Grace Groups Homework

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Every week, discussion questions are produced based on the most recent Sunday morning sermon, which are used to guide midweek Grace Group discussions.

Grace Groups are small group home fellowships that are hosted in homes of various church members on different nights of the week. Contact us for more information.

Find this week’s questions below.

Stuart Chase - 28 Mar 2021

Defeating Doubt (1 John 3:19–24)

How do you wrestle with doubt when faith fails? That is the question that John seems to have in mind in 1 John 3:19–24. John’s readers’ faith had been shaken by the “progressive” thinking of false teachers, who drastically undermined sound doctrine by promoting a superficial view of Jesus Christ. To his readers who wondered about how to defeat doubt, he offered four pieces of counsel.

Scripture References: 1 John 3:19-24

From Series: "1 John Exposition"

An exposition of 1 John by Anton Beetge and Stuart Chase.

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Reading the Scripture

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

(1 John 3:19–24)

Getting to Know You

Be vulnerable for a moment and share some of your moments of deepest doubt, where you’ve wondered whether or not you are truly saved. What was the source your doubt? How did you combat it? 

Apologetic

Dominic Done argues that the opposite of faith is not doubt but unbelief. He writes, “Doubt can lead to unbelief, just as doubt can lead to faith. But [doubt and unbelief] are not the same. Doubt says, ‘I am unsure of what is right.’ Unbelief says, ‘I don’t care about what is right.’”

Do you agree? Why, or why not? Discuss the difference (if there is one) between doubt and unbelief. How have you seen this difference play out in the lives of people you know? How have you seen it play out in your own life?

Into the Bible

Read the text from v. 11 through the end of the chapter. If “by this” (v. 19) refers back to what John has written in vv. 11–18, what is the connection? That is, what is the connection between our sacrificial love for the saints and our war against doubt?

Digging Deeper

Do you think that doubt has a beneficial role to play in the Christian life? If so, what role might that be? What might we lose in our walk of faith if we immediately receive answers to all our doubts?

Does doubt die in the presence of facts? That is, when you are combatting your own doubts, or helping others fight theirs, is it sufficient to simply give the right answers? Why, or why not?

What role does prayer play in fighting doubt?

What role does the community of faith play in fighting doubt?

What role does obedience to God’s revealed commands play in fighting doubt?

What role does a reminder of objective gospel truth, rather than being led by our own subjective feelings, play in fighting doubt?