Read the fourth chapter of 1 John at least 3 times slowly.  Print out the passage or work on a computer.  Feel free to invent a system of colors, circles, lines, or whatever helps you to dissect the passage, dig deeper, and see more connections.
* You may consult the general explanation of Inductive Bible Study.


  1. Highlight the key and repeated words.
  2. Create a chart from vs.1-6 with the titles: Belong to God / Belong to this world.  Note the contrasts between these two concepts.
  3. Underline the significant connecting words.
  4. Trace the author’s chains of ideas regarding love. (Example – vs.16 God loves us – we trust in his love – God is love, all who live in love live in God – God lives in them
  5. Bold or highlight all the references to God, Jesus and the Spirit, including pronouns that are used instead of these names.


  1. What seem to be the issues that plagued the original listeners of this letter?
    1. How would it change the belief system and lives of the original listeners if they did not believe that Jesus had come in a body?
  2. Why did the author spend so much time explaining about love in this chapter?
    1. Summarize the central message about love.
  3. Why did the author so saturate this part of the letter with God, Jesus and the Spirit?
    1. What relationship between the 3 is indicated?
    2. List the phrases that describe our relationship to the three persons of the Trinity.


  1. Do you have any new understanding of God, Jesus and the Spirit?
  2. How are you motivated to act or believe by this chapter?
  3. Is there a verse or phrase that speaks strongly to you that you might memorize and meditate on during this week?
  4. What would need to change in your church for it to be this kind of community living in God and loving each another?

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