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   Hope in the Midst of Darkness
   Isaiah 9:2, John 1, 1 John 1
Sunday School,  December 27, 2015
 
Isaiah 9:2 speaks of a time when the people in Judah walked in darkness due to threats and attacks from Syria, Samaria and Assyria. In the midst of this darkness, God gave a message to Isaiah to give to King Ahaz that spoke of great hope as the result of a light that would shine upon them. Jesus Christ was that light and He walked and ministered in the area of Galilee, the place where it was the darkest in the eighth century. The prophecy related to the light that would continue to shine giving hope to all who would follow that light. Darkness is all over the world today and still Jesus Christ remains that light that can never be put out. That is what we celebrated on Christmas day. We also were at one time in darkness, but now are light in the LORD. As such, it is our responsibility to walk as children of the light (Eph. 5:18).

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   Tying Up Loose Ends
   1 John 5:13-21
Sunday School,  September 13, 2015
There are five truths presented in this passage that form a summary for the first epistle of John. All five are important in the Christian life - 1) Eternal life, 2) Answered prayer, 3) Victory over sin, 4) Our relationship to God and 5) a reaffirmation that Jesus Christ is the true God. In the midst, the assurance of the believer's salvation is emphasized. Those who know for certain that they belong to God and have everlasting life believe that Jesus is the Christ, love all others who believe that Jesus is the Christ, obey the Word of God, have overcome the world, have their prayers answered, do not live in continuous sin and have the evidence of the divine nature within them affirming their relationship with God.

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   The Witness of God
   1 John 5:6-12
Sunday School,  September 6, 2015
"Witness" is the key word for this session and the object of the witness is Jesus Christ, affirming that He is God. Verse 8 declares that there are three that bear witness in earth - the Spirit, the water, and the blood. This passage was very important to the Christians during John's ministry because there were many false prophets claiming that Jesus was merely a man on whom "the Christ" came when He was baptized and that His divine nature left Him prior to Calvary. If Jesus did not possess His divine nature at the time of his death, He would not have conquered sin and death on our behalf. In the midst of these three witnesses, God provided a witness at Christ's baptism at the beginning of His earthly ministry and at His death at the end of His earthly ministry.

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   Overcomers in Christ
   1 John 5:1-5
Sunday School,  August 30, 2015
All who are born of God live in a godless world and therefore will face formidable obstacles in an attempt to accomplish the purpose of our creation and salvation. Many have found it much easier to drift with the world, to do their own thing instead of obeying God. Some even think that they can be worldly Christians, doing everything the unsaved crowd does and seeing nothing wrong with it. When a person becomes a Christian, he is a believer in Christ, born of God, justified by faith, given eternal life and washed in the blood of the Lamb. One who is truly born of God loves God's Word, believes His Word and obeys His Word. Today's text will make it clear whether you are an overcomer or deceived by the enemy of our souls. You can be an overcomer today, tomorrow and forever.

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   Salvation by Grace Alone - What Are You Trusting?
   1 John 5:1-5
Sunday School,  August 23, 2015
What kind of FAITH saves? What are ways we make ourselves liars? What are ways we make God a liar? If God says you can't earn eternal life but wants to give it to you does it make any sense to try to earn it?

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   Love Because Love Is from God
   1 John 4:7-21
Sunday School,  August 16, 2015
For the third and climactic time in 1 John, John urges us as believers to love one another. The focus of this passage is on the reason John uses: "for love is from God." The message seeks to define what love is, explain what it looks like in real life, and really delve into the text to see what it means that "love is from God."

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   Antichrists vs. the Anointing of the Spirit
   1 John 2:18-27
Sunday School,  July 12, 2015
Our anointing is our defense against the perversion of the antichrists.

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   Our Sinful World
   1 John 2:15-17
Sunday School,  June 28, 2015
So many sermons have been preached on this text and youth pastors have used it over and over again with their young people and yet there is usually one thing missing. It is seldom mentioned what the world is and if there is an explanation, it usually boils down to behavior instead of belief, activities as opposed to a system or philosophy. We are told not to love the world and yet we are told in Scripture that God loves the world of people and sent His Son to save it (John 3:16; 4:42; 6:51; I John 2:2). Obviously, there are some different shades of meaning as to what the word "world" means and John provides more than one sense in his writings

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   The World and Us: There Is a Difference
   1 John 2:3-15
Sunday School,  June 21, 2015
Christians are constantly being pressured to fit in with the ways of the world around us. Even worse, many people who claim to be in fellowship with God criticize those who desire to live holy lives according to God's word. But these pressures are not new. God allowed John to address the same need in his day with a resounding message: you cannot walk in the dark and have fellowship with God in the light. In the first part of chapter 2, he gives us two specific characteristics of those who are truly in fellowship with God.

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   The Prohibition of Sin
   1 John 2:1-2
Sunday School,  June 14, 2015
John writes his epistle as a safeguard so that we might not practice sin in our lives (I John 2:1). We all know that there is never a need to sin and yet we find ourselves sinning, most of the time without even realizing it. Sin affects our entire being and hinders our blessed fellowship with God. It affects our spiritual reasoning and our ability to understand and do the will of God. As genuine Christians, God has provided for us two Advocates - one with the Father in heaven, Who will come to our defense when we confess our sin (I John 1:9) and one Who dwells within us, Who convicts us of our sin and guides us into all truth (John 16:1-13). There is both joy and comfort in knowing that confession of sin will bring God's faithful forgiveness.

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   Light vs. Dark
   1 John 1:5-10
Sunday School,  May 31, 2015
We walk in the light while occasionally stepping into the dark.

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   First John's Prologue – Part 3
   1 John 1:1-4
Sunday School,  May 24, 2015
First John is a wonderful epistle providing both doctrinal and practical insights for living the Christian life. First John 1:1-4 provides the introduction to this great epistle of the Apostle John. It will take us two weeks to cover it for in it is this great preface statement revealing the subject matter of the book. In these four verses, we will note the essence of true Christianity, the evidence for our Christian faith, and the message that we are to continue to proclaim. Verse 1 closes with the "Word of life," speaking of Jesus Christ Himself and referring us back to John 1:1 and 14 - "In the beginning was the Word...And the Word was made flesh. John and the other apostles experienced the Living Word daily for three years and writes from the perspective of that personal relationship.

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   First John's Prologue – Part 2
   1 John 1:1-4
Sunday School,  May 17, 2015
First John is a wonderful epistle providing both doctrinal and practical insights for living the Christian life. First John 1:1-4 provides the introduction to this great epistle of the Apostle John. It will take us two weeks to cover it for in it is this great preface statement revealing the subject matter of the book. In these four verses, we will note the essence of true Christianity, the evidence for our Christian faith, and the message that we are to continue to proclaim. Verse 1 closes with the "Word of life," speaking of Jesus Christ Himself and referring us back to John 1:1 and 14 - "In the beginning was the Word...And the Word was made flesh. John and the other apostles experienced the Living Word daily for three years and writes from the perspective of that personal relationship.

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   First John's Prologue - Part 1
   1 John 1:1-4
Sunday School,  May 10, 2015
First John is a wonderful epistle providing both doctrinal and practical insights for living the Christian life. First John 1:1-4 provides the introduction to this great epistle of the Apostle John. It will take us two weeks to cover it for in it is this great preface statement revealing the subject matter of the book. In these four verses, we will note the essence of true Christianity, the evidence for our Christian faith, and the message that we are to continue to proclaim. Verse 1 closes with the "Word of life," speaking of Jesus Christ Himself and referring us back to John 1:1 and 14 - "In the beginning was the Word...And the Word was made flesh. John and the other apostles experienced the Living Word daily for three years and writes from the perspective of that personal relationship.

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   Introducing John's Epistles
   1 John 1:1-4; 5:13
Sunday School,  May 3, 2015
John says that he writes his first epistle to those who believe in Jesus, "that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). But John's epistle is far more than a test for genuine salvation. In this introduction to John's first epistle, we observe John's concern for the transmission of apostolic doctrine to subsequent generations of believers in the church. We also note that, because of the attacks of false teachers, John's purpose that we may "know" we have eternal life is also that we may discern whether others have it as well. We will note the date, author, provenance, and general backdrop of the letter, with special attention given to the first four verses.

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   Cleansing the Conscience
   1 Timothy 1:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:30-31; 1 John 1:9; Philippians 4:8; Psalm 119:11
Wednesday Evening Service,  October 31, 2012
Once a person is given over to an evil conscience, can he again be turned back to having a good conscience? That is the question before us in this session. It can be done but few individuals accomplish it because the one with the evil conscience must truly want his conscience cleansed. An unsaved person can have his conscience cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ by faith in Christ (Hebrews 9:14; 10:22; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 2:8-9). A backslidden believer must repent of his sin and totally yield his life to the control of the Holy Spirit of God who indwells him if he is truly born again (Ephesians 5:18; John 16:13). The Spirit of God will guide the believer into the truths of God’s Word. It is the Word of God that cleanses the person’s evil conscience (Psalm 119:11; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5).

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   Encouragements to Loving One Another
   1 John 4.7-12
Sunday Morning Service,  October 21, 2012
 
In 1 John 4:7-12, the Apostle John encourages believers to love one another by showing them the ultimate source of all love, God Himself. The nature of God's love and its source in believers gives incentive to us to be a conduit of God's love to others. A believer has no excuses for a lack of love. The ability to love comes through God who indwells us. Where are we quenching God's love? Do pride and prejudice hinder us from being channels of God's love?

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   Change
   2 Corinthians 5:16-17; Ephesians 2:1-15; 4:17-24; 1 John 3:1-3; Romans 8:1-23
Wednesday Evening Service,  September 19, 2012
 
Change is something the Spirit of God continues to do in the Christian life when the child of God surrenders to grow in the grace and knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:18). Change is the process by which old things are passed away and all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17), making it possible for the believer to glorify God in his life (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 10:31).

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   Jonathan Edwards on Prayer
   1 John 5:13-15
Wednesday Evening Service,  August 15, 2012
Prayer ought to demonstrate that we want what God wants. When Jonathan Edwards spoke of prayer, he described it as an essential and basic part of a believer's piety. A lack of private prayer was a sign that someone was not a believer.

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   The Ministry of the Son of God
   Genesis 18; Luke 14:16-30; Acts; Hebrews; 1 John 2:28-3:1
Sunday School,  June 26, 2011
A ‘ministry’ is an act of service that one performs for the benefit of another. Therefore, to speak of the ‘ministry’ of God the Son is to recognize that that Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, though He is God, has revealed Himself as a servant, a servant of God the Father and a servant on behalf of His own people. We study the ministry of the God the Son as meek and thankful disciples, desiring to follow the example of our Lord who serves us. The ministry of Jesus in traditional Christian theology since the Reformation is comprised of three offices: Prophet, Priest, and King. More recently, however, Millard Erickson (Christian Theology) has suggested that it is more helpful to consider the ministry of Jesus according to the functions of these three offices: Christ as Revealer, Reconciler, and Ruler. Keeping these functions in mind, we will look briefly at the ministry of the Second Person of the Godhead in the Old Testament, the Gospels, the Church, and the Eschaton.

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   True Faith, True Witnesses, and True Knowledge
   1 John 5
Sunday School,  November 28, 2010
This lesson in 1 John 5 summarizes the teaching of the other four chapters. The main themes considered are obedience, love of the brethren, love of God, and faith.

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   The Theology of Love in 1 John 4
   1 John 4:7-21
Sunday School,  November 21, 2010
It is God's will that we love Him and one another. God is both the origin and source of genuine love and it can never be brought to a place of perfection within us until it is reproduced in us so that we become channels of His love.

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   Love - The Divine Hallmark
   1 John 4:7-21
Sunday School,  November 14, 2010
The Epistle of John has been called THE EPISTLE OF LIFE, LIGHT AND LOVE. These three words are linked together in the divine purpose of God. The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 13:13 states that the greatest of is love. Love is the clearest expression of what took place on Calvary's Cross. God's people should be known for being LOVING PEOPLE (John 13:35).

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   What Is Sin - Part 2
   1 John 3
Sunday School,  November 7, 2010
We will be looking at:
1. The most common definitions for sin.
2. Clearing the confusion of 1 John 3:6, 9 regarding sin.
3. Revealing why we should not sin.
4. Revealing what God does with our sin.

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   What Is Sin - Part 1
   1 John 3
Sunday School,  October 31, 2010
We will be looking at:
1. The most common definitions for sin.
2. Clearing the confusion of 1 John 3:6, 9 regarding sin.
3. Revealing why we should not sin.
4. Revealing what God does with our sin.

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   What You Believe Makes a Difference
   1 John 2:18-27
Sunday School,  October 31, 2010
This lesson looks at the many antichrists of John's day and why they are called antichrists. Belief is the third test of Christian certainty in this chapter which shows that the correct belief concerning the person and work of Christ are indispensible.

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   Three Tests of a True Profession
   1 John 2:3-27
Sunday School,  October 24, 2010
This chapter of John tests the professions of those who claim to be true believers. The test is three-fold: obedience, love and belief.

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   Confession of Sin and Assurance of Salvation
   1 John 1:8 - 2:2
Sunday School,  October 10, 2010
This is a look at how people can say they have no sin and really feel that way. It is also a consideration of the threefold basis of assurance of salvation given by John.

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   Walking in Darkness and Walking in Light
   1 John 1:6-7
Sunday School,  October 3, 2010
This lesson looks at the contradiction between a profession of fellowship with God and walking in darkness. It also looks at the agreement between walking in the light and the consequence of having the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse us from all sin.

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   Christian Certainty
   1 John 1:1-5
Sunday School,  September 26, 2010
This lesson deals with the certainty regarding the person of Christ, the message that John wrote to the church, and the fellowship of Christians to God. The times in which John wrote bear much resemblance to today and is very helpful to Christians in our uncertain world.

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   Introduction and Overview of 1 John
   1 John 1:5-7
Sunday School,  September 12, 2010
What was the situation in the early church that provoked John to write this letter? He was obviously very concerned for the spiritual welfare of those he loved. This lesson looks into the occasion, the style, and the content of the writing of I John.

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   Ignatius: Docetism and Other Christological Heresies
   1 John 4:13
Wednesday Evening Service,  June 9, 2010
On route to his looming martyrdom, Ignatius uses highly metaphorical language to urge his recipients to adhere to orthodox teaching as represented by their overseers (bishops). As he attacks the early heresy docetism, we are reminded of other heresies concerning Christ that developed in the early centuries after the apostles and their writings in the New Testament.

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   The Confidence of the Believer
   1 John 2:28 - 3:3
Sunday Evening Service,  August 12, 2007
 
Are you ready to meet the Lord? Most people contemplate the end of their lives with some level of apprehension. But believers in Christ ought to approach the end of their time on earth with great confidence. In this text, John indicates three sources from which believers draw their boldness in the event that they, either through the return of the Lord or through death, should pass from this life into the next.

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   One Final Warning
   1 John 5:21
Sunday Morning Service,  August 12, 2007
 
"Little children, keep yourselves from idols," is John's abrupt ending to his first epistle, offered as a warning to believers who desire to live with confidence in their salvation through Christ. We will understand this parting plea and its significance for us today more fully by examining its three components.

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   Wrath Meets Love
   Romans 3:21-26; 1 John 4:10
Sunday Morning Service,  August 6, 2006
 
God's wrath and God's love, often thought of only as contrary aspects of God's nature, wonderfully unite in the doctrine of the propitiation. While God's wrath upon sinners is necessary and just, God's love provided a Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, to receive His wrath in our stead. In order for us to fully appreciate this rich truth, however, we must be convinced of at least three biblical realities.

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   Christ, the Propitiation for Our Sins
   1 John 4:10
Sunday Morning Service,  June 4, 2006
 
Christ's propitiatory sacrifice secures our salvation.

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   The Context of Effectual Prayer
   John 14; 15; 1 John 3; 5
Sunday Morning Service,  March 19, 2006
 
It is in John's writings that we discover the most sweeping promises concerning prayer, namely, that God will give us anything we pray for. But what is the context of prayers that God will surely answer? As we study these texts, we discover four prerequisites for effectual prayer.

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