What is love? What does it mean to love others? What does love require of me? Who is Jesus? What has he done for us? What does he require of me?
Jesus and love. Love and Jesus. How do they go together? This question is at the heart of John’s first letter, and it’s the question that we’ll be exploring in our upcoming series, The Heart of the Matter. First John is, at the core, an eyewitness testimony to the glory of Jesus Christ. John, the last of the twelve disciples alive, sees trouble coming for the young church, and senses the need for him to write down for future generations what he has seen and heard.
One of the main themes of First John is agape love. Agape love is God’s unconditional love, which is most clearly demonstrated at the cross of Jesus. It is the love that refuses to hold onto rights, that lays down its life, forgives offenses, and brings life where there was death. John drives home the point, again and again, that there is no following Jesus or knowing God apart from this love. In a world filled with darkness, self-righteousness, rage, and anger, those who claim to follow God must live in his love. God’s love is truly the heart of the matter.
We’ll be going through First John over the course of nine weeks. (We will be taking a two week break at the beginning of October for Global Impact Weekend and Show Up Sunday.) We encourage you to read the passage for each week before coming to church on Sunday. You can follow along using the schedule below.
- September 17th | 1 John 1:1-2:6
- September 24th | 1 John 2:7-17
- October 15th | 1 John 2:18-27
- October 22nd | 1 John 2:28-3:10
- October 29th | 1 John 3:11-24
- November 5th | 1 John 4:1-6
- November 12th | 1 John 4:7-21
- November 19th | 1 John 5:1-12
- November 26th | 1 John 5:13-21