Remember, the definition of a disciple we are operating from is:
A Disciple is someone who:
- WORSHIPS God
- Is in COMMUNITY with others
- Is always on MISSION
A disciple WORSHIPS God. So in order for us to know what a disciple is, we need to know who God is.
It is very important to know and worship rightly the God revealed through Scripture. Why? “I may have made up a version of God that is not true”
Too many of us are worshiping a God whose character and attributes we have made up in our head.
I used to say things like “I see that in Scripture, but that’s not the God I know.” How many of you have thought “I just don’t think God would __________?”
There are times you’ll read something and it will mess up your view of God but it’s really good…because you’ll know Him on a deeper level; you’ll know Him better than you’ve ever known Him.
This is very important because you can’t truly love someone if you don’t desire to deeply know them. You can’t truly love God if you don’t desire to deeply know Him; to rightly know Him. So today, I want to give you the tools and the coaching to have a deeper understanding of the character and the attributes of God as we look in 1 John:
God Desires Fellowship/Community
1 John 1.6-7 If we claim we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.Observations:
- God wants fellowship with us
- God is truth
- God is in the light
- Jesus is God’s Son
- God purifies us from ALL sin
- God wants us to have community with each other
- “Fellowship” literally means “[be] with”
God has always existed as a community within Himself in Father, Son, Holy Spirit. God saw that Adam was alone and deemed it “not good.”
Loving God and loving the people of God go hand-in-hand. But we’ll unpack that more next week.
God Purifies Us from Sin
1 John 1.8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
- God is truth (again)
- God is faithful
- God is just
- God is able to forgive
- God will purify us from ALL unrighteousness
- God’s Word is true
- God is true
- God is in our lives
- “Purify” is literally by “burning away”
Illustration: When gold is refined by fire, it is heated up and the impurities, called dross, are burned away.
- Dross is a mass of solid impurities floating on a molten metal. When things are purified, the impurities are constantly burned away with increasing heat until only the pure substance remains.
God is able to purify us from ALL sin and ALL unrighteousness. This will hurt sometimes, this will be hard sometimes, but it will always be good and work out for our good.
God Atoned For Us FIRST
1 John 4.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
- God loved us first
- God sent Jesus first
- God atoned for our sin first
- “atoning” literally means “to appease [the wrath of God was satisfied in Jesus]”
Our worship is a RESPONSE to this. Worship is not an attempt to GET a response. Jesus atoned, meaning we are now “at-one” with God. Worship is our response to this reality.
Romans 5.8 says “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We don’t worship to get God to notice us. He already has. He already did what was necessary to be with us. And when we worship this God, we are responding to what He’s already done!
God Is Only Understood in Christ
1 John 5.20-21 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true – even in his son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
- God is understood in Christ
- God is true
- God is able to be known
- God is in community with us
- God is true (x2)
- God is eternal life
- Worship of anything else (even other versions of this God) is idolatry
To understand God we must understand Jesus. To worship God we must rightly worship Jesus. And this is who Jesus is:
– In Genesis, He is the Creator God.
– In Exodus, He is the Redeemer.
– In Leviticus, He is your sanctification.
– In Numbers, He is your guide.
– In Deuteronomy, He is your teacher.
– In Joshua, He is the mighty conqueror.
– In Judges, He gives victory over enemies.
– In Ruth, He is your kinsman, your redeemer.
– In I Samuel, He is the root of Jesse.
– In 2 Samuel, He is the Son of David.
– In 1 Kings and 2 Kings, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
– In 1st and 2nd Chronicles, He is your intercessor and High Priest.
– In Ezra, He is your temple, your house of worship.
– In Nehemiah, He is your mighty wall, protecting you from your enemies.
– In Esther, He stands in the gap to deliver you from your enemies.
– In Job, He is the arbitrator who not only understands your struggles, but has the power to do something about them.
– In Psalms, He is your song–and your reason to sing.
– In Proverbs, He is your wisdom, helping you make sense of life and live it successfully.
– In Ecclesiastes, He is your purpose, delivering you from vanity..
– In the Song of Solomon, He is your lover
– In Isaiah, He is the mighty counselor, the prince of peace, the everlasting father, and more. He’s everything you need.
– In Jeremiah, He is your balm of Gilead, the soothing salve for your sin-sick soul.
– In Lamentations, He is the ever-faithful one upon whom you can depend.
– In Ezekiel, He is the one who assures that dry, dead bones will come alive again.
– In Daniel, He is the ancient of days, the ever-lasting God who never runs out of time.
– In Hosea, He is your faithful lover, always beckoning you to come back–even when you have abandoned Him.
– In Joel, He is your refuge, keeping you safe in times of trouble.
– In Amos, He is the one you can depend on to stay by your side.
– In Obadiah, He is Lord of the Kingdom.
– In Jonah, He is your salvation, bringing you back within His will.
– In Micah, He is judge of the nation.
– In Nahum, He is the jealous God.
– In Habakkuk, He is the Holy One.
– In Zephaniah, He is the witness.
– In Haggai, He overthrows the enemies.
– In Zechariah, He is Lord of Hosts.
– In Malachi, He is the messenger of the covenant.
– In Matthew, He is king of the Jews.
– In Mark, He is the servant.
– In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.
– In John, He is the Son of God.
– In Acts, He is Savior of the world.
– In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.
– In I Corinthians, He is the rock that followed Israel.
– In II Corinthians, He the triumphant one, giving victory.
– In Galatians, He is your liberty; He sets you free.
– In Ephesians, He is head of the Church.
– In Philippians, He is your joy.
– In Colossians, He is your completeness.
– In I Thessalonians, He is your hope.
– In II Thessalonians, He is your glory.
– In I Timothy, He is your faith.
– In II Timothy, He is your stability.
– In Titus He is your reason for serving.
– In Philemon, He is your benefactor.
– In Hebrews, He is your perfection.
– In James, He is the power behind your faith.
– In I Peter, He is your example.
– In II Peter, He is your purity.
– In I John, He is your life.
– In II John, He is your pattern.
– In III John, He is your motivation.
– In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.
– In Revelation, He is your coming King.
How Do We Respond To This?
To be a disciple is to worship God. But not just the image of God we have in our heads. We must rightly worship the God revealed in Scripture.
In 1 John 4:8 we read that “God is love.” So if we love we are in community with God. Being in community with God is what God wants, but he also wants us in community with each other. But we’ll see all that next week.