1John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
“propitiation” = atonement, expiator; Webster – “the influence or effects of the death of Christ in appeasing the divine justice.”
John is writing this letter as an encouragement/chastisement for these “new or spiritually immature” believers to avoid sin in their lives. Any believer who stumbles (sins) in his walk can take comfort in the fact that Jesus, the Righteous one, speaks in our defense to the Father. Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for ALL the sins of the WHOLE world—if only all would accept Him.
1John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
One proof of our fellowship with Jesus is that we obey His commands/words/teachings. This is probably a good place to note that the scripture is full of statements regarding our ability to choose; we are not robots.
Note: This verse gives the theme of the book of James.
1John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
This verse repeats the truth of verse 6 in chapter one. If we claim fellowship with the Christ yet ignore His commands, we are liars.
1John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
This verse repeats the truth of verse 7 of chapter one. (As Pastor Bob says, “repetition is good and needful.”) It’s because some of us learn slowly, some listen selectively, and some you have to beat over the head before they hear you. Anyone who obeys God’s word shows proof of His love in his/her life. It’s more than a proof to others; it’s a proof to us. When we are able to keep God’s word consistently in our lives, it’s at that point that the love of God is perfected/completed/consummated/fulfilled in our life.
1John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
“ought” – to owe, be under obligation—a recognition of the wonderful gift given—not as a means of earning salvation.
Those in fellowship with Jesus will WALK (continual motion, in the same manner, in imitation, with the same goal/destination) as He did.
1John 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
John reminds them that he is not telling them anything new. It is the same message they have heard since the beginning. They have heard this message many times--it is old.
Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
1John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
I think what verse 8 is saying is that the new command is a repeat of the old. The difference is that they had seen the Christ who embodied the fulfillment of all the law. The truth was seen in His walk and the walk of those who believe in Him.
“the darkness is past and the true light now shineth” – I think this refers to the fact that the resurrection conquered death. Satan’s time as the prince of evil and ruler of this world is limited. Christ’s victory at the resurrection was the turning point in history. His return as King is the truth that is already shining. The power of His kingdom is already in evidence through the church.
1John 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1John 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
These verses point out the truth that the one who walks in the light shows love to those around him. Anyone who claims to follow Jesus but has hatred toward fellow believers is deceiving himself; he is still in darkness. The believer should “walk” in such a way as to be careful not to cause another believer to stumble (sin). The one who walks in darkness has no sense of direction; he is blinded by the darkness. Jesus has provided a clear path for His children. They walk with a sense of purpose and direction. Best of all—we have the Holy Spirit, our spiritual encourager, our “conscience,” to help us know when we are doing what is right or choosing to head the wrong direction.
Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
1Corinthians 3:16-17 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
1John 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
1John 2:13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
1John 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
In verses 10-14 John addresses children, Fathers, and young men twice each. I think these terms are used as designations of spiritual maturity. Spiritual children need to be confidently rooted in their salvation—the fact that their sins have been forgiven because of the work of Jesus through his death, burial and resurrection. As John states over and over in his writings, to know the Son (Jesus) is to know the Father (God). They are being reminded of the foundational truths of their faith.
Spiritual fathers are mature and provide leadership to others striving to grow in the faith. No matter how mature we get, we need to keep our focus on Christ and the Father.
“him that is from the beginning” = God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the author and finisher of our faith.
Spiritual young men are going through the growth pains necessary to reach maturity. They are encouraged by “overcoming the evil one” and by realizing and having confidence in the strength they possess through the Word of God living in them. Note that it says they “have overcome,” past tense; it’s a done deal through Jesus. (cf Romans 8:31: If God be for us, who can be against us.)
If we can just keep our focus on the fact that Christ has already won the war for us, it will encourage us to keep on keeping on through the battles and trials along the way.
1Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
The focus of our desire is not to be on the world or anything in it. To love, I’ve always heard, is to make someone or something the object of one’s affection. You can’t love the world (the realm of Satan) and love the Father too. You can’t love the world and show the Father’s love to others. When we love the world, we are always functioning from impure motives that are always rooted in “self” no matter what justification we try to apply to our actions.
1John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
The things of the world include: the lust of the flesh (coveting, longing –especially for what is forbidden—to satisfy our feelings), the lust of the eyes (to satisfy our desires), and the pride of life (boasting in your material possessions, position, power, actions etc to bring glory to yourself and not to God). This desire for the things of the world is a result of our sin nature.
1John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
John is speaking literally. One day this world will disappear (there will be a new heaven and new earth), as will all the desires and longings that go with it. The man that does the will of God will live forever. Even though he may misstep along the way, the true believer will live, not just exist, but have an active fulfilling existence forever—without end, with no time constraint, with no ending,………We can’t really comprehend this!
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Isaiah 24:19-20 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
1John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
John and the believers at that point in history believed that Jesus’ coming would be soon – imminent – it could happen at any time. As we know, history seems to repeat itself. There were things happening then that fit the signs of His coming just as there are now. It’s just that as time continues, it seems that we see more clearly how “our” time is a better fit for more of prophecy.
“antichrist shall come” = the Antichrist
There will be many antichrists (enemies of the Messiah, many of whom will pretend to be Messiah).
Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mark 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
“it is the last time” – Twice this statement is made as truth in this one verse. It seems to encompass time on earth from the resurrection until the glorious appearing of Jesus as King of kings.
1John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
These enemies of Christ tend to come out of the churches. They identify themselves by striking out on their own and perverting the truth. They didn’t “fit” where they were (where the truth was being taught), so they go out to make themselves a comfortable fit. “If they had been of us” (been a part of the body of faith), they would have remained with us; this is a statement of fact. Those who aren’t comfortable being with the family of God show that they aren’t part of the family of God.
1John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
We are blessed with the “unction” (smearing, endowment, anointing) of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers. We know the truth—we have confidence in our faith.
“know” – in this verse and the following = understand; understanding produces confidence
1John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
John tells them that he isn’t writing this letter because he is worried about whether or not they know the truth; he is reminding them that they do know the truth. Because of that they should recognize that no lie comes from the truth (the foundational doctrines of their faith). If it doesn’t agree with the truth you have been taught, it is a lie.
1John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
Now John gets a bit more specific. A liar is anyone that denies that “Jesus is the Christ.” (This includes all the truth associated with the Messiah—the virgin birth, the Son of God, the atoning sacrifice for our sin on the cross upon which He died, then was buried, then rose victorious the third day. That He is coming back to set up His kingdom, etc.) This person is antichrist who denies Jesus; when he denies the Son, he is denying the Father. You can’t exclude one from the other—to deny the Son is to deny the Father.
“Son” – necessitates a Father
equates Jesus with the Son
equates Jesus with the Christ, the Messiah
Luke 3:21-22 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Matthew 16:16-17 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
1John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
1John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
John again reminds the people to hold firm to the foundational truths of their faith, their beginnings. These are the truths that secure your position with the Son and the Father (joint heirs with Christ) and to the promise (the inheritance)—eternal life.
Abiding in truth = proof of salvation = eternal life
1John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
“seduce” – roam from safety, go astray, err, deceive, wander
John again tells them that the reason he is writing is to warn them regarding “them that seduce you” (false teachers). These seducers are people with evil purpose, with evil intent.
1John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
They should remember that the anointing they had received from Jesus (the Holy Spirit) remains (stays with, doesn’t leave when the going gets rough) in you. They don’t need anyone to teach them because the Spirit “teacheth” (present tense, continually, not will teach or should teach or can teach—but teaches) you about all things. I think this is a tremendous truth for the believer. I certainly appreciate all the helps available in the form of books, tapes, and good teachers; but the biggest thrill of all is to study the scripture on my own and feel that the Lord has shown me something through the teaching of the Spirit. It makes me feel like a daughter and heir. The teachings that come from the Spirit are true, and that truth will always keep our focus on Jesus as the Son of God.
This is also a statement that teaches against the authority assumed/delegated to the pope/priest. The Holy Spirit will protect the believer by enabling him to discern truth from error. Abiding in Christ is our security and proof of our position as a child of God.
1John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
John encourages the believers to abide (remain, endure, keep on keeping on) so that when the Lord appears we can be confident and unashamed (head held high and arms outstretched) ready to meet Him. The Lord is righteous and everyone who does what is right (right, of course, being based on His teachings) belongs to Him. (Their actions prove their position.) HE IS COMING AGAIN!
“abiding” = confident and eager to see Him
1John 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
I like the NLT’s choice of “since” instead of “if.” Bottom line is, since God is righteous, those who do righteousness are His children. We cannot do righteousness in and of ourselves.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.