What Love Is: Week 2 Recap

what love is cover

Good Morning!

What a week we have had studying a portion of 1 John 2! Are you benefitting from all that you’re learning? The book of 1 John contains many keywords and we have already been introduced to a few in this study. This past week in our lessons, Kelly Minter highlighted the keyword: know. Did you happen to notice the emphasis and repetition of the word? I find repetition or specific emphasis placed on a word in scripture helps me to know that the word is key to understanding the passage. A keyword. 

If you’d like to join in the study, more details can be found here. Past lessons from What Love Is by Kelly Minter can be found here.

Day 1

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense -Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1,2

John reminds the reader of three important points about Jesus. We recorded and highlighted these points in the lesson. The first point about Jesus is that he is our advocate, the one who speaks to the Father in our defense. The word transliterated from the Greek is parakletos defined as an intercessor, an advocate, a comforter, one who is called alongside to help, or one who pleads another’s case. John wanted his readers to know that Jesus as our Advocate, who is seated at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Hebrews 4:14-16, 8:1), speaks on our behalf to God the Father. The second point that we considered in these two verses is that Jesus is the Righteous One. We have confidence to trust Jesus as our Advocate because He is righteous. He is just, fair, and trustworthy. The third point we looked at is that Jesus is the atoning sacrifice, the propitiation, for our sins. God’s wrath is turned away by the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf so that we are able to have fellowship with God and His Son.

Day 2

“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says’ I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:3-6

How would you sum up these verses? What theme do you think they present? For me, I choose obedience is the response to love. The more I love God, the more I desire to walk like Jesus. My love for Him grows by knowing Him and the more I know God the more I want to follow His commands. Kelly Minter introduced a belief that was gaining in popularity during the time of this letter. She suggests that John was giving his readers a tangible way to distinguish between those who believed truth and those who were following the belief of a secret knowledge, “gnosis“. John highlights these three characteristics that he believes determine a true believer, they are obeying God’s commands, obeying God’s word, and walking as Jesus walked.

Day 3

“Beloved, I am not writing to you about a new law, but about an old one, which has been yours from the beginning. This old law is the message that you have heard. On the other hand, I am writing to you about a new law and this is realized in him and also in you because the darkness is fading, and the real light is already shining.” 1 John 2:7,8

When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, he replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.(Matthew 22:36-38) This answer that Jesus spoke is the command that John is referring to as the old law. Jesus continues in his response to the question posed by expanding the Law and adding a twist. He says, “ And the second is like it:’Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:39-40) Later, Jesus gives a new command telling his disciples;

“A new command, I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34,35

We’re to love like Jesus loved. In fact, this new law of love should be realized in us as it is in Him. John straightforwardly gives his readers a very clear picture of how this new law of love should be lived.

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”  1 John 2:9-11

Day 4

John opens the next portion of 1 John 2 with an appeal of encouragement, an exhortation to hold to what they knew. John wanted to give these early Christians, and us through his writings, the confidence in the assurance of what they knew and believed.

  “I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I write to you,  fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” 1 John 2:12-14

John states they can rest in the assurance that their sins have been forgiven, that they have overcome the evil one, and that they have known Him, who is from the beginning. They and we can know these things by having the word of God living in us.

Day 5

We concluded our Week 2 lessons with these verses.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world, the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

The world offers temptations to the flesh, to the eyes, and to one’s self. Through personal reflection, we considered examples in our own everyday lives where we are missing the mark and seeking what the world offers. As the title for this day’s lesson states, we need to live for what lasts. And as an aside, offering a recipe for Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies at the end of Week 2’s lessons is definitely a lust to my flesh! Not fair, Kelly! Not fair!

Questions to Consider

  1. How do I show love to others like Jesus loved others?
  2. How has learning that Jesus is my Advocate made my trust and love for Him grow?
  3. To achieve victory over the temptations of the world to the flesh, eyes and even my own pridefulness, what practices do I need to incorporate in my life?
  4. Do I show to others the evidence that I am a true believer in God?
  5. Do I rest confidently in the assurance of what I know and believe by faith?

Another week in our study done! You’re awesome! 

Week 3 is the assignment for this week – You can do it!

Blessings,

Mimi

 

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A Taste of Honey: Malachi 4:2

Good Morning!

For those of you that have watched the full Week 1 video from What Love Is by Kelly Minter, this Taste of Honey is specifically for you. Past posts on What Love Is by Kelly Minter can be found under the Bible Studies Archive tab in the header. if you’d like more details concerning this study on the letters of John, the information can be found here.

baby calf

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings,

Mimi

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What Love Is : Week 1 Sample Video

Good Morning!

We’re beginning the second week of the bible study What Love Is by Kelly Minter but its not too late to join in! Details can be found here for ordering a book.

“Fellowship is being vulnerable with one another.” Kelly Minter

Have a wonderful day!

Mimi

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What Love Is: Week 1 Recap

what love is cover

Good Morning!

Didn’t we have a fun Week 1 of What Love Is by Kelly Minter getting to know the Apostle John? I’m looking forward to all that we will be learning in John’s epistles. I can’t wait to try some of her recipes included in this study too! The Strawberry Romaine Salad listed in Week 1 looks delicious. If you’d like to join this study, more information about the study and book ordering can be found here.

Day 1

John worked in the family business. He was a fisherman by trade along with his brother James. Both of these sons of Zebedee, as well as their fishing partners, Simon Peter and Andrew, answered the call to follow Jesus and their lives were never again the same. Jesus nicknamed these brothers, Boanerges -the Sons of Thunder. (Mark 3:17) Scholars believe this moniker reflected their fiery dispositions. When Jesus called a few of his disciples aside to do something special with him, John was a part of that small group. He was a witness to some astounding things like a multitude of fish filling a boat where none had been (Luke 5:1-11) and Jesus transfigured before his eyes. ( Mark 9:2-8) Because of their close relationship, Jesus asked John to care for his mother Mary as his own. (John 19:25-27) John, as one of the leaders in the early church, also offered Paul the right hand of fellowship confirming Paul’s call and ministry. (Galatians 2:7-10) Later in his life, John wrote his gospel account of the life of Jesus, he recorded his vision on the island of Patmos found in Revelation and he wrote these three letters: 1,2, & 3 John.

Day 2

In his gospel account, John refers to Jesus as the Word. He also calls him life.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. …The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-4,14

John saw this aspect of Jesus’ character when he witnessed him raise Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:35-43) and Lazarus from death. (John 11:38-44) In fact, Jesus makes this proclamation about himself to Martha, Lazarus’ sister.

” Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'” John 11:25-26

Writing in his epistle, John begins with these words which include the first usage of the title, Word of life, for Jesus.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched  – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.” 1 John 1:1,2 

John heard, saw, and touched him. John was a true first-generation witness. Can you imagine?! John opens his letter by confirming the humanity of Jesus. Perhaps, John chose to open the letter in this way because those with conflicting opinions had begun to infiltrate the First century Church. In the introductory video, Kelly Minter highlights two of these groups of people. The first group were Jewish people who rejected the divinity of Jesus. The second group were early Gnostics who found the humanity of Jesus difficult to accept because they believed all matter was evil. Therefore, John states Jesus was real flesh and blood and he was also eternal life. John wrote to affirm and encourage believers to believe what they know.

Day 3

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” 1 John 1:3,4 

One of the key points that John highlights in his letter concerns the fellowship that he had with Jesus and with the other disciples. Throughout his writings, John often invites us, as readers and believers, to come to Jesus and become part of their fellowship, the community that God offers to believers with Him and through His Son, Jesus. John knew the value of fellowship of having koinonia ( Greek word meaning communion or fellowship transliterated into English) with other believers and wants others to experience the same.

Day 4

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7

In order to walk in fellowship with Jesus, we need to be in the light. No darkness is found in God. John passionately shares this truth and tension between light and dark. He argues that we cannot walk in gray. We must choose one or the other. John was specifically addressing those who habitually walk in sin and darkness as a lifestyle choice. He plainly stated these truths to ensure that the message was understood. He also wrote to counteract the falsehoods that were circulating among the believers in an effort to reinforce their convictions and to encourage them to stand firm in what they knew. John desired for them to believe deeply and to have assurance of their faith.

Day 5

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” 1 John 1:8-10

John doesn’t mince words but goes straight to the heart of the matter. Sin affects us. Sometimes, we might pretend that sin doesn’t and according to John, those thoughts are deceptive, untruthful, and show that we believe God to be a liar. John reminds his readers that God is faithful and just and upon confession of sin, the believer becomes forgiven and purified of all unrighteousness. What a beautiful truth to remember and to know to encourage the growth of assurance in your faith!

Questions to Ponder:

  1. Does God’s word have a place in my life?
  2. Am I walking in the light of truth or am I walking in darkness?
  3. Do I find it easier to grasp the humanity of Jesus or the divinity of Jesus?
  4. Am I in fellowship with other believers in a way that is helping me to grow in faith?
  5. Do I truly believe that when I confess my sins to God that He forgives them and purifies me from unrighteousness?

We’re off to a great start! This week work the lessons from Week 2. Enjoy your time in the pages of 1 John!

Blessings,

Mimi

 

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Kids Worship Songs: Freedom Kids: 1 John 4:19

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What Love Is: Kelly Minter Intro Video Sample

Good Morning!

What Love Is by Kelly Minter began on Monday. This Bible study focuses on 1,2, & 3 John. If you’d like to participate, more details can be found by clicking here.

Blessings,

Mimi

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What Love Is by Kelly Minter

1 john 1-1,2

Good Morning!

I’m excited today to begin the journey of studying 1,2,& 3 John through the study, What Love Is by Kelly Minter. We have amazing truths to learn in the weeks to come about love, truth, light, and fellowship. This week, our assignment is Week 1 and next Monday, I’ll recap what we’ve learned.

If you would like to participate but haven’t yet purchased a book, click here. I’m unable to post the companion videos due to copyright laws but I will offer what is available on Youtube. The companion videos can be purchased here. Over the course of this study, I will also periodically post additional information relevant to the letters of John and this study.

Blessings,

Mimi

*I am not affiliated with Lifeway nor do I receive any compensation from them.

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