I. Encouragement To Not Sin V. 1a
A. John’s Attitude Towards Them
1. 1My little children- Jesus used this same phrase with the disciples.
2. John warns and instructs them as a loving father.
3. Christians need to correct and exhort one another with love. (See 2 Cor. 2:1-4)
4. Life in Christ isn’t just about making sure that other believers live the right way, obey rules, show progress, and serve.
a. If that was the extent of Christianity, Jesus would not have come to indwell us, but could have given us some heavenly power to live right.
b. The “Christian faith” perhaps is better termed “the Christian life”. Relationship with Jesus, who indwells us.
5. More importantly, it is about having loving relationships with people, which at times may or may not included teaching, correction, exhortation, etc.
B. What& Why John Had Written To Them
1. Historically, part of what John was combating was the teaching of Gnosticism.
a. Correct Christian theology is no guarantee of right living, but…
b. Wrong theology will always lead to wrong living.
2. Gnosticism (higher knowledge) taught that all matter was evil. They believed…
a. Jesus did not take on a physical body, but was only a phantom.
b. That it was acceptable for people to sin with their bodies, because communion with God is found in the realm of the spirit. Others believed that they could separate themselves from sin, & eventually not sin.
3. John wrote to correct this wrong theology that could lead to uninhibited sin in the lives of the Christians.
a. Verses 1-3a– John explains the physicality of Jesus. He was no phantom, but was God manifested in flesh. With whom they had fellowship and relationship.
b. V. 4- John say that they had fellowship w/the Eternal Life, Jesus Christ, & that in doing so, their joy was made full. He invited his readers into that.
c. Vs. 5, 6- God is light (morally pure, perfect) & there is no darkness in Him at all. If people follow Gnosticism, they claim to have life w/God, but would be sinning w/their bodies, which would be inconsistent w/ true Christianity. You can’t live in darkness & have life w/God who is light.
d. V. 7- If we walk in light, we walk with God, and the blood of Jesus is continually cleansing us from all our sins. Relationship brings cleansing.
e. V. 8- If we say we don’t have a sin nature, we deceive ourselves.
f. V. 10- If we say we don’t sin, we deceive ourselves, and reveal that His Word has not impacted us, changed us, or is in us. We call God a liar.
g. V. 9- To confess means to agree w/God re. sin, & to be confessing whenever we do sin, & to be reminded that He cleanses us. The Father sent Jesus to die for our sins. He will certainly cleanse us as we sin.
Stedman– “The blood of Jesus Christ cannot cleanse excuses. It only cleanses sins”.
II. When The Christian Does Sin Vs. 1b, 2
A. Jesus, The Christian’s Advocate
1. Lest Christians become discouraged about their sins, John reminds them of the person of Jesus Christ, the Believer’s Advocate.
a. Some Christians might become discouraged because of sin, and they may quit trying to live holy lives. They feel defeated, guilty, even self hatred.
b. Others may think that because forgiveness is so readily available, that sin can be easily committed, & one can expect God to forgive.
c. He wrote to them that they “may not sin”.
d. The forgiveness of God is not an excuse to sin, but a salve for the heart after one does sin.
2. And if anyone sins- Literally: if any man commits an act of sin.
Again it speaks to sin in the believer’s life as an exception rather than a rule and a pattern for living.
3. Advocate- parakletos- one called to your side.
a. One who undertakes and champions your cause.
b. A friend of the accused person, called to speak to his character, or otherwise enlist the sympathy of the judges.
4. Public defenders- often overworked, possibly become indifferent regarding those they represent. They can become calloused or cynical.
5. Private lawyers- They may or may not invest their heart, & it is a business.
6. Our Advocate Jesus- Jesus paid for our crimes w/His blood. When Satan, we ourselves, or others accuse, He defends us on that basis. He doesn’t proclaim that we didn’t sin, but declares that our sins have been paid for by His blood.
a. Jesus will one day judge the nations.
b. He will judge all those who reject his offer of pardon, & die unforgiven.
c. For the Christian, He is no longer is Judge, but Advocate.
d. There is no one better to plead our case than He who died for our sins.
7. with the Father- pros- face to face with the Father.
B. Jesus, The Christian’s Propitiation V. 2
1. Propitiation- The removal of God’s wrath against sinners by the death of Jesus.
2. Pagan usage- to appease a god through sacrifice, and to turn his anger away.
3. Not applicable in that sense- God so loved the world…that He appeased Himself by sending His Son to pay for our sins. We could not appease God. He appeased Himself.
4. The Greek has it, “He Himself is a satisfaction.” The intensive pronoun is used.
a. The O.T. priest offered an animal sacrifice, but not himself as the sacrifice. B. The N.T. Priest (Jesus) is both the Priest and the Sacrifice.
5. Now a holy and righteous God can bestow mercy upon a believing sinner on the basis of justice satisfied. He is both a Righteous Judge and a Loving Father
6. but also for the whole world- The propitiation is as wide as the sin.
a. Contradicts the idea of limited atonement, but doesn’t teach universalism.
b. Propitiation is universally offered, but only accepted by some. (John 3:36)