Christ Our Advocate
2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
The New Commandment
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
Do Not Love the World
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Warning Concerning Antichrists
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
Children of God
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
1 John 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Sin is inevitable. It afflicts us over and over again. Yet this is not a license to simply let it have its way. We know that we are prone to wander, prone to sin due to our sinful nature, prone to leave the God we love. John challenges Believers to recognize this but also to fight against the sin that dogs us continually.
There is always forgiveness offered, no matter what the sin may be, but John makes it clear we are to strive in not sinning. I think too often we tend to write off our struggle and sometimes are not as conscious of the effects it can hold over us. We almost can become nonchalant in the struggle. We make excuses for whatever our struggle is with ‘It’s just the way I am’ and so forth.
I think when we embrace this mindset, we take a more fatalist view of our struggle and forget the absolute power of God given to us through the Holy Spirit to stand firm. We must be diligent to continue to pursue the things of God through the forgiveness of our sin. Our sin separates and breaks down our relationship and fellowship with God but in all His goodness he made a way possible for restoration through Jesus. That said, we must continually rely upon Jesus for the victory He can give us with whatever sin issue we wrestle with.
When I pause and consider this, Jesus has not simply left us to our own devices to try and overcome daily the struggle of our sin. John uses the description of Jesus as an Advocate. An advocate is a defense lawyer on our side. Jesus assumes this role as He loves us so deeply. Jesus is our ultimate Defender. Although God has seen every imaginable sin under the sun, it is Jesus who stands in the gap between us and Him. Just consider what that means for you personally of Jesus standing up before the Father and claiming ‘These are mine!” It’s beautiful to think about. His love is so deep, so heavy as He laid down His life for us so the broken relationship with God could be repaired.
Yet, John goes a step further in not only calling us to not let sin rule but also in our own responsibility in obedience to where God calls and what He expects. We cannot be careless about how we are living – which is what John speaks. We must walk in a manner worthy of our calling. There is no wiggle room to what John writes that if we claim to be followers of Jesus, then we must strive toward obedience and follow in the footsteps of Him. This is abiding in Him every moment of our day. Relying on Him in every situation. Yes, being obedient, but loving Him continually throughout whatever we face.
The bar is high, right? But as Jesus is our Advocate, the Holy Spirit is the powerful part of the Trinity that enables us to follow.
Where are your current struggles? Where does it feel as sin may have the upper hand? Commit right now at whatever part of your day you read this – to renew your stance in Jesus. Look to the Advocate who is right now pleading before the Father; Look to the Spirit who is groaning in prayer before Him and choose to rely on His strength. Surrender. Be obedient. Strive toward the calling God has for you this day.
1 John 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.1 John 2:2 NASB
I’ll admit it. It’s a fun word to say. It’s not a word we use in our daily conversations, however. According to Google Books, this word was used extensively in the mid-1800s and has been on the decline ever since. Coincidence?
Propitiation literally means ‘satisfying or turning away of wrath by an offering.’ John uses it here (and in chapter 4 again) to illustrate the truth of what’s been done for us. The danger for us is that we would minimize or overlook what’s actually happened.
Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice to satisfy and turn away the wrath of God against humanity. It’s not a truth we like to discuss and many today will sugar coat this idea. The truth is, we earned nothing but wrath from God, and through Jesus, that wrath has been satisfied. If we minimize that, we minimize grace. If you and I are “good people,” then why did Jesus go to the cross?
Furthermore, if we downplay the judgment of God we are more likely to lose trust in His sovereign plan to punish evil thus taking it upon ourselves to do just that. In other words, if God is not going to punish injustice, then I will take care of it myself. But that is not what God has told us in His Word.
What is the right response? With the persuasiveness of Paul and the grit of James, John tackles this touchy subject. He lays it out with crystal clarity.
But if we obey his word, we are the ones whose love for God has really been made perfect. This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God: 6 if we say that we remain in union with God, we should live just as Jesus Christ did.1 John 2:5-6 GNB
There is a conversion that takes place at Salvation which is the receiving of Christ into your life. Coming to an awareness of Jesus’ sacrifice and God’s presence is good. That, however, is different from abiding. Based on the propitiation for our sins and the conversion to Christ, how are you walking through everyday life?
What John is literally saying is that the person who says they know Him and have been changed and continues down the same path in their everyday life does not have truth. This person becomes a stumbling block. Presently, how many people can you think of who will never venture into a church because they had a negative experience with a hypocritical Christian? This is the attitude and behavior John is attempting to correct.
If we say that we are in the light, yet hate others, we are in the darkness to this very hour. 10 If we love others, we live in the light, and so there is nothing in us that will cause someone else to sin.1 John 2:9-10 GNB