Chapter 2, Verses 1-2
1 John 1:9-10) [KJV] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(GNB) But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.
Concerning “confess our sins,”
“From ομός, one and the same, and λέγω, to say. Hence, primarily, to say the same thing as another, and, therefore, to admit the truth of an accusation” [Vincent].
QUESTION: What are we doing when we confess our sins to God?
ANSWER: We’re saying the same thing about that sin that God says. Without excuse, we’re saying that what we did was sin.
Matthew 7:1) [KJV] Judge not, that ye be not judged.
1 Corinthians 11:31) [KJV] For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
QUESTION: What two things can we do to escape a just punishment for our sins?
1) We can judge ourselves as being without excuse for our conduct.
2) We can intercede/make excuses for others when they sin.
NOTE: When my wife spends most of a day cleaning her house I had better not tell her that the house is a pigpen. That would be an insult to her cleaning abilities. Yet, when God cleanses us from the stains of sin we walk around thinking we are filthy in the sight of God. That’s an insult to God’s ability to cleanse. AFTER WE CONFESS OUR SINS, WE MUST CONFESS, AND THANK GOD, THAT WE ARE CLEAN AND FORGIVEN.
10) [KJV] If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
QUESTION: Can we really make God a liar?
ANSWER: Of course not! When we deny the truth of Scripture we are, in essence, calling God a liar!
On To This Week’s Lesson:
1 John 2:1-2) [KJV] 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:
(GNB) I am writing this to you, my children, so that you will not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have someone who pleads with the Father on our behalf—Jesus Christ, the righteous one.
1 John 1:6) [GNB] If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions.
QUESTION: What does “live in the darkness” mean?
ANSWER: When our life choices are contrary to the sound teaching of Scripture we are walking in the darkness.
NOTE: This verse isn’t talking about acts of sin; it’s talking about choosing to live contrary to the Truth.
ANOTHER NOTE: John is most probably directing this comment at the Gnostics. They claim that they know Jesus, but they claim that Jesus never came in the flesh, and they claim that since the spirit is saved, but not the flesh, that it’s O.K. to sin. They claim that by sinning one might learn some valuable lessons that will benefit the saved spirit. They claim to have a relationship with Jesus, but they walk in darkness.
QUESTION: Why did John write this letter?
ANSWER: He didn’t want us to sin.
QUESTION: What if we do sin?
ANSWER: We have a Heavenly Lawyer Who represents us in the courtroom of Heaven! We confess! God forgives! God cleanses! He does this to answer the intercessory prayers His Son makes for us.
Romans 8:34) [GNB] Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us!
Concerning this verse,
“John has no patience with professional perfectionists (1 John 1:8-10), but he has still less with loose-livers like some of the Gnostics who went to all sorts of excesses without shame” [Robertson].
NOTE: We must never make grace an excuse for bad conduct. We might not always live right, but we must always desire to live right.
2) [KJV] And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.
QUESTION: Has God forgiven all of mankind their sins against Him?
ANSWER: Note the following translations of this verse:
(GNB) And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone.
(CEV) Christ is the sacrifice that takes away our sins and the sins of all the world’s people.
Regarding “the sins of the whole world,”
“At any rate, the propitiation by Christ provides for salvation for all (Heb 2:9) if they will only be reconciled with God (2Co 5:19-21)” [Robertson].
QUESTION: What, then, is John saying in this verse?
ANSWER: Salvation has been provided for all of mankind; however, each one of us must come to Christ in order to be reconciled to God.
Isaiah 59:1-2) [GW] The LORD is not too weak to save or his ear too deaf to hear.
2) [GW] But your wrongs have separated you from your God, and your sins have made him hide his face so that he doesn’t hear you.
2 Corinthians 5:19-21) [GNB] In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others.
20) [GNB] Therefore, we are Christ’s representatives, and through us God is calling you. We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God.
21) [GNB] God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we might receive God’s approval through him.
QUESTION: Why wasn’t God answering the prayers of Israel at this time in their history?
ANSWER: They weren’t serving God; they were living in total disobedience.
QUESTION: Why isn’t God answering our prayers?
ANSWER: The only sin we commit, as Christians, that keeps God from answering our prayers is the sin of unbelief.
Mark 11:22-24) [GNB] Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.
23) [GNB] I assure you that whoever tells this hill to get up and throw itself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
24) [GNB] For this reason I tell you: When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church