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1 John Chapter Two


1 John 2

If, on the other hand, we have even committed sin and all, being judged according to the light, is confessed (so that the will no longer takes part in it, the pride of that will being broken down), He is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. If we say that we have [1] (as a general truth), it shews not only that the truth is not in us, but we make God a liar; His word is not in us, for He says that all have sinned. There are the three things: we lie; the truth is not in us; we make God a liar. It is this fellowship with God in the light which, in practical daily christian life, inseparably connects forgiveness, and the present sense of it by faith, and purity of heart.

Thus we see the christian position (ver. 7); and then the things which, in three different ways, are opposed to the truth-to communion with God in life.

The apostle wrote that which relates to the communion with the Father and the Son, in order that their joy might be full

That which he wrote according to the revelation of the nature of God, which he had received from Him who was the life from heaven, was in order that they should not sin. But to say this is to suppose that they might sin. Not that it is necessary they should do so; for the presence of sin in the flesh by no means obliges us to walk after the flesh. But if it should take place, there is provision made by grace, in order that grace may act, and that we may be neither condemned, nor brought again under the law.

We have an Advocate with the Father, One who carries on our cause for us on high. Now this is not in order to obtain righteousness, nor again to wash our sins away. All that has been done. Divine righteousness has placed us in the light, even as God Himself is in the light. But communion is interrupted, if even levity of thought finds place in our heart; for it is of the flesh and the flesh has no communion with God. When communion is interrupted, when we have sinned (not when we have repented, for it is His intercession that leads to repentance), Christ intercedes for us. Righteousness is always present-our righteousness-"Jesus Christ the Righteous." Therefore, neither the righteousness nor the value of the propitiation for sin being changed, grace acts (one may say, acts necessarily) in virtue of that righteousness, and of that blood which is before God--acts, on the intercession of Christ who never forgets us, in order to bring us back to communion by means of repentance. Thus, while yet on earth, before Peter had committed the sin, He prayed for him; at the given moment He looks on him, and Peter repents and weeps bitterly for his offence. Afterwards the Lord does all that is necessary to make Peter judge the root itself of the sin; but all is grace.

It is the same in our case. Divine righteousness abides-the immutable foundation of our relationships with God, established on the blood of Christ. When communion, which exists only in the light, is interrupted, the intercession of Christ, available by virtue of His blood (for propitiation for the sin has also been made), restores the soul that it may still again enjoy communion with God according to the light, into which righteousness has introduced it. [2] This propitiation is made for the whole world, not for the Jews only, nor to the exclusion of any one at all; but for the whole world, God in His moral nature having been fully glorified by the death of Christ.

These three capital points-or, if you will, two capital points, and the third, namely, advocacy, which is supplementary-form the introduction, the doctrine of the epistle. All the rest is an experimental application of that which this part contains: namely, first (life being given), communion with the Father and the Son; second, the nature of God, light, which manifests the falsehood of all pretension to communion with the light, if the walk be in darkness; and third, seeing that sin is in us and that we may fail although we are cleansed before God so as to enjoy the light, the advocacy which Jesus Christ the righteous can always exercise before God, on the ground of the righteousness which is ever in His presence, and the blood which is shed for our sins, in order to restore our communion, when we have lost it by our guilty negligence.

The Spirit-now proceeds to develop the characteristics of this divine life.

Now we are sanctified unto the obedience of Jesus Christ, that is to say, to obey on the same principles as those on which He obeyed; where His Father's will was the motive as well as the rule of action. It is the obedience of a life to which it was meat and drink to do the will of God: not as under the law, in order to obtain life. The life of Jesus Christ was a life of obedience, in which He enjoyed the love of His Father perfectly, tested in all things and so proved perfect. His words, His commandments, were the expression of that life; they direct that life in us, and ought to exercise all the authority over us of Him who pronounced them.

The law promised life to those who obeyed it. Christ is the life. This life has been imparted to us--to believers. Therefore, the words which were the expression of that life, in its perfection in Jesus, direct and guide it in us according to that perfection. Besides this, it has authority over us. His commandments are its expression. We have therefore to obey, and to walk as He walked-the two forms of practical life. It is not enough to walk well: we must obey, for there is authority. This is the essential principle of a right walk. On the other hand, the obedience of the Christian-as is evident by that of Christ Himself--is not that which we often think. We call a child obedient, who, having a will of his own, submits himself at onc e when the authority of the parent intervenes to prevent his accomplishing it. But Christ never obeyed in this way. He came to do the will of God. Obedience was His mode of being. His Father's will was the motive, and, with the love that was never separate from it, the only motive of His every act and every impulse. This is obedience properly called christian. It is a new life which delights in doing the will of Christ, acknowledging His entire authority over it. We reckon ourselves to be dead to everything else; we are alive unto God, we are not our own. We only know Christ inasmuch as we are living by His life; for the flesh does not know Him, and cannot understand His life.

Now, that life is obedience: therefore he who says, " I know him," and does not observe His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. It does not say here, "he deceives himself," for it is very possible that he is not self-deceived, as in the other case of fancied communion; for here the will is in action, and a man knows it, if he will confess it. But the reality is not there; he is a liar, and the truth in the knowledge of Jesus, which he professes, is not in him.

There are two remarks to be made here. First, that the apostle takes things always as they are in themselves in an abstract way, without the modifications that are occasioned by other things, in the midst of which, or in relation with which, the former are found. Second, that the chain of consequences which the apostle deduces is not that of outward reasoning, the force of which is consequently on the surface of the argument itself. He reasons from a great inward principle, so that one does not see the force of the argument unless one knows the fact, and even the scope, of that principle; and, in particular, that which the life of God is in its nature, in its character, and in its action. But, without possessing it, we do not and cannot understand anything about it. There is indeed, the authority of the apostle and of the word to tell us that the thing is so, and that is sufficient. But the links of his discourse will not be understood without the possession of the life which interprets what he says, and which is itself interpreted by that which he says.

I return to the text. "Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected." It is in this way that we are conscious that we know Him. His " word" has rather a wider sense than His "commandments." That is to say, while it equally implies obedience, the word is less outward. "Commandments" are here details of the divine life. His "word" contains its whole expression-the spirit of that life. [3] It is universal and absolute.

Now this life is the divine life manifested in Jesus, and which is imparted to us. Have we seen it in Christ? Do we doubt that this is love; that the love of God has been manifested in it? If then I keep His word; if the scope and meaning of the life which that word expresses is thus understood and realised, the love of God is perfect in me. The apostle, as we have seen, always speaks abstractedly. If in fact at any given moment I do not observe the word, in that point I do not realise His love; happy intercourse with God is interrupted. But so far as I am moved and governed absolutely by His word, His love is completely realised in me; for His word expresses what He is, and I am keeping it. This is the intelligent communion with His nature in its fullness, a nature in which I participate; so that I know that He is perfect love, I am filled with it, and this shews itself in my ways: for that word is the perfect expression of Himself. [4] Consequently we know thus that we are in Him, for we realise that which He is in the communion of His nature. Now if we say that we abide in Him, it is evident, from what we have now seen in the instruction the apostle gives us, that we ought to walk as He walked. Our walk is the practical expression of our life; and this life is Christ known in His word. And since it is by His word, we who possess this life are under an intelligent responsibility to follow it; that is to say, to walk as He walked. For that word is the expression of His life.

Obedience then, as obedience, is thus far the moral characteristic of the life of Christ in us. But it is proof of that which, in Christianity, is inseparable from the life of Christ in us: we are in Him. (Compare John 14:29) We know, not merely that we know Him, but that we are in Him. The enjoyment of the perfect love of God in the path of obedience, gives us by the Holy Ghost the consciousness that we are in Him. But if I am in Him, I cannot indeed be what He was, for He was without sin; but I ought to walk as He walked. Thus I know I am in Him. But if I make profession to abide in Him, my heart and spirit to be wholly there, I ought to walk as He walked. Obedience as a principle, and through keeping His word, and so the love of God perfected in me knowing that I am in Him, are the formative principles and character of our life.

In verses 7 and 8 the two forms of the rule of this life are presented-forms which, moreover, answer to the two principles which we have just announced. It is not a new commandment which the apostle writes unto them but an old one; it is the word of Christ from the beginning. Were it not so, were it in this sense new, so much the worse for him who set it forth, for it would no longer be the expression of the perfect life of Christ Himself, but some other thing, or a falsification of that which Christ had set forth This corresponds with the first principle, that is, obedience to commandments, to the commandments of Christ. What He said was the expression of what He was. He could command that they should love one another as He had loved them. Compare the Beatitudes.

In another sense it was a new commandment: for (by the power of the Spirit of Christ, being united to Him and drawing our life from Him) the Spirit of God manifested the effect of this life by revealing a glorified Christ in a new way. And now it was not only a commandment, but as the thing itself was true in Christ, it was so in His own as partakers of His nature and in Him; He also in them.

By this revelation, and by the presence of the Holy Ghost, the darkness disappeared, [5] passed away, and in fact the true light shone. There will be no different light in heaven: only then the light will be publicly displayed in glory without a cloud.

Verse 9. The life as in John i. 4, is now found to be the light of men, only the brighter for faith that Christ is gone, for it is through the rent veil it shines most brightly. We have had the pretension to know Him discussed-to be in Him; now that of being in the light, and this before the Spirit of God applies in detail the qualities of this life, as a proof of its existence to the heart, in answer to seducers who sought to terrify them by new notions, as though Christians were not really in possession of life, and, with life, of the Father and the Son. The true light now shines. And this light is God; it is the divine nature; and, as that which was a means of judging the seducers themselves, he brings out another quality connected with our being in the light, that is with God fully revealed. Christ was it in the world. We are set to be it, in that we are born of God. And one who has this nature loves his brother; for is not God love? Has not Christ loved us, not being ashamed to call us brethren? Can I have His life and His nature, if I do not love the brethren? No. I am then walking in darkness; I have no light on my path. He who loves his brother dwells in the light; the nature of God acts in him; and he dwells in the bright spiritual intelligence of that life, in the presence and in the communion of God. If any one hates, it is evident that he has not divine light. With feelings according to a nature opposed to God, how can it be pretended that he is in the light?

Moreover, there is no occasion of stumbling in one who loves, for he walks according to divine light. There is nothing in him which causes another to stumble, for the revelation of the nature of God in grace will assuredly not do so: and it is this which is manifested in him who loves his brother. [6] This closes as an introductory statement the first part of the Epistle. It contains in the former half, the privileged place of Christians, the message giving us the truth of our state here, and the provision for failure: that ends with chapter 2:2; in the second half, the proofs the Christian has of the true possession of the privilege according to the message giving obedience, and love of the brethren, knowing Christ, being in Christ, enjoying the perfect love of God, abiding in Him, being in the light, forming the condition which is thus proved.

Having established the two great principles, obedience and love, as proofs of the possession of the divine nature, of Christ known as life, and of our abiding in Him, the apostle goes on to address Christians personally and to shew us the position, on the ground of grace, in three different degrees of ripeness. This parenthetical but most important address we will now consider.

He begins by calling all the Christians to whom he was writing, "children," a term of affection in the loving and aged apostle. And as he writes to them (chap.2:1) in order that they should not sin, so he writes also because all their sins were forgiven for Jesus' name's sake. This was the assured condition of all Christians: that which God had granted them in giving them faith, that they might glorify Him He allows no doubt as to the fact of their being pardoned. He writes to them because they are so.

We next find three classes of Christians: fathers, young men, and babes. He addresses them each twice, fathers, young men, babes (ver. 13) fathers, in the first half of verse 14; young men, from the second half, to the end of verse 17; and babes from verse 18 to the end of verse 27. In verse 28 he returns to all Christians under the name of "children".

That which characterises fathers in Christ is that they have known Him who is from the beginning, that is, Christ. This is all that he has to say about them. All had resulted in that. He only repeats the same thing again, when, changing his form of expression, he begins anew with these three classes. The fathers have known Christ. This is the result of all christian experience. The flesh is judged, discerned, wherever it has mixed itself with Christ in our feelings: it is recognised, experimentally, as having no value; and, as the result of experience, Christ stands alone, free from all alloy. They have learnt to distinguish that which has only the appearance of good. They are not occupied with experience-that would be being occupied with self, with one's own heart. All that has passed away; and Christ alone remains as our portion, unmingled with aught besides, even as He gave Himself to us. Moreover He is much better known; they have experienced what He is in so many details, whether of joy in communion with Him, or in the consciousness of weakness, or in the realisation of His faithfulness, of the riches of His grace, of His adaptation to our need, of His love, and in the revelation of His own fullness; so that they are able now to say, " I know whom I have believed. " Attachment to Himself characterises them. Such is the character of "fathers" in Christ.

"Young men" are the second class. They are distinguished by spiritual strength in conflict: the energy of faith. They have overcome the wicked one. For he speaks of what their character is as in Christ. Conflict they have as such, but the strength of Christ manifested in them.

The third class is "babes" These know the Father. We see here that the Spirit of adoption and of liberty characterises the youngest child in the faith of Christ, that it is not the result of progress. It is the commencement. We possess it because we are Christians and it is ever the distinguishing mark of beginners. The others do not lose it, but other things distinguish them.

In again addressing these three classes of Christians the apostle, as we have seen, has only to repeat that which he at first said with regard to the fathers. It is the result of christian life. In the case of the young men he develops his idea and adds some exhortations. "Ye are strong," he says, " and the word of God abideth in you"-an important characteristic. The word is the revelation of God, and the application of Christ, to the heart, so that we have thus the motives which form and govern it, and a testimony founded on the state of the heart, and on convictions which have a divine power in us. It is the sword of the Spirit in our relations with the world. We have been ourselves formed by those things to which we bear testimony in our relations with the world, and those things are in us according to the power of the word of God. The wicked one is thus overcome; for he has only the world to present to our lusts: and the word abiding, in us keeps us in an altogether different sphere of thought in which a different nature is enlightened and strengthened by divine communications. The tendency of the young man is toward the world: the ardour of his nature, and the vigour of his age, tend to draw him away on that side. He has to guard against this by separating himself entirely from the world and the things that are in it; because, if any one love the world, the love of the Father is not in him, for those things do not come from the Father. He has a world of his own, of which Christ is the centre and glory. The lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--these are the things that are in the world and that characterise it. There are really no other motives besides these in the world. Now these things are not of the Father.

The Father is the source of all that is according to His own heart-every grace, every spiritual gift, the glory, the heavenly holiness of all that was manifested in Christ Jesus, and that will be-all the world of glory to come, of which Christ is the centre. And all this had only the cross for its portion here below. But the apostle is speaking here of the source; and assuredly the Father is not the source of those other things.

Now the world passes away; but he who does the will of God, he who, in going through this world, takes for his guide, not the desires of nature, but the will of God-a will which is according to His nature and which expresses it-such a one shall abide for ever according to the nature and the will that he has followed after.

We shall find that the world, and the Father with all that is of Him, the flesh and the Spirit, the Son and the devil, are put respectively in opposition. Things are spoken of in their source and moral nature, the principles that act in us and that characterise our existence and our position, and the two agents in good and evil that are opposed to each other, without (thanks be to God!) any uncertainty as to the issue of the conflict; for the weakness of Christ, in death, is stronger than the strength of Satan. He has no power against that which is perfect. Christ came that He might destroy the works of the devil.

To the babes the apostle speaks principally of the dangers to which they were exposed from seducers. He warns them with tender affection, reminding them at the same time that all the sources of intelligence and strength were open to them and belonged to them. "It is the last time;" not exactly the last days, but the season which had the final character that belonged to the dealings of God with this world. The Antichrist was to come, and already there were many antichrists: by this it might be known it was the last time. It was not merely sin, nor the transgression of the law; but, Christ having already been manifested, and being now absent and hidden from the world, there was a formal opposition to the especial revelation that had been made. It was not a vague and ignorant unbelief; it took a definite shape as having a will directed against Jesus. They might for instance believe all that a Jew believed, as it was revealed in the word, but as to the testimony of God by Jesus Christ they opposed it. They would not own Him to be the Christ; they denied the Father and the Son. This, as to religious profession, is the true character of the Antichrist. He may indeed believe or pretend to believe, that there shall be a Christ; yea, set himself up to be it. But the two aspects of Christianity (that which, on the one hand, regards the accomplishment in the Person of Jesus of the promises made to the Jew; and, on the other hand, the heavenly and eternal blessings presented in the revelation of the Father by the Son), this the Antichrist does not accept. That which characterises him as Antichrist is that he denies the Father and the Son. To deny that Jesus is the Christ is indeed the Jewish disbelief that forms part of his character. That which gives him the character of Antichrist is that he denies the foundation of Christianity. He is a liar in that he denies Jesus to be the Christ; consequently it is the work of the father of lies. But all the unbelieving Jews had done as much without being Antichrist. To deny the Father and the Son characterises him.

But there is something more. These antichrists came out from among the Christians. There was apostacy. Not that they were really Christians, but they had been among the Christians and had come out from them. (How instructive for our days also is this Epistle!) It was thus made manifest that they were not truly of the flock of Christ. All this had a tendency to shake the faith of babes in Christ. The apostle endeavours to strengthen them. There were two means of confirming their faith, which also inspired the apostle with confidence. First, they had the unction of the Holy One; secondly, that which was from the beginning, was the touchstone for all new doctrine, and they already possessed that which was from the beginning.

The indwelling of the Holy Ghost as an unction and spiritual intelligence in them, and the truth which they had received at the beginning-the perfect revelation of Christ-these were the safe guards against seducers and seductions. All heresy and all error and corruption will be found to strike at the first and divine revelation of the truth, if the unction of the Holy One is in us to judge them. Now this unction is the portion of even the youngest babes in Christ, and they ought to be encouraged to realise it, however tenderly they may be cared for as they were here by the apostle.

What important truths we discover here for ourselves! The last time already manifested, so that we have to be on our guard against seducers-persons moreover issuing from the bosom of Christianity.

The character of this Antichrist is that he denies the Father and the Son. Unbelief in its Jewish form is also again manifested: owning that there is a Christ, but denying that Jesus is He. Our security against these seductions is the unction from the Holy one--the Holy Ghost, but in especial connection with the holiness of God, which enables us to see clearly into the truth (another characteristic of the Spirit); and, secondly, that that abide in us which we have heard from the beginning. It is this evidently which we have in the written word. "Development,'' note it well, is not that which we have from the beginning. By its very name it sins radically against the safeguard pointed out by the apostle. That which the church has taught, as development of the truth, whencesoever she may have received it, is not that which has been heard from the beginning.

There is another point indicated here by the apostle that ought to be noticed. People might pretend by giving God in a vague way the name of Father, that they possessed Him without the true possession of the Son, Jesus Christ. This cannot be. He who has not the Son has not the Father. It is by Him that the Father is revealed, in Him that the Father is known.

If the truth that we have received from the beginning abides in us, we abide in the Son and in the Father; for this truth is the revelation of the Son and is revealed by the Son, who is the truth. It is living truth if it abides in us; thus, by possessing it, we possess the Son, and in the Son, the Father also. We abide in it, and thereby we have eternal life. (Compare John 17:3)

Now the apostle had happy confidence that the unction which they had received of Him abode in them, so that they needed not to be taught of others, for this same unction taught them with respect to all things. It was the truth, for it was the Holy Ghost Himself acting in the word, which was the revelation of the truth of Jesus Himself, and there was no lie in it. Thus should they abide in Him according to that which it had taught them.

Observe also, here, that the effect of this teaching by the unction from on high is twofold with regard to the discernment of the truth. They knew that no lie was of the truth; possessing this truth from God, that which was not it was a lie. They knew that this unction which taught them of all things was the truth, and that there was no lie in it. The unction taught them all things, that is to say, all the truth, as truth of God. Therefore that which was not it was a lie, and there was no lie in the unction. Thus the sheep hear the voice of the good Shepherd; if another calls them, it is not His voice, and that is enough. They fear it and fly from it, because they do not know it.

With verse 27 ends the second series of exhortations to the three classes. The apostle begins again with the whole body of Christians (ver. 28). This verse appear.s to me to correspond with verse 8 of the Second Epistle, and with chapter 3 of the First Epistle to the Corinthians.

The apostle, having ended his address to those who were all in the communion of the Father, applies the essential principles of the divine life, of the divine nature as manifested in Christ, to test those who claimed participation in it; not in order to make the believer doubt, but for the rejection of that which was false. I say, "not to make the believer doubt;" for the apostle speaks of his position, and of the position of those to whom he was writing, with the most perfect assurance. (Chap. 3:1,2) [7] He had spoken, in recommencement at verse 28, of the appearing of Jesus. This introduces the Lord in the full revelation of His character, and gives rise to the scrutiny of the pretensions of those who called themselves by His name. There are two proofs which belong essentially to the divine life, and a third which is accessory as privilege: righteousness or obedience, and love, and the presence of the Holy Ghost.

Righteousness is not in the flesh. If therefore it is really found in any one, he is born of Him, he derives his nature from and in Christ. We may remark, that it is righteousness as it was manifested in Jesus; for it is because we know that He is righteous, that we know that "he who doeth righteousness is born of him." It is the same nature demonstrated by the same fruits.


[1] When speaking of sin, the apostle speaks in the present tense, "we have": when speaking of sinning, he speaks in the past. He does not take for granted we are going on doing it. It has been a question whether the apostle speaks of first coming to the Lord, or subsequent failures. I answer, he speaks in an abstract and absolute way: confession brings through grace forgiveness. If it is our first coming to God, it is forgiveness, it is in the full and absolute sense. I am forgiven with God: He remembers my sins no more. If it is subsequent failure, honesty of heart always confesses, then it is forgiveness as regards the government of God, and the present condition and relationship of my soul with Him. But the apostle, as everywhere, speaks absolutely and of the principle.

[2] Here the subject is communion, and hence actual failure is spoken of; in the Hebrews, we have seen, it is access to God and we are "perfected for ever," and priesthood is for mercy and help, not for sins, save the great act of atonement.

[3] Fundamentally they are not different. This is affirmed in verse 7: "The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning." One might say with perfect truth that the commandment is the word of Christ. but I question if it could be said that the word is the commandment. And this makes one conscious of the difference. The contrast of verses 4 and 5 is remarkable, and has its source in the possession, and the intelligent and complete consciousness of the possession, of the divine life, according to the word, or its non-possession. He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; for this truth is only that which the word reveals. And if we live of the nature of which the word of Christ is the expression, and thus by the word know Him, we obey that word. In another aspect, if we are in possession of this life, partakers of the divine nature, the love of God is in us; we have the commandments of Christ, His word, the perfect love of God, a walk according to the walk of Christ, the communication of the life of Christ so that the commandment is true in Him and in us, the walk in the light, the love of our brother. How rich a chain of blessings! The pretensions here spoken of are-to know Christ, to abide in Him, to be in the light. The proof that the first pretension is justified is obedience. Then, if we abide in Christ (which we know by keeping His word), we ought to walk as He walked. That the last pretension is a true one is proved by love to our brother. In the second, the walk is maintained at all the height of the walk of Christ, as our duty: but this walk is not presented as a proof that we abide in Him, that we keep His word. Observe, that it is not said, "We know that we believe "-this is not the question here- but, "We know that we are in him." Let me add here, that the apostle never uses these proofs, as they are so commonly used, to say, "hereby we doubt." It is quite certain from verses 12, 13, that he treats them as all forgiven or he would not have written, and as having the Spirit of adoption-even the youngest and feeblest. Others sought to make them doubt; and he writes that their hearts might be assured before God, that they might not be seduced, into doubting, as if they had not a full Christ and a full Christianity- eternal life. It was the means of keeping and holding fast assurance when they had it, when they might have been shaken, not of obtaining it. They were forgiven, they were sons. When others would make them doubt, he writes that they may be fully assured that they have no reason to doubt.

[4] This, I doubt not, is the true meaning of John 8:25. "In the principle of my nature, in my being, that which I am saying to you" That which He said was essentially and completely that which He was. That which He was is that which He said. Now it is this life which is imparted to us; but it was the love of God among men and in man. And this life being our life, and the word being kept, His love is realised in us in all its extent.

[5] The force of the word is not "has disappeared, passed away." There is much darkness yet in the, world. As to the, light, it has actually shone.

[6] The reader may compare here, with such instruction, what is said in Ephesians 4:17 to 5:12, where these two names of God, the only ones used to reveal His nature, are also used to shew our path and the true character of the Christian; only according to that which the Holy Ghost gives by Paul-the counsels and work of God in Christ. In John it is more the nature.

[7] I have noticed, farther on, the striking way in which God and Christ are spoken of as one Being or Person, not as doctrine as to the two natures, but Christ is before the apostle's mind, and He is spoken of in the same sentence, now as God, now as appearing as man. Thus in chapter 2:28 He comes. In ver. 29 the righteous man is born of Him, and we are children of God. But the world did not know Him. Now it is Christ on earth. Chapter 3:2 we are children of God, but in the same verse He appears and we are like Him. But what makes this yet more wonderful is that we are identified with Him too. We are called children because that is His title and relationship. The world does not know us, for it did not know Him. We know we shall be like Him when He appears. We are given the same place here and there. (Compare chap.5:20)

── John DarbySynopsis of 1 John


1 John 2

Chapter Contents

The apostle directs to the atonement of Christ for help against sinful infirmities. (1,2) The effects of saving knowledge in producing obedience, and love to the brethren. (3-11) Christians addressed as little children, young men, and fathers. (12-14) All are cautioned against the love of this world, and against errors. (15-23) They are encouraged to stand fast in faith and holiness. (24-29)

Commentary on 1 John 2:1,2

(Read 1 John 2:1,2)

When have an Advocate with the Father; one who has undertaken, and is fully able, to plead in behalf of every one who applies for pardon and salvation in his name, depending on his pleading for them. He is "Jesus," the Saviour, and "Christ," the Messiah, the Anointed. He alone is "the Righteous One," who received his nature pure from sin, and as our Surety perfectly obeyed the law of God, and so fulfilled all righteousness. All men, in every land, and through successive generations, are invited to come to God through this all-sufficient atonement, and by this new and living way. The gospel, when rightly understood and received, sets the heart against all sin, and stops the allowed practice of it; at the same time it gives blessed relief to the wounded consciences of those who have sinned.

Commentary on 1 John 2:3-11

(Read 1 John 2:3-11)

What knowledge of Christ can that be, which sees not that he is most worthy of our entire obedience? And a disobedient life shows there is neither religion nor honesty in the professor. The love of God is perfected in him that keeps his commandments. God's grace in him attains its true mark, and produces its sovereign effect as far as may be in this world, and this is man's regeneration; though never absolutely perfect here. Yet this observing Christ's commands, has holiness and excellency which, if universal, would make the earth resemble heaven itself. The command to love one another had been in force from the beginning of the world; but it might be called a new command as given to Christians. It was new in them, as their situation was new in respect of its motives, rules, and obligations. And those who walk in hatred and enmity to believers, remain in a dark state. Christian love teaches us to value our brother's soul, and to dread every thing hurtful to his purity and peace. Where spiritual darkness dwells, in mind, the judgment, and the conscience will be darkened, and will mistake the way to heavenly life. These things demand serious self-examination; and earnest prayer, that God would show us what we are, and whither we are going.

Commentary on 1 John 2:12-14

(Read 1 John 2:12-14)

As Christians have their peculiar states, so they have peculiar duties; but there are precepts and obedience common to all, particularly mutual love, and contempt of the world. The youngest sincere disciple is pardoned: the communion of saints is attended with the forgiveness of sins. Those of the longest standing in Christ's school need further advice and instruction. Even fathers must be written unto, and preached unto; none are too old to learn. But especially young men in Christ Jesus, though they are arrived at strength of spirit and sound sense, and have successfully resisted first trials and temptations, breaking off bad habits and connexions, and entered in at the strait gate of true conversion. The different descriptions of Christians are again addressed. Children in Christ know that God is their Father; it is wisdom. Those advanced believers, who know Him that was from the beginning, before this world was made, may well be led thereby to give up this world. It will be the glory of young persons to be strong in Christ, and his grace. By the word of God they overcome the wicked one.

Commentary on 1 John 2:15-17

(Read 1 John 2:15-17)

The things of the world may be desired and possessed for the uses and purposes which God intended, and they are to be used by his grace, and to his glory; but believers must not seek or value them for those purposes to which sin abuses them. The world draws the heart from God; and the more the love of the world prevails, the more the love of God decays. The things of the world are classed according to the three ruling inclinations of depraved nature. 1. The lust of the flesh, of the body: wrong desires of the heart, the appetite of indulging all things that excite and inflame sensual pleasures. 2. The lust of the eyes: the eyes are delighted with riches and rich possessions; this is the lust of covetousness. 3. The pride of life: a vain man craves the grandeur and pomp of a vain-glorious life; this includes thirst after honour and applause. The things of the world quickly fade and die away; desire itself will ere long fail and cease, but holy affection is not like the lust that passes away. The love of God shall never fail. Many vain efforts have been made to evade the force of this passage by limitations, distinctions, or exceptions. Many have tried to show how far we may be carnally-minded, and love the world; but the plain meaning of these verses cannot easily be mistaken. Unless this victory over the world is begun in the heart, a man has no root in himself, but will fall away, or at most remain an unfruitful professor. Yet these vanities are so alluring to the corruption in our hearts, that without constant watching and prayer, we cannot escape the world, or obtain victory over the god and prince of it.

Commentary on 1 John 2:18-23

(Read 1 John 2:18-23)

Every man is an antichrist, who denies the Person, or any of the offices of Christ; and in denying the Son, he denies the Father also, and has no part in his favour while he rejects his great salvation. Let this prophecy that seducers would rise in the Christian world, keep us from being seduced. The church knows not well who are its true members, and who are not, but thus true Christians were proved, and rendered more watchful and humble. True Christians are anointed ones; their names expresses this: they are anointed with grace, with gifts and spiritual privileges, by the Holy Spirit of grace. The great and most hurtful lies that the father of lies spreads in the world, usually are falsehoods and errors relating to the person of Christ. The unction from the Holy One, alone can keep us from delusions. While we judge favourably of all who trust in Christ as the Divine Saviour, and obey his word, and seek to live in union with them, let us pity and pray for those who deny the Godhead of Christ, or his atonement, and the new-creating work of the Holy Ghost. Let us protest against such antichristian doctrine, and keep from them as much as we may.

Commentary on 1 John 2:24-29

(Read 1 John 2:24-29)

The truth of Christ, abiding in us, is a means to sever from sin, and unites us to the Son of God, John 15:3,4. What value should we put upon gospel truth! Thereby the promise of eternal life is made sure. The promise God makes, is suitable to his own greatness, power, and goodness; it is eternal life. The Spirit of truth will not lie; and he teaches all things in the present dispensation, all things necessary to our knowledge of God in Christ, and their glory in the gospel. The apostle repeats the kind words, "little children;" which denotes his affection. He would persuade by love. Gospel privileges oblige to gospel duties; and those anointed by the Lord Jesus abide with him. The new spiritual nature is from the Lord Christ. He that is constant to the practice of religion in trying times, shows that he is born from above, from the Lord Christ. Then, let us beware of holding the truth in unrighteousness, remembering that those only are born of God, who bear his holy image, and walk in his most righteous ways.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 1 John


1 John 2

Verse 1

[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:

My beloved children — So the apostle frequently addresses the whole body of Christians. It is a term of tenderness and endearment, used by our Lord himself to his disciples, John 13:33. And perhaps many to whom St. John now wrote were converted by his ministry. It is a different word from that which is translated "little children," in several parts of the epistle, to distinguish it from which, it is here rendered beloved children. I write these things to you, that ye may not sin - Thus he guards them beforehand against abusing the doctrine of reconciliation. All the words, institutions, and judgments of God are levelled against sin, either that it may not be committed, or that it may be abolished.

But if any one sin — Let him not lie in sin, despairing of help.

We have an advocate — We have for our advocate, not a mean person, but him of whom it was said, "This is my beloved son." Not a guilty person, who stands in need of pardon for himself; but Jesus Christ the righteous; not a mere petitioner, who relies purely upon liberality, but one that has merited, fully merited, whatever he asks.

Verse 2

[2] And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

And he is the propitiation — The atoning sacrifice by which the wrath of God is appeased.

For our sins — Who believe.

And not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world — Just as wide as sin extends, the propitiation extends also .

Verse 3

[3] And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

And hereby we know that we truly and savingly know him - As he is the advocate, the righteous, the propitiation.

If we keep his commandments — Particularly those of faith and love.

Verse 5

[5] But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

But whoso keepeth his word — His commandments.

Verily in him the love of God — Reconciled to us through Christ.

Is perfected — Is perfectly known.

Hereby — By our keeping his word.

We know that we are in him — So is the tree known by its fruits. To "know him," to be "in him," to "abide in him," are nearly synonymous terms; only with a gradation,-knowledge, communion, constancy.

Verse 6

[6] He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

He that saith he abideth in him — which implies a durable state; a constant, lasting knowledge of, and communion with, him.

Ought himself — Otherwise they are vain words.

So to walk, even as he walked — In the world. As he, are words that frequently occur in this epistle. Believers having their hearts full of him, easily supply his name.

Verse 7

[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.

When I speak of keeping his word, I write not a new commandment - I do not speak of any new one.

But the old commandment, which ye had — Even from your forefathers.

Verse 8

[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.

Again, I do write a new commandment to you — Namely, with regard to loving one another. A commandment which, though it also was given long ago, yet is truly new in him and in you. It was exemplified in him, and is now fulfilled by you, in such a manner as it never was before. For there is no comparison between the state of the Old Testament believers, and that which ye now enjoy: the darkness of that dispensation is passed away; and Christ the true light now shineth in your hearts.

Verse 9

[9] He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

He that saith he is in the light — In Christ, united to him.

And hateth his brother — The very name shows the love due to him.

Is in darkness until now — Void of Christ, and of all true light.

Verse 10

[10] He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

He that loveth his brother — For Christ's sake.

Abideth in the light — Of God.

And there is no occasion of stumbling in him — Whereas he that hates his brother is an occasion of stumbling to himself. He stumbles against himself, and against all things within and without; while he that loves his brother, has a free, disencumbered journey.

Verse 11

[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.

He that hateth his brother — And he must hate, if he does not love him: there is no medium.

Is in darkness — In sin, perplexity, entanglement. He walketh in darkness, and knoweth not that he is in the high road to hell.

Verse 12

[12] I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.

I have written to you, beloved children — Thus St. John bespeaks all to whom he writes. But from the thirteenth to 1 John 2:13-27 the twentyseventh verse, he divides them particularly into "fathers," "young men," and "little children." Because your sins are forgiven you - As if he had said, This is the sum of what I have now written. He then proceeds to other things, which are built upon this foundation.

Verse 13

[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.

The address to spiritual fathers, young men, and little children is first proposed in this verse, wherein he says, I write to you, fathers: I write to you, young men: I write to you, little children: and then enlarged upon; in doing which he says, "I have written to you, fathers," 1 John 2:14. "I have written to you, young men," 1 John 2:14-17. "I have written to you, little children," 1 John 2:18-27. Having finished his address to each, he returns to all together, whom he again terms, (as 1 John 2:12,) "beloved children." Fathers, ye have known him that is from the beginning - We have known the eternal God, in a manner wherein no other, even true believers, know him.

Young men, ye have overcome the wicked one — In many battles, by the power of faith.

Little children, ye have known the Father — As your Father, though ye have not yet overcome, by the Spirit witnessing with your Spirit, that ye are the children of God."

Verse 14

[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.

I have written to you, fathers — As if he had said, Observe well what I but now wrote. He speaks very briefly and modestly to these, who needed not much to be said to them, as having that deep acquaintance with God which comprises all necessary knowledge.

Young men, ye are strong — In faith.

And the word of God abideth in you — Deeply rooted in your hearts, whereby ye have often foiled your great adversary.

Verse 15

[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.

To you all, whether fathers, young men, or little children, I say, Love not the world - Pursue your victory by overcoming the world.

If any man love the world — Seek happiness in visible things, he does not love God.

Verse 16

[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 desire of the flesh — Of the pleasure of the outward senses, whether of the taste, smell, or touch.

The desire of the eye — Of the pleasures of imagination, to which the eye chiefly is subservient; of that internal sense whereby we relish whatever is grand, new, or beautiful.

The pride of life — All that pomp in clothes, houses, furniture, equipage, manner of living, which generally procure honour from the bulk of mankind, and so gratify pride and vanity. It therefore directly includes the desire of praise, and, remotely, covetousness. All these desires are not from God, but from the prince of this world.

Verse 17

[17] And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The world passeth away, and the desire thereof — That is, all that can gratify those desires passeth away with it.

But he that doeth the will of God — That loves God, not the world.

Abideth — In the enjoyment of what he loves, for ever.

Verse 18

[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.

My little children, it is the last time — The last dispensation of grace, that which is to continue to the end of time, is begun.

Ye have heard that antichrist cometh — Under the term antichrist, or the spirit of antichrist, he includes all false teachers and enemies to the truth; yea, whatever doctrines or men are contrary to Christ. It seems to have been long after this that the name of antichrist was appropriated to that grand adversary of Christ, "the man of sin," 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Antichrist, in St. John's sense, that is, antichristianism, has been spreading from his time till now; and will do so, till that great adversary arises, and is destroyed by Christ's coming.

Verse 19

[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.

They were not of us — When they went; their hearts were before departed from God, otherwise, they would have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest - That is, this was made manifest by their going out.

Verse 20

[20] But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

But ye have an anointing — A chrism; perhaps so termed in opposition to the name of antichrist; an inward teaching from the Holy Ghost, whereby ye know all things - Necessary for your preservation from these seducers, and for your eternal salvation. St. John here but just touches upon the Holy Ghost, of whom he speaks more largely, 1 John 3:24; 4:13; 5:6.

Verse 21

[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.

I have written — Namely, 1 John 2:13.

To you because ye know the truth — That is, to confirm you in the knowledge ye have already.

Ye know that no lie is of the truth — That all the doctrines of these antichrists are irreconcilable to it.

Verse 22

[22] Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Who is that liar — Who is guilty of that lying, but he who denies that truth which is the sum of all Christianity? That Jesus is the Christ; that he is the Son of God; that he came in the flesh, is one undivided truth. and he that denies any part of this, in effect denies the whole.

He is antichrist — And the spirit of antichrist, who in denying the Son denies the Father also.

Verse 23

[23] Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

Whosoever denieth the eternal Son of God, he hath not communion with the Father; but he that truly and believingly acknowledgeth the Son, hath communion with the Father also.

Verse 24

[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.

If that truth concerning the Father and the Son, which ye have heard from the beginning, abide fixed and rooted in you, ye also shall abide in that happy communion with the Son and the Father.

Verse 25

[25] And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

He — The Son.

Hath promised us — If we abide in him.

Verse 26

[26] These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

These things — From 1 John 2:21.

I have written to you — St. John, according to his custom, begins and ends with the same form, and having finished a kind of parenthesis, 1 John 2:20-26, continues, 2:27, what he said in the twentieth verse, concerning them that would seduce you.

Verse 27

[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.

Ye need not that any should teach you, save as that anointing teacheth you — Which is always the same, always consistent with itself. But this does not exclude our need of being taught by them who partake of the same anointing.

Of all things — Which it is necessary for you to know.

And is no lie — Like that which antichrist teaches.

Ye shall abide in him — This is added both by way of comfort and of exhortation. The whole discourse, from verse 18 to this, 1 John 2:18-27 is peculiarly adapted to little children.

Verse 28

[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.

And now, beloved children — Having finished his address to each, he now returns to all in general.

Abide in him, that we — A modest expression.

May not be ashamed before him at his coming — O how will ye, Jews, Socinians, nominal Christians, be ashamed in that day!

Verse 29

[29] If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

Every one — And none else.

Who practiseth righteousness — From a believing, loving heart.

Is born of him — For all his children are like himself.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 1 John


1 John 2:4

A small boy liked to pull out of the cupboard the paper bags that his mother saved. He would then spread them around the kitchen floor and use them as a playing surface for his toy cars. This was permitted on the condition that he collects the bags and put them away when he was finished playing. One day, his mother found the bags all over the kitchen and the boy in the living room where his after was playing the piano. When she told her son to pick up the bags, there was a short silence. Then his small voice said, “But I want sing ‘Jesus Loves Me.’”

His father took the opportunity to point out that it’s no good singing God’s praises while you’re disobedient. This passage in the First Epistle of John puts the lesson in much stronger language: “The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”


1 John 2:15

“Loving the created world is not wrong as long as our loving God is not diminished. To love the world and fail to love God would be like a bride, who, being given a ring by her bridegroom, loves the ring more than the bridegroom who gave it. Of course, she should love what the bridegroom gave her, but to love the ring and despise him who gave it is to reject the very meaning of the ring as a token of his love. Likewise, men who love creation and not the creator are rejecting the whole meaning of creation. We ought to appreciate the creation and love the creator because of it.”―― Augustine


1 John 2:17

In an address to the Wisconsin State Agriculture Society in 1859, Abraham Lincoln illustrated the profound and tempering effect that change can have on us. He told of an Eastern monarch who gave his counselors an assignment to come up with a truth that would apply to all times and situations. After careful consideration, they returned with this sentence: “And this too shall pass away.” Said Lincoln, “How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the hour of affliction.”

Centuries before, John made the same point—that the world passes away, but he who does the will of God abides forever.


Chapter 2. The Protection of Spiritual Fellowship

One Defender
Jesus the Righteous

I. Fellowship Based on Righteousness

  1. Obey Commands
  2. Love for God is Complete
  3. Walk as Jesus Did

II. Fellowship Based on Love

  1. Love One Another
  2. To Three Different Levels of Spiritual Maturity
  3. Do Not Love the World

III. Fellowship Based on Faith

  1. Watch Out Heresies
  2. Receive an Anointment
  3. Remain in the Lord

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

Fellowship With Jesus (2:3-6)
1. A concern of John's first epistle is that we have fellowship with
   the Father and the Son:
   "that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you
   also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is
   with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1:3)
2. He began by stressing the basis upon which we may fellowship with
   the FATHER - 1 Jn 1:5-2:22
   a. Walk in the light as He is in the light
   b. Confess our sins, don't deny that we have sin
   c. Make use of our "advocate" and "propitiation", Jesus Christ the 
3. But what about fellowship with the SON?  In our text (1 Jn 2:3-6),
   John now describes how we can "know" that we have fellowship with 
   Jesus Christ
[A key phrase in this passage is "by this we know...", found twice 
(2:3,5).  In other words, "here is how we can be sure".
And John's first point is...]
      1. Identifying the "Him" of this passage
         a. Is it God or Jesus?  The Father or the Son?
         b. In light of the context, it is Jesus the Son of God - cf. 
            1 Jn 2:1-2,6
         c. This fits in well with John's aim in this epistle - cf. 
            1 Jn 1:3
            1) He has described the basis for fellowship with the 
            2) Now he discusses the basis for fellowship with the Son
      2. What it means to "know" Jesus
         a. As frequently used by John, the word "know" {ginosko}
            denotes a knowledge that comes by experience, by sharing 
            experiences in life together
         b. In this sense, it implies that "fellowship" (sharing, 
            communion) has taken place
      1. Fellowship with Jesus is dependent upon keeping His teachings 
         - Jn 14:21-23; 15:10
      2. The person who claims to "know" (have fellowship) with Jesus, 
         and does not keep His commandments...
         a. Is a liar, and the truth is not in him! - 1 Jn 2:4b
         b. Is just like the one who claims to have fellowship with the
            Father while walking in darkness! - cf. 1 Jn 1:6
      3. But the person who keeps the words of Jesus, the "love of God"
         is perfected in him!
         a. This "love of God"...
            1) Is it God's kind of love? - cf. 1 Jn 3:16-17
            2) Is it God's love for us? - cf. 1 Jn 4:9
            3) Is it our love for God? - cf. 1 Jn 5:2-3
            -- I suspect John is referring to our love for God, for the
               context concerns keeping the commandments of Jesus
         b. Such love for God is "perfected" (made whole, complete) 
            only when we keep the commandments of His Son! - cf. Jn
[So we can be sure that we "know" Jesus, that we are in fellowship with
Him, and that we have perfected our love for God, ONLY if we are 
keeping the commandments of Jesus!
To stress the point even further, John continues by point out...]
      1. The word "in" (5b) is parallel to the expression "abides in"
      2. "Abiding in Jesus" is described by Jesus Himself as similar to
         a branch abiding in the vine - cf. Jn 15:4-5
         a. There is a union, or attachment, between the branch and 
         b. From this union comes a communion, or sharing
      3. So again, we are discussing the idea of having fellowship with
      1. The person claiming to "abide in Jesus" (or to have fellowship
         with Him) should "walk" (live) just as Jesus did!
         a. For only those who follow His words are truly His disciples
            - cf. Jn 8:31
         b. And those who are His disciples will become like their 
            Teacher - cf. Lk 6:40
         c. Such is the goal of discipleship, and of God's scheme of 
            redemption itself! - Ro 8:29
      2. Understanding and applying this truth should have powerful 
         ramifications in how we live (as illustrated in the novel "In 
         His Steps", by Charles Sheldon)
1. We learn from John, then, that the key to knowing that we have 
   fellowship with Jesus is understanding the difference between 
   "talking" and "walking"
   a. Anyone can say that they know Jesus, that they abide in Him
   b. But those that really know are those who...
      1) KEEP His commandments
      2) WALK just as He walked
2. Do you really know Jesus?  Are you in fellowship with Him, wherein
   is eternal life and fullness of joy?
   a. Have you kept the commands of Jesus?
   b. How about His commands concerning faith, repentance and baptism?
      - cf. Mt 28:18-19; Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
   c. How about His commands to observe ALL that He commanded,
      including those revealed through His apostles? - cf. Mt 28:20;
      Ac 2:42; 1 Co 14:37
How you answer reveals the truth regarding your relationship with God,
and your hope for eternal life!


An "Old, Yet New" Commandment (2:7-11)
1. In our study of 1st John, we have seen thus far...
   a. That John's aim is that we may have fellowship with the Father 
      and the Son, so our joy may be full - 1 Jn 1:1-4
   b. That fellowship with the Father is contingent upon:
      1) Walking in the light - 1 Jn 1:5-7
      2) Confessing our sins - 1 Jn 1:8-10
      3) Making use of our "advocate" and "propitiation", Jesus Christ 
         the Righteous - 1 Jn 2:1-2
   c. And that fellowship with the Son (Jesus) depends upon our:
      1) Keeping His commandments - 1 Jn 2:3-5a
      2) Walking as He walked - 1 Jn 2:5b-6
      -- Otherwise, it is not true that we "abide in Him", nor truly 
         "know Him"
2. Having stressed the importance of keeping the commandments of Jesus 
   if we are to have fellowship with Him and the Father...
   a. John proceeds to discuss one commandment in particular - 1 Jn 2:
   b. He discusses what can be called "An Old, Yet New Commandment"
[Let's consider first...]
      1. He does not write about something totally new to them
      2. But something they had heard "from the beginning" (i.e., from 
         the beginning of the gospel)
      1. That is, it is ever fresh; though old in time, it is never 
      2. It is a commandment that is ever true in Jesus, and it is true
         in His disciples
      3. It is both true and new because...
         a. "the darkness is passing away, and the true light is 
            already shining"
         b. With the coming of the Messiah (Jesus), light has begun to 
            penetrate the darkness - cf. Isa 9:2; Mt 4:13-17; Jn 1:4-9;
      1. How do we know this?
         a. It is implied by verses 9-11
         b. It is stated clearly in 1 Jn 3:11; 4:21
         c. This command was "from the beginning" (of the gospel) - cf.
            Jn 13:34-34; 15:12,17
      2. What does it mean to "love one another"?
         a. It may be helpful to first review the different Greek words
            for "love"
            1) "storge" - describes love of family
            2) "eros" - carnal, sexual love
            3) "phileo" - love for dear friends
            4) "agape" - active goodwill toward others
         b. It is "agape" love that we are commanded to have in this 
            1) It is also the same kind of love commanded in Jn 13:
            2) It is that concern to meet the needs of others that is 
               best exemplified in the life and death of Jesus - cf. 
               1 Jn 3:16-17
         c. Therefore, to "love one another" is to consider the needs 
            of one another, and to actively work toward meeting those 
            needs (i.e., follow Jesus' example!)
[Having identified what commandment is being discussed, consider what 
John says about...]
      1. When a person claims to walk in the light, but hates his 
         brother, he is still in darkness!
      2. Indeed, he has always been in darkness!
         a. Cf. "is in darkness until now"
         b. Despite what they may claim, they have not yet passed from 
            darkness to light!
         c. Or as expressed later, they have not yet passed from death 
            to life! - 1 Jn 3:14
      1. He may "think" he has fellowship with God, that he is saved, 
         but he is blind!
      2. He fails to realize the absurdity of his claim to know and 
         love God - cf. 1 Jn 4:20
      3. Blinded by darkness (hate), he cannot see that he is on the 
         road to hell!
[Does this not illustrate the importance of keeping this "old, yet new"
commandment?  Its importance is further illustrated as we consider...]
      1. Meaning that they are in full fellowship with the Father! - 
         cf. 1 Jn 1:7a
      2. And they enjoy the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus! - 
         cf. 1 Jn 1:7b
      -- So unless we love one another, fellowship and forgiveness is 
         not possible!
      1. Abiding in the light, he can see clearly as he walks
      2. Fellowship with God makes it possible to "know where he is 
         going" (unlike the one who hates his brother and is in 
      3. This does not imply sinlessness
         a. Remember 1 Jn 1:8,10
         b. But as one walks in the light (in fellowship with God), he 
            knows what to do when he sins, and in what direction he 
            should be headed - cf. 1 Jn 1:9
1. This "old, yet new" commandment is very important:
   a. If we are not keeping it, we are still in darkness!
   b. If we are in darkness...
      1) We are not walking in the light!
      2) We are not having fellowship with God, and the blood of Jesus 
         does not cleanse us from our sins!
      3) We cannot have that "fullness of joy" of which John wrote in 
         1 Jn 1:4
2. It is only appropriate, then, to close this lesson with the 
   admonition of John found later in his epistle...
   "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and 
   everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does 
   not love does not know God, for God is love." - 1 Jn 4:7-8
3. For those not yet Christians, I encourage you to seriously consider 
   the next two verses:
   "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God 
   has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might 
   live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, 
   but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation
   for our sins." - 1 Jn 4:9-10
Jesus is not only the "propitiation" for our sins, but is available 
for the whole world (1 Jn 2:2).  Have you appropriated this wonderful
offer from God?


Three Stages In The Christian Life (2:12-14)
1. Having charged his readers to observe an "old, yet new" commandment
   to love one another (1 Jn 2:7-11), John takes a moment to
   specifically address various members of his reading audience - 1 Jn
2. This section is rhythmical, almost lyrical, and raises a number of
   questions, such as these listed by Guy N. Woods in his commentary on
   1st John:
   a. Why did John use the present tense, "I write" {grapho}, in the 
      first three clauses, and "I have written" {egrapsa}, epistolary 
      aorist, in the second three?
   b. To what writing does he refer in the first instance?  In the 
   c. What is the meaning of the word "children" in the first clause of
      each of the divisions?
   d. Why did he use the word "teknion" in the first reference to 
      children, and "paidion" in the second?
   e. In what sense is the reference to "fathers, children, young men" 
      to be taken, literal or figurative?
3. Many and various answers have been given to these questions; without
   going into detail, I believe the following answers to the above 
   questions have merit...
   a. We have here a simple form of Hebrew parallelism, where the same 
      thing is being said for the sake of emphasis
   b. In both instances, the writing to which John refers is this very 
   c. Unlike 1 Jn 2:1,18,28; 3:7,18; 4:4; 5:21 where "children" appears
      to be a term of endearment for all believers, in 2:12,13 
      "children" seems to refer to a specific class of Christians
   d. Any distinction between "teknion" and "paidion" is likely not 
      significant, since John uses both as terms of endearment in this 
      epistle when speaking of all believers - cf. 1 Jn 2:18 (paidion)
      with 1 Jn 2:28 (teknion)
   e. Taken literally, the terms "fathers, children, young men" would 
      leave out many Christians (old men, old and younger women); 
      therefore, I take the terms to be figurative
4. With this understanding, I believe we find John addressing three 
   basic groups of Christians, who are at different stages in their 
   Christian life
[What we can glean from this section, then, is that there are "Three 
Stages Of The Christian Life", beginning with...]
      1. Both terms used by John normally refer to small infants
         a. teknion {tek-nee'-on} - diminutive of tekna; an infant
         b. paidion {pahee-dee'-on} - neut. diminutive of pais; a
            childling (of either sex), i.e. (prop.) an infant, or (by 
            extens.) a half-grown boy or girl (cf. Mk 5:39-42)
      2. Those who are new Christians, or immature Christians, are thus
         spoken of as "babes in Christ" - cf. 1 Co 3:1; Ga 4:19; He 5:
      3. This can be a difficult time, in which a Christian...
         a. Is still more carnal than spiritual - 1 Co 3:1
         b. Can be a source of anxiety for those trying to lead them 
            along - Ga 4:19
         c. Needs to focus on the "milk" of the Word - He 5:12-13
      1. Because their sins have been forgiven in Christ! - 1 Jn 2:12
         a. Forgiveness is not based upon maturity or perfection
         b. But upon the blood of Jesus, and upon our willingness as 
            Christians to confess our sins - 1 Jn 1:9
      2. Because they have "known the Father" - 1 Jn 2:13
         a. I.e., they have fellowship with the Father, which is John's
            definition of "eternal life" - Jn 17:2-3
         b. They may be "babes", but they have "eternal life" in 
            Christ! - cf. 1 Jn 5:11-12
         c. And John wants them to continue to believe! - 1 Jn 5:13
[When a "babe in Christ" feeds upon the milk of the Word, making good 
use of the cleansing power of the blood of Christ, remaining in 
fellowship with the Father and sharing in "eternal life", it will not 
be long before they enter...]
      1. As explained previously, I take the expression "young men" 
      2. It refers to all, male or female, young or old 
         chronologically, who are "strong in the Lord"
      3. I.e., all "who have overcome the wicked one" - 1 Jn 2:13,14
         a. Not that they are perfect, or without sin - cf. 1 Jn 1:8
         b. But that their faith has had time to be tested, and they 
            have demonstrated that they are truly "born of God" - cf. 
            1 Jn 4:4; 5:4-5
      1. Only as the Word of God "abides" (remains) in them are they 
         strong - 1 Jn 2:14
      2. Even as David saw the value of letting the Word of God abide 
         in his heart - Ps 119:11
      3. For this reason, then, we need to heed the admonition of Peter
         - cf. 1 Pe 2:2
[As one demonstrates time and again that they are strong in the Lord, 
they progress to the final stage of the Christian life...]
      1. Again, I take the term "fathers" figuratively
      2. It likely refers in this passage to Christians, male and 
         female, who have reached the highest stage of the Christian 
      3. The term "fathers" suggests...
         a. They have had experience, having progressed through earlier
            stages of the Christian life (infancy, strength)
         b. They have even produced spiritual offspring, by leading 
            others to Christ - cf. 1 Co 4:14-15
      1. The reference is likely to Jesus, who "was from the beginning"
         - 1 Jn 1:1; Jn 1:1-2
      2. Is there a distinction being made by John?
         a. "Little children" have known "the Father" - 1 Jn 2:13
         b. "Fathers" have known "the Son" (who was from the beginning)
            - 1 Jn 2:13,14
      3. If so, perhaps it is this:
         a. As babes in Christ, it can be said that even in our infancy
            we can "know" the Father, that is have an intimate 
            relationship with Him and experience the eternal life which
            He gives
         b. But only with time, and with opportunity to "walk just as 
            He walked" (1 Jn 2:6), can it be said that one has truly 
            come to "know" Jesus
            1) Therefore the admonition of Peter to "grow in the...
               knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" - 2 Pe 3:
            2) Which knowledge comes only as we develop the Christ-like
               graces found in 2 Pe 1:5-8
1. The Christian life has much in harmony with physical life...
   a. There are definite stages in life
   b. Only through "growth" does one pass from one stage to the other
   c. But when growth does not occur, that is a sign of a serious 
2. There is a major difference, however...
   a. Physical growth usually occurs without much effort on our part
   b. Such is not the case with spiritual growth!
3. These verses that have served as the basis of our text, while they 
   are difficult in many respects, they ought to clearly impress upon 
   our minds several truths:
   a. There are different stages in the Christian life
   b. In each stage there are blessings to be enjoyed
   c. But little children need to become young men, and young men need
      to become fathers
May God grant us the grace needed to grow as we should, and enjoy the
full blessings in each stage of the Christian life!


Love Not The World! (2:15-17)
1. We have seen that fellowship with God requires that there is no room
   for hatred in our heart toward our brother:
   "He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in
   darkness until now."  (1 Jn 2:9)
2. But there is one sense in which we are not to have love at all!
   "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."  (1 Jn 2:15)
3. A very simple imperative is therefore given to us:  "Love not the 
   a. But do we understand the meaning of this command?
   b. Do we appreciate the importance of this command?
4. In this study, I hope to...
   a. Shed some LIGHT on what John is saying
   b. Provide some MOTIVATION to seriously heed what he commands in 
      this passage
[Let's begin by answering the question "Why should Christians not love 
the world?"]
      1. It is NOT the "physical world"
         a. I.e., God's creation - Gen 1:1
         b. For it is "very good" - Gen 1:31
      2. It is NOT the "human world"
         a. I.e., mankind
         b. Indeed, God Himself loves the world of men - Jn 3:16
      3. RATHER, it is the world of "sin", the world of "evil"!
         a. I.e., the "sphere" in which sin, evil, and Satan dominates
         b. Just as the phrase "the world of sports" describes the 
            domain in which sports dominates, so this "world" is one in
            which sin dominates
      1. "The lust of the flesh"
         a. This phrase refers to unbridled desires of the flesh - cf. 
            Ga 5:19-21
         b. Note that these desire can be expressed both:
            1) Sexually (fornication, adultery, licentiousness)
            2) Socially (hatred, contentions, jealousies)
      2. "The lust of the eyes"
         a. This refers to the unlawful longing for things which we can
         b. It can be summed up in one word:  "covetousness"
         c. A modern day expression could be "materialism"
         d. How serious is this?  Consider Ep 5:5-7; Co 3:5-7
      3. "The pride of life"
         a. This would include pride based upon such things as:
            1) Age
            2) Experience
            3) Ancestry
            4) Past accomplishments
            5) Money, position, power
         b. The folly of trusting in such things is seen in 1 Co 1:
      1. Each of these three things often strike harder at different 
         times in our life:
         a. The YOUNG are most often affected by the "lust of the 
         b. The MIDDLE-AGED are usually afflicted by the "lust of the 
         c. The AGED are likely to be plagued with the "pride of life"
      2. There seems to be a tendency to consider one more serious than
         the others
         a. We seem more concerned about sins involving the "lust of 
            the flesh" than sins in the other categories
            1) E.g., which is worse, fornication or covetousness?
            2) E.g., which do we consider more serious, adultery or 
         b. If we are not careful...
            1) While fighting strong against immorality...
            2) ...materialism and pride may "sneak in" the back door!
[Whether it be immorality, materialism or pride, it is still part of 
the "world" we are not to love!
But why?  We have noticed other passages which say why we shouldn't 
(cf. Ga 5:19-21), but in our text John gives another reason...]
      1. "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in 
         a. I understand "the love of the Father" means "love for the 
         b. Instead of "the Father's love for us", for He loves us even
            as sinners - Ro 5:8
      2. John is not the only person to say that if we love the world,
         we cannot love God:
         a. James taught that "friendship with the world is enmity with
            God" - Ja 4:4
         b. Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters - Mt 6:24
      3. Our sinful pride may rebel against this thought, but we simply
         are not able to love the world and God at the same time!
      1. What does it really mean for me to love the Father?
      2. According to John, it means that I keep His commandments - cf.
         1 Jn 5:3
      3. To this Jesus agrees - Jn 14:15,21; 15:10
      1. E.g., if you are driven by "the lust of the flesh"...
         a. To commit fornication, adultery, etc.
         b. Then you can't keep God's command not to defraud your 
            brother - cf. 1 Th 4:3-6
      2. E.g., if you are overcome by "lust of the eyes"...
         a. So that you always want more, and to hold on to what you 
         b. Then you won't keep God's command to help the needy - cf. 
            1 Jn 3:16-17
      3. E.g., if you are filled with "the pride of life"...
         a. So that you consider yourself more important than others
         b. You will not be able to keep the command to imitate Christ
            - cf. Ph 2:3-5
[So it is impossible to faithfully serve God and Jesus, thereby showing
our love for them, if we allow ourselves to "love the world"!  But John
gives us another reason why we should not "love the world"...]
      1. This is true in regards to our individual lives - cf. 1 Pe 1:
         24; Ja 4:13-14
      2. It is also true concerning everything that we leave behind - 
         cf. 2 Pe 3:10
      1. This is because he will be blessed to enter the heavenly 
         kingdom - Mt 7:21
      2. Even his "works" will follow with him - Re 14:13
1. Isn't this what we all want?  To one day hear these wonderful 
   "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over 
   a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter 
   into the joy of your lord."  (Mt 25:21)
2. Even if we could gain the whole world in this lifetime...
   a. Is it worth it? - cf. Mt 16:26
   b. Yet most people are selling their soul to the devil and this 
      world for a whole lot less!
3. Let's give serious heed to John's admonition, and make sure that our
   affection is in the right place:  loving the Father by keeping His 
Are you keeping the commandments of God? - cf. Mt 28:18-20


Beware Of Antichrists! (2:18-27)
1. With a term of endearment ("little children") that is a favorite of
   John's, he now proceeds to warn them about a problem that was very 
   real in his day...
   "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that 
   the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by 
   which we know that it is the last hour."  (1 Jn 2:18)
2. John is the only writer of the New Testament who uses the term 
   "antichrist", and he uses the term just five times:
   a. Twice here in 1 Jn 2:18 ("antichrist is coming...many 
      antichrists have come")
   b. Again in 1 Jn 2:22 ("He is antichrist who denies...")
   c. Also in 1 Jn 4:3 ("this is the spirit of the antichrist...")
   d. And in 2 Jn 7 ("a deceiver and an antichrist.")
3. The term is commonly used today by many to refer to one individual 
   ("The Antichrist"), who is supposed to appear in the "end times"...
   a. I.e., some actual person who will arise in the religio-political 
      arena and lead many people astray just before Christ comes again
   b. This view is held by pre-millenialists and many amillenialists as
   c. A connection is usually made to the "man of sin" described by 
      Paul in 2 Th 2:1-11, and that John possibly has reference to 
      the same individual
4. Whether or not that is so, it is evident that John was more 
   concerned about "antichrists" who have already come; and so we might
   a. Who were these "antichrists"?
   b. How were the Christians to avoid being misled by them?
   c. How can we avoid being misled by antichrists today (whether it be
      one or many)?
[Let's begin by...]
      1. In John's day...
         a. They were individuals who had associated with the apostles
             and other Christians
         b. But they had gone out on their own, and were no longer in 
            fellowship with the apostles
         c. Thus it became manifest that they were not "of us" 
            (approved by the apostles)
         d. Later, John describes the "the spirit of the antichrist" as
            that which does not hear the apostles (i.e., respect 
            apostolic authority) - cf. 1 Jn 4:3-6
      2. In our day...
         a. Many "antichrists" behave the same way
            1) They may start out acting like they respect apostolic 
               authority, and seek to be with Christians
            2) But eventually their true nature comes out and they will
               not want to be with those who respect apostolic 
               authority very long
         b. So a sign of "antichrists" is their attitude toward the 
            "apostles' doctrine" (i.e., the Scriptures)
         c. Those who reject the apostles, reject Christ himself (cf. 
            Jn 13:20), and are thus "antiChrist"!
      1. In John's day...
         a. They denied that Jesus is the Christ - cf. 1 Jn 2:22a
            1) Many Gnostics alleged that Jesus and Christ were two 
               different persons
               a) That Christ merely appeared to have flesh, but in 
                  reality did not
               b) Or that the Christ descended upon Jesus at His 
                  baptism and departed at the time of His suffering
            2) It is this denial that Jesus Christ came in the flesh 
               that John identifies as the spirit of the antichrist
               - 1 Jn 4:3-4
         b. They denied the Father and the Son - cf. 1 Jn 2:22b-23
            1) By denying that Jesus is the Christ, they were denying 
               the Son (i.e., He who was "begotten of the Father" and 
               who became flesh)! - cf. Jn 1:14
            2) By denying the Son, they were in essence also denying 
               the Father! - cf. Jn 13:20
      2. Today, an "antichrist" would be one...
         a. Who denies Jesus to be the Messiah
         b. Who denies the nature of Jesus (that He was fully God and 
            fully man)
[Those who deny apostolic authority, and especially their teaching 
about the nature of Jesus Christ, manifest the spirit of "antichrist". 
How can we guard against being misled by modern-day "antichrists"?]
      1. Were reminded of their "anointing" - 1 Jn 2:20-21, 27
         a. This "anointing from the Holy One"...
            1) Enabled them to "know all things"
            2) Enabled them "not to need that anyone teach you"
         b. I understand it to be a reference to the "gifts of the 
            1) Which in New Testament times served to provide both 
               REVELATION and CONFIRMATION of the truth for the early 
            2) So that they could have identified the "antichrists" 
               without John's help
      2. Despite having this "anointing", they needed to be encouraged 
         to continue in what they had learned (from the Spirit) - 1 Jn
         a. Having the "gifts of the Spirit" did not keep them from 
            sinning, or being misled - 1 Jn 2:26
         b. Only by heeding that which they had heard from the 
            beginning would they continue to abide in the Son and in 
            the Father, and receive the promise of eternal life!
      1. We don't have the "anointing" like John's readers did...
         a. Though many people today do misapply this verse to teach 
            that we can have some "anointing" from God
         b. But if we did, then we would not need the Scriptures (cf. 
            1 Jn 2:20,27), and only the self-deceived would make such
            a claim today!
      2. However, we have something just as good!
         a. That is, the Word of God, which is the "sword of the 
            Spirit" - cf. Ep 6:17
         b. We have "the faith once delivered unto the saints" - cf. 
            Ju 3
         c. I.e., an objective standard by which we can know the truth,
            and avoid being misled by subjective feelings that can be 
            mistaken for some sort of prompting of the Spirit
         d. With the Scriptures, we have all we need to know God's will
            - cf. 2 Ti 3:16-17
      3. But like John's readers, we need to be encouraged to continue
         in what we have learned from the Spirit-given Word...
         a. Having the Word of God does not ensure that we won't be 
            misled by others
         b. For unless we study and apply the Word, we are open to 
            deceptions by modern-day "antichrists"!
1. "Antichrists" are a very real problem for us today:
   a. For while there may not be many professing Christians who deny 
      Jesus is the Christ, or that He came in the flesh...
   b. ...there are many who reject the authority of the apostles by the
      manner in which they disregard the Scriptures!
   c. The solution then...remains the same for us:
      "Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the 
      beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in 
      you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father." (1 Jn 
2. As an impetus to heed the words of John, remember what he said was 
   the significance of these "antichrists":  "...by which we know it is
   the last hour"
   a. John knew that in the scheme of God's redemption Jesus could 
      return at any time!
   b. The fact that it has been 1900 years since John penned these 
      words does not detract from their truthfulness (for chronological
      time is meaningless to God - cf. 2 Pe 3:8-9)
   c. We are living, therefore, in "the last hour", and Christ may come
      in judgment at any time!
Are we ready for His coming?


Having Confidence At Christ's Coming (2:28-29)
1. The time is coming when we shall have to stand before the judgment 
   seat of Christ
   a. God has ordained Christ to be the judge of the world - Jn 5:22, 
      26-27; Ac 17;30-31
   b. Therefore we must all appear before Christ - 2 Co 5:10
2. Many people, if they think of the Day of Judgment at all, do so with
   great apprehension
   a. For some, it is probably for good reason they fear that Day, for 
      they know their lives are not right with God
   b. But there are some who fear the coming of that Day, who really 
      shouldn't, but can look forward to that day knowing they will 
      stand before Him with great boldness!
3. Indeed, John wrote his first epistle with the desire to help his 
   readers understand that they can have confidence before the Lord 
   when He comes...
   "And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, 
   we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His 
   coming."  (1 Jn 2:28)
4. In this study, I would like for us to take a close look at...
   a. John's goal for his "little children"
   b. John's solution for obtaining this goal
[We begin, then, by determining...]
      1. The word for "confidence" is parrhesia, {par-rhay-see'-ah}
         a. It means "all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, 
            publicity; by impl. assurance:--bold, confidence"
         b. It is used elsewhere to describe:
            1) The boldness of Peter and John before the council - Ac 
            2) The boldness of Paul's preaching - Ac 9:27
      2. Even now, in Christ we can have...
         a. "...boldness and access with confidence" to God - Ep 3:12
         b. Bold access to the throne of God for mercy and grace to 
            help - He 4:14-16
      3. Therefore it is John's goal that we have the same sort of 
         "boldness" and "confidence" at Christ's appearing that we have
         a. Just as we can now boldly approach God's throne of grace...
         b. ...so we can then stand with confidence before Christ's 
            throne of judgment!
      1. The word here is aischunomai {ahee-skhoo'-nom-ahee}
         a. Which is from aischos (disfigurement, i.e. disgrace); to 
            feel shame (for oneself):--be ashamed
         b. It is used to describe the unjust steward's attitude toward
            begging - Lk 16:3
      2. To be "ashamed", then, is the opposite of having "boldness" 
         and "confidence"
      3. John does not want us to be ashamed of ourselves when Christ 
         comes again!
[To stand before Jesus at His coming, with confidence and no shame, 
that is John's goal for his "little children"!  Is that not the goal 
for ourselves as well?
How can we be sure that will be true of us?  Consider...]
      1. Here is the key to having "confidence" at Christ's appearing
      2. This is the answer if we do not want to be "ashamed" at His 
      -- But how does one "abide in Christ"?
      1. Involves letting His Word abide in us
         a. As John stated earlier - 1 Jn 2:24
         b. And as explained by Jesus Himself - Jn 14:21,23; 15:10
      2. Letting His Word abide in us therefore involves two important 
         a. That we "know" His Word
         b. That we "keep" His Word
      3. I am persuaded that the lack of confidence many Christians 
         have is the result of not "knowing" the words of Jesus...
         a. It is akin to the apprehension many feel before taking a 
            1) Not having properly studied the material, naturally they
               don't know it very well
            2) Whereas one who has mastered the material has confidence
               going into the test
         b. When brethren do not read and study God's word, the Bible, 
            it is understandable why they would be apprehensive about 
            being judged by it!
         c. But the solution to not knowing God's Word, and those of 
            His Son, is a simple one:  READ!
      4. It is not enough, though, to "know", we must also "keep" His 
         a. We must be "doers" of the Word - cf. Mt 7:21, 24-27
         b. Only the one who "practices righteousness" is truly born of
            God and abiding in Jesus - cf. 1 Jn 2:29
         c. But if you know what Jesus has actually taught, it is not 
            that "hard" to do what He says! - cf. 1 Jn 5:3
         d. Add to this the promise of the cleansing power of Jesus' 
            blood when we sin (1 Jn 1:9), we have every reason to 
            have "confidence"!
1. The story is told about a conversation between two little boys...
   One of the boys noticed that the other's grandmother spent a lot of
   time reading her Bible.  "Why does she read the Bible so much?" the
   boy asked his friend.  The other boy replied, "She is cramming for 
   her final exam!"
2. The more we "know", and the more we "keep" the words of our Lord, 
   the greater our confidence that we shall stand before our Lord on 
   that great Day of Judgment with all boldness!
3. As John says, "Abide in Him," which we have seen occurs when we 
   follow his earlier admonition:
   "Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the 
   beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you,
   you also will abide in the Son and in the Father."  (1 Jn 2:24)
Are you letting the Word of God abide in you, so that you are truly 
abiding in the Son and in the Father?

--《Executable Outlines


The protection of spiritual fellowship

One defender

Jesus the righteous


I.  Fellowship based on righteousness

1.    Obey commands

2.    Love for God is complete

3.    Walk as Jesus did

II.Fellowship based on love

1.    Love one another

2.    To three different levels of spiritual maturity

3.    Do not love the world

III.       Fellowship based on faith

1.    Watch out heresies

2.    Receive an anointment

3.    Remain in the Lord

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament


Grades in God’s Family

Little children—Greek ‘Teknia’—John’s term of endearment for all in God’s family; occurs in 2.12, 28; 3.1, 7, 10—God’s bairns

Little children—Greek ‘Paidia—babes, infants

Sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake (2.12)—True of all born of God

Looking for Christ’s coming (2.28)—true of all born of God

I. Two Orders in the New Testament—

   1. Order of Grace—from the least to the greatest: e.g. Luke 15

   2. Order of Responsibility—from the greatest to the least: e.g. John 8.9; 1 John 2

II. Three Grades—

   1. Fathers—Paul would call them the elders in the assembly; Peter calls them shepherds of the flock; John calls them fathers in the family

         (1) The ‘have known Him that is from the beginning’ (2.13~14)

         (2) Life in Maturity—the Fruit of Experience

   2. Young men—‘ye have overcome’ (2.13~17)

         (1) Life in Activity—the Prize of Strength

         (2) The Danger—the world and the things of the world

   3. Babes—‘Ye have know the Father’ (2.18~27)

         (1) Life in Enjoyment—the Sense of Relationship

         (2) The Danger—Antichrist and false doctrine

         (3) But they have God’s provision—the Anointing, the Holy Ghost

── Archibald NaismithOutlines for Sermons