Q: Do you ever recall being afraid of the dark as a child (or now as a young adult)?
Q: If so, did you keep it a secret? Why or why not?
Question moving toward the FCF: Why do we naturally tend to keep secrets in the dark instead of bring them into the light?
FCF: Our flawed view of God leads to self deception and a shallow view of sin. (that’s why we keep secrets from each other and from God—secrets being a lack of confession)
MENTION: “We’ll return to your postcard... (referencing the first page of “Walking”)
READ: 1 John 1:5-2:2
Q: What contrasts do you observe in the passage? (light and darkness, couplet structure—see attachment)
Q: Why do you think John sets up these contrasts? (show the contrast between finite sinful man and eternal holy God)
Q: Why do you think John chooses to use ‘light’ as a metaphor? What does light do, and (Biblically) what does it represent? (purity, holiness, sinlessness, moral perfection, beauty, awesome—it’s true meaning, not an ‘awesome’ movie)
Q: v.5-6,7—What is the relationship to knowing God is light and where we choose to walk (in light or in darkness)? (right knowledge of God should lead to right belief which should lead to right action)
Q: v.6-7—What does it mean to walk in darkness? What does it mean to walk in light?
Q: Why does this relationship of right knowledge, right belief, right action, break down?—stated another way: why are we good at keeping secrets (from God and others)?
Q: How do these secrets—unconfessed sin—affect our fellowship with other Christians?
Q: How does unconfessed sin affect our fellowship with God?
Q: Just thinking back to the last couple of days, how many times do you remember confessing your sin to God?
Q: Does your answer suggest a sensitivity to sin, an insensitivity, or something in between?
Q: v.6-9—Given the erroneous claims of v.6 (fellowship with light yet walk in dark) and v.8 (having no sin), there is a correction of behavior in the verses that follow each erroneous claim v.7 (but if we walk in the light) and v. 9 (but if we confess our sins)... What does it mean to walk in the light?
Q: v.9—Given the fact that the Greek word “confess” comes from the word ‘homologia’ (literally translated ‘same word’) whose root word means “to say the same thing as” or “to agree with”... What are the things you must choose to believe (or “agree are true”) about God, about your sin, about his word, and about your relationship with him?
MENTION: In light of such an amazing relationship that we have with Christ, let’s get very practical about experiencing fellowship with him...
READ: 1st paragraph of “Spiritual Breathing by Bill Bright” begins... “For the nonbeliever...” ending at “...Holy Spirit in our lives.”
Q: For clarification, what is the difference between “relationship with God” and “fellowship with God”? (Relationship, as we have seen, is being Sealed (Eph. 1) and Empowered (Rom 7-8) and it is a positional truth that is never in jeopardy because of the grace of Christ to those purchased by His blood. Fellowship is the healthy, ongoing development of the relationship with God, which can be significantly hindered by walking in the darkness of disobedience and lack of confession of sin.)
REVIEW & SUMMARIZE: 2nd paragraph of “Spiritual Breathing by Bill Bright” begins... “To receive God’s forgiveness...” through to the final portion of the orange font ending “...you with his presence.”
READ: Final portion of black font under “Spiritual Breathing by Bill Bright” begins... Confession, then, is...”
“God’s light dispels our darkness through Christ’s sacrifice for sin and our confession of it.”
Q: In what way(s) is this definition of ‘confession’ similar to how you’ve understood ‘confession’ in the past? In what way(s) is it different?
Q: How is confession like this a “preaching the Gospel to yourself daily”?
Q: How does the reality that God (who is light) desires our confession(our darkness) demonstrate his beauty and majesty?
Q: How does it make you feel that instead of moving away from our dark secrets Christ stepped into them and carried the weight of them to the cross? (notice Christ’s greatness—v. 7, 9, 2:1-2)
READ: “Feeling Forgiven”” begins...“Our relationship with God...”
Q: Let’s apply this right now... (do steps 1 & 2... maybe in this way)...
Return to your postcard of secrets and if you would be willing take a moment and write them out on a sheet of paper.
Would you share what you wrote down with us (don’t force people, but encourage them to do so knowing that none of us is without sin, but all covered in Christ’s grace)
After all participants have done a & b, read 1 John 1:9 out loud, have them write it on their paper and tear them up together.
Offer some prayers of praise to Christ for his light that dispels our darkness.
Remind them and challenge them to spiritually breath throughout this week (maybe review the final paragraph of this section, begins... “The critical things to remember...”)
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