1 John 2:1-2 ESV
“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.”
Now, before I get into these verses I want to remind us of what was taught us in the previous chapter. For, it says there that if we say we have fellowship with God while we walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin, wickedness), we lie and we do not practice the truth. So we can’t be a true believer in Jesus Christ and have all our sins forgiven and be on our way to heaven and yet continue in deliberate and habitual sin. For we can’t walk in the light and in the darkness at the same time.
But if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in the light, as God is in the light (and he is the Light), then we have fellowship with God (understood) and with others who also are in true fellowship with God. And the blood of Jesus, God’s Son (who is also God), cleanses us from all sin. So, to be in true fellowship with God, and to have cleansing of our sins, we must walk in conduct and in practice in truth and righteousness and holiness, and in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (the Light), and not in sin.
So, when John addresses this to his little children, he is speaking to those who are in genuine fellowship with God, who are not walking in sin, but who are walking in righteousness and holiness, in obedience to the Lord. And he is encouraging them that they should not sin now that Jesus died to deliver them out of their slavery to sin. But if any of us who are truly in Christ, as the Scriptures define “in Christ,” should sin (not deliberately and habitually), we have an advocate with the Father, who is Jesus Christ. For he died to free us from our bondage to sin and from the punishment of sin.
So, if we walk in sin, and if sin is our practice, and if we are living in habitual and deliberate sin, then we are not in fellowship with God regardless of what our lips profess. But, as believers in Jesus who are walking in the light, we still live in flesh bodies, and we still have the propensity to sin, so even though we are not to sin, we may sin on occasion. But because of what Jesus did for us on that cross, and because we have trusted in him to be Lord and Savior of our lives, those sins will not be charged against us. But if sin is what we practice, then we don’t have eternal life with God.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
1 John 2:3-6 ESV
“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.”
So, in the previous chapter we are told that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, while claiming to be in fellowship with God, that we are liars, and we do not practice the truth. And here we read that if we say that we know God, but we do not keep (obey, adhere to) his commandments (New Covenant), that we are liars and the truth is not in us. And Paul taught the same thing (read the noted Scriptures in the section above). So obviously there are conditions to our salvation from sin and to having eternal life.
We must be those who do not make sin our practice (habit, go to), and we must be those who obey our Lord’s commands (under the New Covenant), in practice. For this is the reason for which Jesus gave his life up for us on that cross, that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. For the way we should have learned Christ was that we are to put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (see Ephesians 4:17-24; 1 Peter 2:24).
So, one of the ways in which we know that we have come to know Jesus Christ, in truth, is if we are walking in obedience to his commands. And this is not saying we have to never sin or be perfect in every way (see 1 John 2:1-2), but it is saying we must make obedience to our Lord our practice. And another way in which we can be sure that we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives is if we do not walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, but we walk in the light (truth, righteousness, holiness, and godliness).
And another way in which we may know that we are in Christ is that whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way (the same manner) in which Jesus walked. Again, this is not saying we can never sin or we are out. It is saying that we must walk in holiness and righteousness and in purity of devotion to our Lord, and not in sin, in practice, and that we are not to walk in (make it our practice) sexual immorality, and we are not to walk in lying and cheating and stealing and committing adultery, etc. Then we will have salvation from sin and the hope of eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]
Praise the “I AM!”
An Original Work / February 24, 2012
Jesus, my Savior, full of compassion,
Glorious in power, mighty in strength;
Gracious Redeemer, mighty deliv’rer,
My heart adores Him. Praise to His name!
Perfect salvation my Lord provided
When He died for my sins on a tree;
Crucified my sins; conquered in vict’ry,
When He arose, so I could be free!
I am so thankful for His forgiveness;
Grateful that He chose to pardon me,
Giving me new life full in His Spirit,
So I can serve Him; His servant be!
Walking in daily fellowship with Him,
Obeying Him whate’er He commands;
Forsaking my sins, living in freedom,
I will endure with Him to the end!
He gives me peace and calm reassurance
In times of sorrow, or in distress.
His grace is sure, and oh, how sufficient
To meet me in my need for sweet rest.
Oh, how I love You, Jesus, my Savior.
My heart longs for You where’er I am.
Your word is precious; speaks to my spirit;
Brings comfort, healing. Praise the “I AM!”