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.
- Highlight the key and repeated words.
- Create a chart from vs.1-6 with the titles: Belong to God / Belong to this world. Note the contrasts between these two concepts.
- Underline the significant connecting words.
- 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
- Bold or highlight all the references to God, Jesus and the Spirit, including pronouns that are used instead of these names.
- What seem to be the issues that plagued the original listeners of this letter?
- 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?
- Why did the author spend so much time explaining about love in this chapter?
- Summarize the central message about love.
- Why did the author so saturate this part of the letter with God, Jesus and the Spirit?
- What relationship between the 3 is indicated?
- List the phrases that describe our relationship to the three persons of the Trinity.
- Do you have any new understanding of God, Jesus and the Spirit?
- How are you motivated to act or believe by this chapter?
- Is there a verse or phrase that speaks strongly to you that you might memorize and meditate on during this week?
- What would need to change in your church for it to be this kind of community living in God and loving each another?