When Jesus Became a Man

November 30, 2018 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters of John - Knowing, Walking & Living the Truth

Topic: The Gospel Scripture: 1 John 4:1–3, 2 John 1:7

Home Group Study

Sermon Date: 30 November 2018

Text: 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7


Opening Discussion: Below is an advert found in a newspaper, sponsored by a seeker church. What would you say is the basic problem with this advert that is presumably trying to reach people for Christ?

“Have you ever wanted more out of life? We can help! Discover powerful and easy secrets that have been proven and are guaranteed to give you the results you want. Whether you desire love, health, money or simply more fulfillment and satisfaction in your life, now is the time to take advantage of this new and exclusive series being introduced for the first time in the _________area—absolutely free. Learn how you, too, can start seeing an immediate difference! No matter who you are, you, too, can profit from knowing these safe, trusted and easy-to-understand principles for personal growth and achievement. Stop missing out on the life you could be living. You have nothing to lose … everything to gain!”

Observation - What does God’s word say?

In view of these many deceptive tactics by the enemy, John’s words in our text are absolutely vital for the preservation of God’s truth. After telling us (3:23) that God’s commandment is “that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another,” John now (4:1) tells us not to believe everything: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” God is not merely a projection of people’s imaginations, rather than that He actually exists and He is the creator of all that is. The Apostle John’s test here in this text requires anyone who calls themselves a Christian to believe in the true deity and humanity of Jesus. 

What are your observations?


  • 1 Corinthians 15:47
  • Colossians 1:15-20
  • John 1:14-16
  • 1 John 4:1-3

Meaning - What does God’s word mean?

Philippians 2:6–7 says Jesus, who is God, “emptied himself... being born in the likeness of men.” To the Jews of Jesus’ day, this was unbelievable. That the God of all glory would save his people in such a humble way was beyond comprehension (Isa. 53:3; Matt. 13:53–58; John 1:10–11). Not only did God become flesh, but he chose eyewitnesses to this amazing salvation story. The book of 1 John opens with the exclamations of an eyewitness to the incredible event of the incarnation, God come in flesh. The author of this letter was able to do what no human had done—stand in the presence of God and live. He describes this in John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The incarnation restores fellowship, for “no one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:18). And the joy of the presence of God is the ultimate restoration (1 John 1:4)

Read:  John 1:1-5 and 1 John 1-4: In relation to John 1:1-5, what could the author mean by “the word of life” in 1 John 1:1–4? What attributes of Jesus are revealed in 1 John 1:1–4?

Application - How must I change?

  • Is there a Truth to be believed?

Martin Luther described his reaction to the incarnation this way: “When I am told that God became man, I can follow the idea, but I just do not understand what it means. For what man, if left to his natural promptings, if he were God, would humble himself to lie in the feedbox of a donkey or to hang upon a cross?” What have you learned about the character of God through the incarnation? How has Jesus’ earthly life and death changed your position before God? Read 2 Corinthians 8:9, Ephesians 2:1–10, and Jude 24.

  •  Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

John wishes to point to the Word who is eternal Life as the grounds for assurance about eternal life.” How does the reassurance of eternal life change your daily life? See Romans 15:13 and Titus 1:2.

  •  Is there a Behavior to be changed?

Where do you seek joy? The apostle writes in 1 John 1:4, “so that our joy may be complete.” What joy is he looking toward? How can “joy” be completed? (C.f. John 15:11, 16:24, 17:13; Philippians 2:2; Cf. Luke 15:10; Philippians 1:25; and Psalm 16:11.)


The apostle John is telling us that if we deny that Jesus Christ came in the flesh then we are not genuine Christians...we don’t understand the gospel message, but if we confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh then we are indeed children of God. But Christianity is not just a matter of subscribing to certain creeds or correct doctrines, although that is essential. When John says, “You are from God, little children,”(v.4) he is pointing again to the new birth. It is a matter of being born of God so that you receive new life from Him and become His child. This new birth is absolutely essential if you want to be able to understand and hold to the truth. This is so important that John repeats the phrase “from God” in 4:1, 2, 3, 4, & 6 (twice). By way of contrast, the false teachers and those who follow them are “from the world” (4:5, twice).

  • Do you know for sure that you have been born again?
  • When were you born again?
  • The apostle John cannot help but proclaim and testify about his experience with the living God in the flesh, even decades later when he was an old man. How do you proclaim the work of Jesus in your life?
  • The incarnation’s awesome power is the God of all glory become flesh. In what ways do you ascribe glory to God? In what ways do you seek to ascribe glory to yourself?



Prayer Points:

  1. Pray that the Holy Spirit would convict and lead NLC away from false teachings, and that we would be able to be discerning.
  2. Pray that NLC would “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”
  3. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel this Christmas, and that NLC would be faithful with the Christmas story and the Incarnation of Christ, this season.

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