1 John 2:1-17
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2
John has already made it clear in the first chapter of his book that we cannot become sinless. However, his desire would be for us to become sinless. But we have an advocate that goes before us to the Father, that even in our sin, we can be made righteous in Jesus. He is the propitiation for our sin. Propitiation is the act of gaining or regaining favor or goodwill of someone. Jesus gains favor with the Father for us.
“but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 John 2:5
If you are truly saved by Him you will do your best to walk with Him and the “way in which he walked.” If you are doing your best to keep his word, then the love of God will flow through you.
“Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.” 1 John 2:7-8
I think what John is trying to say here is I am telling you what you already know. You have known this since the beginning, it is the old commandment to love your brothers, you have heard it all before. But I am giving it to you as a new commandment so that you will sit up and take a listen because there is a present darkness in the world but we are to be the light that we already know how to be. Our light for Jesus has already been shining and the world is trying to snuff it out. But the true light will continue to shine even in the darkness. If we buy into the world and how the world behaves we will begin to hate our brother and our fellow man and when we do that we are walking in the same darkness as our fellow man. But if we continue to love and to be a light then we will not stumble.
“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 1 John 2:9-11
Oh I don’t want the darkness to blind my eyes to love for my fellow man. It can be so hard to be in this world and not to be of this world. But that is exactly what Jesus told us to do. (John 17:14-18) Jesus was praying for us to the Father that He protect us from the world, not that we would be taken out but that we would know how to live in it and how to shine His light.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and desires of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
Friends the bottom line is this, when you belong to the Father through Jesus, you can’t love the things of the world. I heard it put this way, “it’s not that we will not sin, but our relationship to sin will be changed.” We will not love the sins that we once did. If you have ever seen anyone do a complete 180 turn from a sinful lifestyle, chances are they have had a true encounter with Jesus! It can be an exciting thing to watch. But that does not mean that the darkness is not still surrounding us. It is trying to get at us, to pull us in and make us hate and make us angry and make us lash out. It is so hard some days. But that is why abiding in Him is so important. If you are abiding in Him it is so much easier to shine your light!