God First Loved Us, Part 1
1 John 4:7-21
In his Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem writes, “God’s love means that God eternally gives of himself to others. This definition understands love as self-giving for the benefit of others. This attribute of God shows that it is part of his nature to give of himself in order to bring about blessing or good for others.” As we begin a study on salvation, it’s vital to understand the source of our salvation at the very beginning. While we are the recipients of God’s love, his love has everything to do with who God is in his essence, and not who we are or anything we have done.
1. When you read or hear about God’s love, what images or ideas usually come to your mind? What are some different ideas that unbelievers and nominal believers have about the love of God? Give some examples.
2. Read 1 John 4:7-21 and write down everything John says about God’s love. What do you think John’s key idea is in this text?
3. According to verses 7, 8, and 16, what is the ultimate source of love?
4. A loving God is unique to Christianity because love by its nature is focused on and given to another. Only a God who has existed eternally and relationally in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is able to express love since love focuses on another. Read the following verses and write down what each teaches about love expressed in the holy Trinity*.
• Mark 1:10-11 –
• John 17:24 –
• John 3:35 –
• John 14:31 –
• John 5:20 –
• John 10:17 –
• Colossians 1:13 –
* “The love between the Father and Son also presumably characterizes their relationship with the Holy Spirit, even though it is not explicitly mentioned.” (Grudem) Some theologians have taught that the love between the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit.
Men, here are some study and fellowship opportunities coming up at Southside this Fall.
Seeking God’s Will
Monday Nights (7-8:30pm)
Family Life Center
Men, do you know God’s will – his purpose – for your life? If so, have you aligned your life with God’s will and are you seeking to live according to it – in your private life, at home, at work, etc.? In this study we’ll seek to discover the ways in which God reveals his will to us, why it matters, and how we can faithfully follow it through the various details and circumstances of our lives. (8 Lessons)
Leading Your Family
Wednesday Mornings (6:30-7:30am)
Family Life Center
What does it mean for a man to lead his family? What does it look like in practice? This study will make practical this vital responsibility – loving and serving your family as a shepherd. From taking ownership of this calling, to developing relationships with your family, to discipling those who mean the most to you in the whole world, this study will both equip and encourage you to be the man at home that God has called you to be. (8 Lessons)
Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood
Wednesday Evenings (6-7pm)
Family Life Center
Are you happy and content with the images portrayed in popular culture regarding what it means to be a man? Or, is there something more to it? Something deeper. Something vastly more significant. In this study, we’ll learn what it means to be a man (as God intended) and how to develop a vision of what that means in the various spheres of your life – your “alone” time, at home, work, community, and so on. (10 Lessons)
Marketplace Ambassador Training
One-On-One (Once a month. We’ll meet according to your schedule)
Perhaps you’ve wondered what it means to faithfully represent Christ at work but are unsure of what it would look like or how to go about it. This study focuses on encouraging and equipping you to serve our Lord faithfully at one of the places in your life that gets most of your time and energy – your workplace.
There are two ways to be a part of this: One way is to meet face-to-face, in person, (once a month) to discuss the lesson and to talk and pray together. The other option is to meet online, face-to-face, to discuss the lesson, talk and pray. I know not every man can meet each week in a study at church. Therefore, my hope for this study-opportunity is to make it convenient for those who have tight schedules, or who travel regularly, to still have an opportunity to grow as faithful disciples of Christ. (10 Lessons)
For further information about any of these studies, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Brother in Christ,