1 John 2:15–27: Perseverance
Seeking real growth through the gospel is a grueling, lifelong marathon of learning to depend on Jesus instead of self—whether self-righteousness (on the legalist extreme) or selfish desire (on the libertine extreme). Discipleship is not a perfectly even, gradual ascent into heaven; it is an up-and-down journey from the top of glorious Mount Zion all the way down to the valley of the shadow of death and back again.
On top of that, disciples of Jesus must deal with the reality of external pressures, lies, and temptations that make the Christian life even more difficult. We have a great privilege to follow Christ in the company of other believers who are on the same journey, but make no mistake: not everyone in the world prays for our eventual success. In 1 John 2:15–27, John gives a sharp warning: don’t let anyone or anything tempt you away from following Jesus.
1. In what ways do you feel the lure of “the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the pride of life”? In particular, how does the temptation of “the pride of life” manifest itself for you?
2. Describe your strategies for overcoming temptation in your life. Do you mainly try to say no to sin, or are you seeking to learn to love Jesus more than you love sin?
3. If you woke up tomorrow morning to realize that overnight you had come to love Jesus more than you love sin, what would be the first thing you would notice as different in your life?
4. In your thoughts, your speech, your behavior, and your worship, do you take Christology as seriously as God the Father does? What would change if you did?
5. What role does godly, faithful teaching play in your life? Is your goal to hear something new, or is it to grow deeper in truth through the anointing of the Holy Spirit?