06.10.2018 | “1 John Week 4 (2.15 – 27)”
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Have you ever traveled to a foreign country?
What were some of the differences that stood out to you? Differences in food, church, the way people behaved, etc.?
Read John (gospel) 3:16-21
You can see that God/Jesus has a tension with the world: God loves it, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Put another way, have you ever heard the phrase, “That’s just how the world works?” That’s probably the most accurate way of understanding the way that John is using “the world” in this passage (as well as the passages in 1 John). God has given us the gift of “culture”—the “world”—whether we are North American, African, European, Asian or Latin American. But all culture is also broken (just like all humans). Our job is to identify the ways in which our culture—the “ways the world works”—might be opposed to the way Jesus works.
How would you describe your culture? (You can define that as “North American,” “The West,” “Southern,” “Middle class,” “college”, or whatever.)
What are some of the ways in which your culture helps you in your effort to follow Jesus? (For example: our religious freedom in the United States makes it pretty easy to find and attend a church.)
What are some of the ways in which our culture makes following Jesus difficult? (Again, for instance, the radically individualistic nature of American culture can actually make it difficult for people to experience the deep relationships with others that Jesus wants for us.)
Getting Out of the Hole
This week, pick one thing from the list of things that make it difficult to follow Jesus, and try to (a) bring Christ into that mindset or situation: How can Jesus—through you—make it different?