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:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
-In verse one John asks us not to sin. But, because we are all sinners, he says that when we do have a sin, we have someone to stand up for us, which is Jesus Christ the righteous. The way I think about it is like this: When we die or are taken by the rapture, we will be judged. God is the judge, and Jesus is our defense attorney. Jesus died for our sins so that we would not have to suffer eternally for them, and when we accept Jesus, we then come under his protection, and our sins are wiped away. (By the way, some people say that we are given “A license to sin,” because we believe that when we accept Jesus our sins are wiped away. Just because our sins will be wiped away and the slate becomes clean, does not mean that we should not still try to live by God’s word and not sin. The Bible speaks to us about rewards in heaven. When we get to heaven God is going to have things for us to do for him. What kind of lives we lead in heaven and then during the thousand year reign of Christ and afterwards depends on what kind of lives we lead today. Also, becoming saved, there is a change that takes place in you. A Christian should want to please God. As we will discuss later, actions speak louder than words. And we will want to please God by our actions, and to do this, we will want to please him hopefully, by trying to not sin, and by trying to repent of our sins.
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
- By keeping God’s commandments, John again tells us that we have fellowship with him. Verse four speaks for itself telling us that if we say we know God, but don’t at least try to keep his commandments, we are liars. Now verse four also says that He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. In the gospel of John, verse 14:6 tells us that; “Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” …the truth is not in him… does not only mean that the person is a liar, but it also means that God is not in him. When we accept Jesus as our Savior we become a part of him, and he a part of us, but if we don’t keep God’s commandments and lie about it, we know that Jesus (God) is not in us, meaning we are also not in him! If we stop to think about this for a moment… many people say they are saved, and have the Spirit of God in them… but how can they be saved if they are walking around sinning or doing evil things all the time! This is that change we just discussed. When the Holy Ghost comes into you, a change takes place… a change has to take place. This is what keeps us from doing evil. As discussed before, we are sinners… our flesh will always sin, and by accepting Jesus, our souls go on to heaven, because our souls are wiped clean from sin even though our flesh keeps on sinning day after day. But, those who do not accept Jesus, their flesh and their souls sin. We know that God isn’t going to allow sin into heaven. When we are saved, there is a sort of spiritual circumcision that takes place, where our bodies and our souls are separated, so that even though our flesh continues to sin, our souls do not, and our souls will go to heaven.
I like verse six a lot. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Many of those people who say they believe in Jesus and God don’t act like it. This verse here tells us that we need to do as Jesus did. 1Peter 2:21 tells us: Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. Christ loved all men, even his enemies. Christ prayed for those that crucified him as he was hanging up on the cross in pain with nails through his hands and feet, telling God that they didn’t know what they were doing, and asking him to forgive them. Jesus loved us an awful lot to die for our sins, even though he didn’t know us. If Jesus could love every man, we can too. It’s hard sometimes, but we need to stick with it. Most things in life shouldn’t come easily. I can’t remember who, but someone once told me, that if things are coming too easily, we are doing something wrong.
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.
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.
- Before Jesus came and died on the cross for us, we were in darkness. Jesus is the true light, and after he died on the cross for us, the true light now shineth. Without Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for our sins, we would still be in a time of darkness and despair.
9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
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.
- In verses 9-11 John begins to speak to us about love, which is the main undertone to this epistle. We have already established that light not only represents Good, but also Jesus who is completely good and has no evil in him. Verse nine tells us that if we say we are in Jesus (if we say we are saved), and hate our brother (not only our relatives, but our brother being other humans in general, whether we know them or not), we are in darkness, meaning we are not in Jesus who is light. Verse 10 says that if you love your brother, you live in light (or live in Jesus), and that for those that live in light there is none occasion of stumbling in him. When John talks about stumbling, he talks about people straying away from what God wants us to do. The Webster’s 1828 dictionary gives us the definition of doing something in error or sliding into crime for the word stumble. It also gives the definition of failure for the word stumble. When we stumble and stray away from the Word of God, we are failing God. One example of somebody stumbling would be from a person living a good life to going to a life of crime because they started hanging out with a bad crowd… that crowd would cause the otherwise good person to stumble. When we love our brother, and abide in light by doing so, verse 10 says that we won’t stumble. In verse 11 John tells us that if you hate your brother, you are not only sitting there in darkness, but you are walking in darkness (probably doing bad things), and that you’re lost because that darkness has blinded you to what is good. [he] knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. People that go around hating everybody, and hating life, are oblivious to all of the good things going on around them. To these same people, the thought of doing the right thing doesn’t even cross their mind when they have a choice of right or wrong, good or bad, light or dark.
12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
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.
14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
- In verses 12-14 I believe that John is speaking to the different levels of people in their faith, little children being those new Christians, young men being not new Christians, but not necessarily Christians with a lot of knowledge about the Word, and fathers being those who have been faithful believers for a long time, and perhaps have a greater knowledge of the Word. John tells the new believers that our sins are forgiven us because of Jesus. He tells the young men that they have overcome the wicked one that wicked one probably being the devil, and if not the devil, than all those that do evil. When we accept Christ as our Saviour we overcome all evil, because Christ then abides (lives or resides) in us, and we in him, and in him is no evil at all (or no darkness).
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.
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.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
- John tells us not to love the world or the things in the world (those things being our worldly possessions, such as our TV sets and DVD’s and books and clothes, our cars and our music CD’s… he also tells us that if we love these things that are of the world, the love of God is not in us, because God is not of the world as these worldly possessions are. The things that are of the world also include lust of the flesh, and lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. God doesn’t value pride. We need to realize that all of these things we have are because of God. God provides these things for us. God provides us with the jobs that we work so that we can buy these things, or he provides the people that give you certain things as gifts… either way, you have to give God the glory. Most people don’t. They value their possessions over all else. Some people define themselves based on how expensive their car is, or how popular their clothes are. Adam and Eve came into this world naked, with nothing but the love of God, and God provided them with everything they needed, even clothes. Verse 17 says: And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. We know that eventually the world as we know it will no longer be here, and everything that we own will burn up or disintegrate… but, those that do the will of God (live as God wishes us to) will live forever. God promised us eternal life, and provided it for us by giving his son Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. If we do as God wishes us to (accepting Jesus as our Savior), we will live forever, even though our houses and cars and everything else we own will have perished. Accepting Jesus as our Saviour and living for him we have eternal life.
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.
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.
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
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.
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
-Verses 18-22 lays out clearly the definition of the antichrist for us. John tells us that the antichrist is (he who denies Jesus as the Christ (Christ being the Son of God)). John tells us that there are many antichrists gone out into the world, who started just like the rest of us, but because they were different left us and went their own way. John tells us here that we have an unction from the Holy One, unction meaning anointed, and the Holy One being God. We become God’s anointed once we accept Jesus, and then know all things. God gives us the truth and the answers to all things in the Bible, which is his infallible Word. John writes to us not because we don’t know the truth, but because we do know it, and we know that a lie is not the truth. He calls the antichrist a liar because he denies Jesus as God’s son, and God has already given us his testimony that Jesus is his son all throughout the Bible, the Bible being his Word.
23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
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.
25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
- If we deny Jesus as the Son, we don’t have the Father (God) in us, because we are then denying God, especially since God has given us his testimony that Jesus is his son. When we deny Jesus we call God a liar and so deny him. I think that verse 24 is really cool personally. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. Many people will teach that you can lose your salvation if you do too many bad things. Verse 24 however says that you cannot lose your salvation that Jesus has given you by dying for you. If what we know about Jesus (that which we have heard from the beginning) remains in us (if we know that Jesus is the son of God in our heart and accept that he died for us in our heart), we can never lose our salvation, because ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. It says nothing about sinning too much. Again we are told here in verse 25 that this promise of eternal salvation (that salvation that we have just shown we cannot lose), is what God has promised us, even eternal life (eternal meaning, forever). When we become saved God is fulfilling his promise of eternal life to us. God’s offer of eternal life is to everybody, but he will only give eternal life to those that accept Jesus.
26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
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.
- Verse 26 is talking about the antichrist when it says them tat seduce you, because the antichrist will try to seduce you, or lead you to do evil as he or she would do evil. It is easy to be deceived in this world. All somebody has to do is take one verse out of context, and they can teach anything they want, even if it is against God. For instance, some faiths teach Salvation by works, even though the Bible clearly teaches Salvation by Grace. It doesn’t seem too evil does it? It doesn’t have to seem blatantly evil or wrong to keep you from heaven. It doesn’t matter how many good works you do… the Bible tells us over and over again that good works won’t save you because we will all fall short of the glory of God no matter what we do. The only way to heaven is through Jesus, God’s son, by accepting that he died for our sins to save us and give us eternal life. Verse 27 tells us that the anointing that God has given us stays with us though, and we don’t need to go listen to a man who might lead us astray (most of the time we don’t know who is antichrist or not, because we can’t see into their hearts. They may tell you that they believe in Jesus and are saved, but could easily be lying and lead you astray. The antichrist could be our friends, or parents even, or preacher in our church, we simply don’t know). This anointing that God has given us lives in us, and teaches us all things, and is truth, and is no lie. As we are taught and learn more, we come to have a greater and greater relationship with God as we fellowship with him more, and live in him. It’s not always easy to tell what the right thing to do is, but we always have God’s word to fall back on to tell us what is right and wrong, and God is always there to hear our prayers. It’s ok to pray to God and ask for him to show us the right thing to do, and even though he might not send us a sign like lightning striking down in front of us, he can reveal things to us in our hearts through his Word. 1Corinthians 2:10 says: But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
You know, some of my Christian friends and family look down at me because I don’t go to church a lot. But this is my reason: I don’t feel the need to go to church and have a man tell me what God wants me to do, or how God wants me to live. I read the Bible and take that as my final authority, because the Bible says that I can. If there is a dispute about what I should do in life, all I have to do is go to the Bible. 1Corinthians 14:33 tells us that: God is not the author of confusion… which means that God won’t try to confuse us… he’s not going to say one thing and mean another. The Bible being God’s word, it is then not open to interpretation as many believe, because God isn’t going to write A=B. He won’t tell us 1=1 in one place, and then later on tell us that 1=26. What he says is what he means. Just because I don’t feel the need to go to church where a preacher might lead me in the wrong direction because they may not know the Word, does not mean that I cannot have as good of a relationship with God as those people who do go to church. Usually when I attend church, it is to fellowship with other Christians as God wants us to. I read my Bible often, and I do Bible study with friends as often as I can. I try my hardest to live as God wishes me to, as he has given commandment to me through his Word, the Bible. These things determine my relationship with God, not church. I do not feel that God will be angry with me because I do not attend church. Adam and Eve did not have church to go to, and yet they still had a good relationship with God. We need to study God’s word. Simply going to church does not make you a good Christian if you don’t take the time and make the effort to know God and his word.
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.
29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
- I like verse 28. Here John tells us to live in Christ so that when he comes we can have confidence, and not be ashamed of how we have lived our lives. When the day of judgment comes, I want to be able to stand straight and tall before Christ, and say, “I am unworthy of your love Lord, but I have tried my hardest.” I realize that I am not worthy of the sacrifice that Christ made for us, none of us are, but we all need to try our hardest to do as God tells us we need to. Darkness and evil comes from Satan. Verse 29 lets us know that righteousness comes from Christ. We know that those that do righteousness are from Christ. When it speaks of being born from Christ, it speaks of our rebirth. When we accept Jesus, we become one of God’s children as we were not before, and are reborn, in Christ.
(Chapter 3 here)