Sunday School Notes 2-22-2015

Topic: Faith

Scripture: 1 John 4:7-16

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.

This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as the world’s Savior. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God — God remains in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.

What is faith?

  • Faith is recognizing God’s love toward us (vv. 10)
    • How was God’s love exhibited toward us?
      • That He sent His Son to redeem our sins.
      • Did we do anything to deserve this love?
        • In fact there are times when I do not have the faith I need to have in God, but His faithfulness to me always remains.
      • Our faith to God lies in our love for one another, because He has loved us.
        • God’s faithfulness is the source of our faith: it is His love for us that enables us to have any faith at all.
          • When we are moved by God’s love and faithfulness, our action will derive from God’s love and faithfulness.

No one has seen God

  • If no one has seen God, how is it that any of us can know God?
    • We do not discover God, He reveals Himself to us.
    • If Christians love one another, God remains in them and His love is perfected in them.
    • Why should we always act in love to one another?
      • Because God loved us.
      • Because our love for one another is one way that God reveals Himself to us, in us and through us!
    • Is my faith enough that I should see or feel God?
      • No, because no one has seen God.
        • God is always faithful, whether or not we see and feel Him.

How can we be sure that we belong to God?

  • God has given assurance to us from His Spirit.
    • Who is the Holy Spirit?
    • Why is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives important?
      • Our faith is impossible without God, and God (the Holy Spirit) is a counselor, encourager and convicter as we live. The Holy Spirit produces faith within us.
    • God revealed Himself in Christ and those who believe in Christ as the world’s savior are in God.
    • The one who remains in love remains in God.
      • True love is some of the fruit that comes from the Christian. If God loved us the way that He did even while we were sinners, then we will love others in the same way.
      • Some ‘Christians’ do not love and it’s obvious. Those Christians should question their relationship with God.
      • Anyone who claims God, but does not love, claims God falsely
        • This means that violence may only be justified by motives of love for our savior and for people.
        • Is hate ever acceptable from the Christian?

Questions for class discussion:

  1. How have you heard faith described?
    1. How is this different from how faith is actually understood Biblically?

Homework!

Think about a time when you could not feel the presence of God or a time when your faith was lacking. Looking back now, how did God remain faithful even as you strayed?

Think, journal or blog about what you discover.

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