Bible study 5. Believe and Love


Study from Bible Reading Fellowship “New Daylight” daily readings

Contributed by Sally Welsh, parish priest in the Diocese of Oxford and editor of “New Daylight”.

Start with an opening prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide you.

Believe and Love

1 John 3:23-24a (NRSV) ( Read aloud)

“And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him and he abides in them.”

Christianity is a wonderful, complex thing. It often seems to me that, however much studying I do, however deeply I venture into the waters of practical theology or Bible studies or any one of other subjects connected with Christianity, there will always be more to discover, more to learn, more information that helps to throw some light on the subject. Yet, at its heart, Christianity is incredibly simple. It is this very simplicity that makes it so compelling.

All we need to do, John tells us here, as he has told us many times before, it is to believe and to love. We must believe, or at least struggle to believe, that the God who created the universe revealed himself in his Word, through which the world itself was made. The Word (Jesus) came down and dwelt with us, then died for us, taking all our sins on himself. The only possible response to this revelation of love is to love in return, to love not only God, but, through Christ, also love each other.

1 – “Christianity is a wonderful, complex thing” says Sally Welch in this study and goes on, in her first paragraph of notes, to say that “there will always be more to discover”. Do you agree with her, do you find it exciting to discover more and more? Or do you find it too difficult ? The disciples did at times when listening to Jesus and Peter in his epistle 2 Peter3:16 says about Paul “His letters contain some things, that are hard to understand. 

Note; Things that help – New Living Bible or a study Bible with explanatory notes-from Koorong Christian bookshop, Blackburn South. Or free help from the Holy Spirit (if you ask Him ! )

2a – But Sally Welsh, at the end of her first paragraph says ‘Christianity is also incredibly simple. Do you think that the simplicity of loving Jesus and believing that he died on the cross for you personally is the reason that our gorgeous Judy is so easily a Christian in spite of her understanding difficulties?

2b – Do you think that many people miss this and believe that they have to be good and have many other characteristics and do much more before they can be a Christian?

3 – Sometimes its easy to love Jesus and the Father, but what about the other side of our scripture, loving others. Do you find this difficult? Do you ask God to help you? 

Can you share a time when God helped you to love someone who seemed impossible?

4 – Do you think that love might be one, if not the greatest power in all creation?

5 – Jesus tells us to love our enemies. What do think happens when we show love to someone who is not expecting it?

Finish with a prayer of thanks to our wonderful, creator, saviour and guide.

Bible Study 5 23/08021