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The Joy of Fellowship with God: Strengthening Believers in The Faith (A Study of 1 John) Review by Lori Hooten

Teacher’s Guide and Student Workbook
Howard and Bonnie Lisech
Deeper Roots Publications
13 W. Lakeshore Drive
Cherokee Village, AR 72529

The Joy of Fellowship with God: Strengthening Believers in The Faith (A Study of 1 John) is a textual Bible study of the book of First John. It is a straightforward study that is in depth and challenging. Written in easy-to-understand language, the discussion and questions are clearly stated.

The study consists of an introduction and 13 lessons. The student is encouraged to begin by reading all of First John in a single sitting, to really get the setting and what John was writing about. Then, as each lesson is worked, the student moves through the book of First John a few verses at a time. Each lesson takes 7 or so verses and looks at what John is talking about, how it applied to the Christians he was writing to, other places in the Bible that address similar topics, and application of the verses to the student.

Each lesson begins with the focus verses. Some knowledge level questions are asked, the answers being straight out of the text. Then additional verses from other parts of the Bible are brought in and compared or applied. The lessons tend to end with the student being challenged to look at his own faith and fellowship with God and other believers. The final questions almost always ask the student to apply the discussion to his own life.

The information in the Student Workbook is duplicated in the Teacher’s Guide. This duplication makes it very easy for the teacher to know exactly what the student is looking at yet still have the added comfort of the information needed for discussion. The Teacher’s Guide has additional information, though. It includes the written-out verses being studied or referenced, definitions, sample answers for each question, and further information that might be helpful. The answers are in a sidebar on the right of each page, numbered to correspond to the questions in the Student Workbook.

These are no-frills books that get you right into God’s word and strive to keep you focused there. Printed black-on-white on lightweight paper, these books are comfortable to hold and read. The font in the student workbook and the duplicated information in the Teacher’s Guide is of a good size for reading. In the Teacher’s Guide, though, the verses, samples, and other information is generally a good bit smaller and more difficult to read. Some of the information in the Teacher’s Guide is printed black-on-grey.

If you are looking for a challenging, in-depth study that focuses on God’s word and its application to your life, this study of The Joy of Fellowship with God: Strengthening Believers in the Faith (A Study of 1 John) is a strong one to take a look at. It has definitely forced me to pull out my study Bible and look harder at what is being said. This, in turn, brings me into closer fellowship with God—the whole purpose of this study by Howard and Bonnie Lisech.

—Product review by Lori Hooten, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2017