Dawn of the Living Living

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Pastor Steve Thomas

John 20:19-23, 30-31 & Ephesians 2:1-10

Dawn of the Living living_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  1. Read Ephesians chapter 1 through chapter 2:10. Take note of the shared phrases, ideas and themes.
  2. Ephesians 2:1-3 talks about bondage and enslavement. What are the ways people are enslaved that Paul gives? Have you experienced these
  3. Paul was a devout Jew, someone whose behavior would have been exemplary in the moral categories. How does enslavement affect religious people? How come behavior modification is powerless to truly transform us?
  4. What are the words which Paul uses to describe God? Which is the most important to you today
  5. Paul uses three verbs to express what God HAS DONE FOR US already in uniting us with Christ. What are they? How do they align with the enslavement in verses 1-3?
  6. What are you saved from? What are you saved for?

Spiritual Exercise:  Read Ephesians 2:1-10 again, but before you read, ask God to help you see clearly where you are in this passage. Then, read the passage and respond in faith to what God is calling you to do.

 

Walk On Not Away

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Pastor Steve Thomas

John 6:14-15, 24-71 & John 12:9-37

Walk On Not Away_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper: 

  1. Read these passages: Hebrews 2:1, 3:12-15 and 1 Tim. 1:18-20. What do they teach? What illustrations do they employ?
  2. According to Hebrews 3:12-15, what do we need to be mindful of as Christians and what do we need to do for each other?
  3. How does the Word of Christ factor into John 6:61-69 and the above passages?
  4. Have you had any personal experiences with “walking from “Jesus ? Where would you say you are now with Jesus?
  5. What has helped you “walk on” with Jesus during hard times in your life?
  6. When do you find it hard to keep “waving the palm branches” and singing,  “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord?”

Spiritual Exercise: Read Hebrews 3:12-15 again. Then pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into applying these verses in your life. Ask the Spirit to show you how to pray for the encouragement of a brother/sister in the faith and if the Spirit wants you to be an encourager to someone’s faith. Then, follow the Spirit’s leading.

 

Our Dynamic Hope

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 2:28 – 3:10

Our Dynamic Hope_Sermond Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read 1 John 2:28-3:10 two or three times.
  • What is the deception John is warning the readers about?
  • This passage can create unwarranted concern or can be too easily dismissed. Compare 1 John 1:6,8,10; 2:4,6,9 and 1 John 3:4-10. Assuming John is not contradicting himself, how do you make sense of his teaching?
  • Use Biblehub.com to do a word study on “lawlessness” (anomia) or look up the word in Vine’s Dictionary (www.studylight.org). Is John making a reference to sin and the law of Moses or describing a type of person using this word? Why would this matter?
  • The word “seed” is used by John in a powerful way in 3:9. Read 1 John 2:24, 27; 3:4; 4:12,15,16. What do you think the “seed abiding in you” is? Why is this powerful?
  • Where do you find hope to carry on in this passage?

Spiritual Exercise: This week reflect on the “hope” we have as those twice born. One day, you will be like Christ is now. This is a great promise (Phi. 1:6)! Until then, we need to live out this hope. Memorize 2 Cor. 5:17 substituting “I am” instead of “if anyone is”. Write a personal prayer based on Gal. 5:16-17 and pray it each morning.

 

You Are So Loved

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 2:28 – 3:3

You Are So Loved_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read 1 John 2:28-3:3. How would you explain John’s flow of thought?
  • What is the believer’s confidence when Christ appears? Does this have more to do with us or with Christ? Why would this be important to know?
  • Read and reflect upon Genesis 2:25 and 3:1-24. What does shame look like? How do Adam and Eve deal with shame? How does God deal with their shame? How does the Genesis narrative help you understand Christ in 1 John 2:28-29?
  • How does the fact of John’s writing verses 3:1-2 display knowing what God’s love feels like? Have you known God’s love this way? Give thanks to God for His love.
  • What is our hope as children of God? Is this sure or shaky? Why?
  • Compare 1 John 2:28-3:3 and 1 Peter 1:3-25. How do they complement each other?

Spiritual Exercise: John writes that God’s love is “given” (1 John 3:1) to Christians in a unique way making us “children of God”. This new birth is a singular event, but experiencing God’s “Father love” happens throughout our life as we receive this gift-love. Read Luke 15:11-32. Replace the younger brother with yourself… where or what do you need to leave in order to come back and experience anew God’s amazing love as your Father? Return to your father. Purify yourself. Rejoice in His love.

Red Sky

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 2: 18-27

Red Sky_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read 1 John 2:18-27. Also, read Matthew 24:3-28. What are two parallel ideas
    between these two passages? How is 1 John 2:18-27 different?
  • How does John describe the “antichrists”? How would they relate to the false teachers Paul warns the Ephesian church about? (c.f. Acts 20:29-31)
  • What is “the truth” that the recipients already know and “anointing” they already have so that no one need teach them about this truth? What does this indicate the “antichrists” were trying to do? What strategies were they perhaps trying to use?
  • Consider this passage from the perspective of someone who is not a Christian. What do you think they would most struggle with—the “last hour” teaching or the exclusivity of the Christian faith? How would you respond?

Spiritual Exercise: Paul tells the readers in Corinth, like John here, that the gospel is of “first importance”. Paul also tells the Christians in Rome he is excited to visit them and “preach the gospel to you”. As Christians, we must preach the gospel to ourselves. This week, begin each morning preaching the gospel to yourself, meditating on one of these passages (Rom. 3:21-26; 6:5-11; Gal. 2:20-21; Titus 3:3-7; Heb. 10:12-14), and reciting the prayer from The Valley of Vision quoted in the sermon notes.

Unblinded by the light

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Pastor Russ Richmond

1 John 2:12-17

Unblinded by the light_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Where do you see the of the poem and the hymn Be Thou My Vision intersecting with the truths in 1 John 2:12-17? What gems from each stick out to you?
  • Discuss the relationship of physical and spiritual sight. Where do you find irony and correlations between the two? Where is God pointing out your blindness?
  • What “bumper sticker” sized truths do you need to tightly grip, claim, and make your battle cry as in vv. 12-14?

Reality Check

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 2:1-11

Reality Check_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read 1 John 2:1-11 two or three times. What words stand out to you?
  • Read John 14. What are some connections with 1 John 2:1-11?
  • How do the following two statements differ? “If you obey Jesus He will love you.” “If you love Jesus you will obey Him.” Why is the distinction important?
  • What are the commands John is thinking of (c.f. 1 John 3:23)? Do you think John is thinking about “commands” like traffic codes or decrees of God’s desires? Why?
  • What are two ways that God is at work in a believer’s life in 1 John 2:1-11?
  • Jesus commands us to “love” our brothers/sisters. How can you love someone who has hurt you? Does love require trusting or accepting? How might love and tolerance be antithetical at times?

Spiritual Exercise: Find a way to remind yourself throughout the day to “walk as Jesus did” this week. Use the reminder to cultivate experiencing the presence of God in contemplation, conversation with Him, and obedience to His leading.

Which Way?

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 1:5 – 2:2

Which Way_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read all of 1 John chapter 1. How are God, Jesus, and people described?
  • Do a word study on either “sin” (hamartias),“righteousness” (dikaion), or “propitiation” (hilasmos). How did your study help you understand this passage?
  • Describe a time you had to walk around in darkness. How does remembering that experience help you understand John’s point about our spiritual realities?
  • Truth/falsehood and deception/reality are key themes in this passage. Who is deceived? Who is faithful? Who is true? How does justice fit with truth?
  • Where is the hope and power for someone who is “walking in the light” when it comes to forgiveness and transformation? How do you find freedom and growth from sin in this passage?

Spiritual Exercise: This week make a point of practicing 1 John 1:9. Pay attention to two things: 1) Is there a sin from your past you feel a need to keep confessing? 2) Do you sense a need to find cleansing from sins done to you? If so, find a trusted Christian friend, an elder or pastor, and ask for spiritual guidance to find freedom.

This Is God…Who Are You?

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 1:5-7

This is God…Who are you_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read 1 John chapter 1. Then, read verses 1-7 two or three times.
  • What is John’s stated desire for the readers in 1 John 1:3? What do verses 5-7 teach us about experiencing John’s purpose in verse 3?
  • John uses the metaphor “light” in this section. Study John’s use of these words in 1 John and the gospel of John. What does it mean that “God is light”? How does that explain “darkness”?  You can look here if you need help.
  • If someone said “walking in the light” means you don’t sin, how would you respond?
  • How would you know you are “walking in the light”? How about in darkness?

Spiritual Exercise: Waling in the light means at least making choices in your day which respond to God’s leading and heart. This week, as often as you can, pray “Lord, help me to walk in the light as you are in the light.” What steps is God wanting you to make with Him? What steps of faith is He calling you to take with His presence helping you?

 

A Message From A Father Of The Faith

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Pastor Steve Thomas

1 John 1:1-4

A Message From A Father Of The Faith_Sermon Notes

Going Deeper:

  • Read 1 John chapter 1. Then, read verses 1-4 two or three times.
  • Write down five observations from 1 John 1:1-4.
  • What seems to be John’s emphasis in this passage? Consider the situation Paul warns about in Ephesus in Acts 20:28-35.
  • Study the word “life” (zoe) at biblehub.com. How does this idea of life add meaning to John’s intended purposes (“that you may have fellowship with us”/ “that our joy may be complete”)?
  • What encourages you from these verses? What challenges you?

Spiritual Exercise: John writes as a “spiritual father” to those who know the gospel, are trusting the gospel, and may be facing temptation to doubt or leave the essentials of the gospel. His testimony is powerful to give credibility to the message. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to either 1) write a letter to someone sharing some of your testimony to encourage them in their walk with Jesus or 2) pray with a friend who shares “fellowship” with you as a Christian but may have different beliefs on the non-essentials of the faith.