Motivated by Family Ties
Passage: 1 John 2:28–3:3
Community Group Questions: 1 John 2:28-3:3 "Motivated By Family Ties"
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Read 1 John 2:28-3:3 aloud as a group and then work through the following questions:
- Families ties have a profound affect on our lives. Much of who we are, how we act, and what we value has been formed by the families we grew up in, as well as the family relationships we have today. Share with the group some of the ways that you’ve been formed and motivated (for better or for worse) by your family dynamics.
- Take time to identify all the “family terms” that the Apostle John uses in this passage. In what ways does the natural family point us to the “spiritual family” that we enter through Christ? How should our spiritual family identity motivate us day by day?
- In 2:28-29, John tells us that we can have great confidence when Jesus returns, if we practice “righteousness” in our lives, because a lifestyle of righteousness gives evidence that we really are “born of God.” If righteousness is a “family trait” in the spiritual family of God, what does this mean for those who claim to be Christians, but who refuse to pursue a biblical lifestyle? In your own life, what practical steps are you taking to daily pursue righteousness as a way of life? As a Christian, how can I pursue righteousness in a healthy way, without falling into the trap of legalism?
- In 3:1, John erupts in awe at the thought of God the Father’s love, which he lavished on us by adopting us into his spiritual family. John says we were “called” children of God, which means that God named us his children, giving us all the rights and privileges of true children in his family. “Naming” is powerful. Society, friends, and enemies alike give us names (smart, stupid, beautiful, homely, successful, failure, etc.) that form our sense of identity. Have you ever struggled with “names” (identities) that were given to you? How does the naming from God compare to these other names? How does God’s naming of us in Christ give us power to overcome other negative names we’ve been given?
- Chapter 3:2-3 tells us of a powerful motivation for purity. Jesus is pure, and one day he will return to glorify us to be like him, and therefore, we should get ready by pursuing purity even now. Is there anyone in your life that you admired so fully that you worked hard to be just like them? (An older sibling? Mentor? Hero?) According to these verses, how does our longing for Jesus’ return affect our daily pursuit of purity?
- Prayer suggestion: Pray for God’s power to overcome the false “names” and hurtful family baggage that many in the group face. Pray that Jesus’ return would give us powerful motivation, and pray for strength to pursue righteousness and purity in our everyday lives.