Don’t be afraid of silence. People may need time to think about their questions before formulating their answers.
Don’t be content with one answer? Ask questions like, “Anything else?”, “Does anyone have anything else to say?”
Acknowledge all contributions.
Never reject any answer. If it is clearly wrong, ask, “Which verse led you to that answer?” or “What do the rest of you think?”
Don’t be afraid of controversy. It can be stimulating.
Stick to the passage under consideration.
Don’t expect the answers to be addressed to you.
Avoid answering your own questions. Rephrase if needed.
Summarise your answers.
Conclude on time.
LOVE 1 John 4.7-16
1John 4:7-16 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
The word love is used for selfish reasons. Example: close, intimate or for Sexual relationships. And for conditional commitments. Example: I will love you, if you live up to my expectations. With manipulative and calculative objectives. Example: I can’t commit as I don’t know what you might become.
What is this 'Love'?
It is mentioned in one way or the other 16 times in 1 John 4. 7-16.
1. Why does the search for love dominate so many songs, novels and the lives of so many people? 2. In 1 John 4.6-17, John says love comes from God. What therefore, has to happen before we can even begin to love one another (vv. 7-8)? Explain. 3. How do Christ’s incarnation and death show us God’s love (vv. 9-10)? 4. How does God’s love motivate you to love others? 5. Since we cannot see God with our eyes, how can we perceive his presence among us (v.12)?
6. How have you seen God’s love demonstrated through other Christians? 7. Verse 16 says we can “know and rely on the love of God for us”. How does such assurance come about (vv. 13-15)? 8. What do you think John means when he says, “God is love” (v. 16)? 9. Because God is love, what do we know about those whose lives are full of love (v. 16)? 10. No one has ever seen wind, energy or electrons. We see only the effects of what they do. Likewise, no one has ever seen the love of God. As you look again at this whole passage, in what ways can you see the effects of God’s love?
11. Think of someone you find it especially hard to feel warm toward, someone you are thrown together regularly. Why is it difficult for you to love that person? 12. Recognising that love is not based on feelings, what are some practical ways you can show the fruit of love to that person? 13. Decide one specific action you will take in this coming week, and then pray that God’s Spirit will begin to manifest this fruit in your life.