical tests like the ones listed on the board? If they are such experts, why can’t they just look at us and check us over to diagnose our problems?” (because they can’t see inside our bodies, they can only see and feel the outside). Tell the students medical tests such as those listed on the board give doctors a picture of what’s going on inside our bodies – the functioning of our internal organs and systems. Without such test results, our doctors would have to guess about our condition and the proper treatment.
Tell the class that each week in this study of 1 John we have encountered Tests of True Salvation. Like medical tests, the Tests of True Salvation can reveal what’s going on in our hearts that others may not be able to see on the outside. Today we are going to review all of those tests to try to determine the true condition of our hearts. Give everyone a copy of the “Tests of True Salvation” handout. Tell them to follow along on the sheet through the lesson.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Tell the students this is our last lesson from 1 John.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (things we can know for certain).
- The Test of Our Walk.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 1:6-7.
- Ask: “What do you think it means to walk in darkness or to walk in the light?” (darkness represents the sinful ways of the world; light represents the righteous ways of God).
- Tell the students the only way to get accurate results from medical tests is to submit to those tests, following the instructions exactly. For example, if you are told to fast before your blood tests but instead choose to eat, the results will not be accurate. Similarly, if you are told to lie still for a scan but instead move around, the results will be useless.
- Urge everyone to submit to God’s Tests of True Salvation. Tell them to be completely honest with themselves and with God.
- Ask: “Are you walking in darkness or in light?”
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 2:6.
- Ask: “Are you following Christ’s example in your daily walk?”
- Read 1 John 2:29 and 3:10.
- Ask: “What do you think it means to do righteousness?” (to seek to behave righteously every day).
- Ask: “Are you living righteously?”
- Summarize: True Christians walk in light, follow Christ’s example, and try to live righteously every day. Those who don’t do those things are probably not saved.
- The Test of Our Sin.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 1:8-10.
- Ask: “What do verses 8 and 10 say about people who deny that they sin?” (they are liars, do no know the truth, and are calling God a liar).
- Ask: “Do you admit that you are a sinner?”
- Tell the students verse 9 is a wonderful promise, but it also is a test.
- Ask: “Have you confessed your sin to God?”
- Read 1 John 3:6-10 and 5:18.
- Ask: “Are you living a lifestyle of continual sin?”
- Summarize: True Christians admit they are sinners, confess their sins to God, and try to resist temptations to sin. Those who don’t do those things are probably not saved.
- The Test of Our Obedience.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 2:3-5.
- Tell the class these verses clearly say we can know that we know Jesus if we obey His commandments; in other words, if we obey the Bible.
- Ask: “Do you obey Christ’s commandments (obey the Bible)?”
- Tell the students that test is repeated in 1 John 3:24. Read that verse.
- Summarize: True Christians seek to obey Christ’s commands by obeying the Bible. Those who don’t do that are probably not saved.
- The Test of Our Love.
- Read 1 John 2:9-11.
- Remind the class that those in darkness are lost, while those in light are saved.
- Ask: “According to those verses, what indicates a person is truly saved?” (if they love their brothers and sisters in Christ).
- Ask volunteers to read the following verses: 1 John 3:10, 14-19, 23; 4:7-8, 20-21.
- Ask: “Do you love your brother?”
- Read 1 John 2:15-17.
- Ask: “What do you think it means to love the world?” (to be overly enamored with and attached to the fleshly and sinful pleasures the world has to offer).
- Ask: “Do you love the world?”
- Summarize: True Christians love one another and do not love the sinful pleasures of the world. Those who don’t do those things are probably not saved.
- The Test of Our Faithfulness.
- Read 1 John 2:19.
- Tell the students some people in the early church abandoned the faith and left the church. Such actions proved that they never belonged to Jesus in the first place. The same thing still happens today.
- Ask: “Have you departed from the church (the family of faith)?”
- Summarize: True Christians remain faithful to the Lord and His church. If they ever become willfully lax in their attendance the Lord will draw them back. Those who leave and never return are not saved.
- The Test of Our Belief.
- Read 1 John 3:23 and 5:12-13.
- Ask: “Have you believed in the name of Jesus Christ (trusted Him for salvation)?”
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 4:15.
- Ask: “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?”
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 5:1.
- Ask: “Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Savior)?”
- Read 1 John 5:4-5.
- Ask: “Does your faith enable you to overcome the world and its sinful temptations?”
- Summarize: True Christians believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Savior. This faith enables them to overcome the world and its sinful temptations. Those who don’t do those things are probably not saved.
- The Test of the Holy Spirit.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 John 3:24 and 4:13.
- Tell the class those verses clearly state that the Holy Spirit of God lives within those who belong to Jesus. In fact, they say the presence of the Holy Spirit reveals that a person is truly saved.
- Ask: “Does God’s Holy Spirit live within you?”
- Summarize: True Christians have the Holy Spirit of God living within. Those who don’t are not saved.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention once again to the names of the medical tests written on the board. Those tests reveal what’s going on inside our body so our doctor can diagnose and treat our problem. Without the tests the doctor cannot be sure what’s happening inside our bodies.
The same is true of salvation. Outward appearance alone cannot reveal if a person is truly saved or not. Some people attend church and act like Christians but do not truly know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Friends and family might think they are saved because all they can see is the outward appearance, but God knows the truth; He knows what’s truly in our hearts.
Ask everyone to silently review their handout sheet to see if they “pass the tests.” Tell the students they (and God) are the only ones who know the true answers to those questions.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask: “Do the Tests of True Salvation indicate that you are truly saved?” Tell the students if that is the case they should take a moment right now to silently rejoice and thank God for their salvation.
Ask: “Do the Tests of True Salvation indicate that you are NOT truly saved?” Tell the students if that is the case here is the most important question: “Do you want to be saved?” Briefly explain that we are sinners who cannot save ourselves, but Jesus Christ came to earth to live a sinless life and then die on the cross to pay the price for our sins. He later arose from the dead to prove that He is our conquering Savior. Anyone who wants to be saved should confess and turn away from their sins and place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. Urge any who have never done that to do so right now.
Voice a closing prayer, thanking the Lord for these very clear Tests of True Salvation and for any who have trusted Jesus just now. Ask Him to help them make that public and live for Him each day. Thank Him for confirming to other students that they are truly saved. Ask the Lord to help them live faithfully for the Him.
CONCLUSION: Urge any who have just received Christ to make that public this morning during the commitment time at the end of the service. Tell everyone to try to live this week so their outward behavior matches the condition of their heart.
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