1 John 2:1-6 ESV
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
If Anyone Sins
This is one of those passages of Scripture where we can immediately see the importance of these first few verses being understood in their context. So, let’s look at what 1 John teaches about who are God’s “little children.”
We learn in chapter 1 that if we say we have fellowship with God, and that we are in relationship with Jesus Christ, by faith in him, but then we walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin), that we are liars who do not live by the truth. But if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in the light (truth, righteousness), as God is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. And if we agree with God, and we have the same mind as him about our sin, so we have repented of our sin, then we are forgiven our sin.
Then we read in chapter 2 that the way in which we know that we have come to know God/Jesus is IF we keep (obey) his commandments (New Covenant). And if we say, “I know him,” but we are not obeying his commandments, again we are liars, and the truth is not in us, meaning we don’t know God/Jesus. So, the way in which we know that we are in Christ is that if we say we abide in him, we ought to walk as Jesus walked in moral purity, holiness, uprightness, honesty, faithfulness and in integrity.
Then, in chapter 3, we read that everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness, and no one who abides in Christ makes a practice of sinning. It doesn’t mean he never sins, but that he is no longer under the control and bondage and slavery to sin, so he no longer deliberately and habitually keeps committing the same sins. For, if he does, he does not know God. For, it is whoever practices righteousness who is righteous, as God is righteous. For no one born of God makes a practice of sinning.
So, now we need to read 1 John 2:1-2 in that context. First off, his “little children” are those who are obeying his commandments and who are not making sin their practice (habit, addiction) but who are making righteousness their practice. All this is done by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, in the power of God’s Spirit living within the life of the true believer of Jesus Christ. And Paul taught the same thing all throughout his writings. He taught we must forsake our sins and obey our Lord.
Now, if we who fit this description of his “little children” should sin, not habitually, but sometimes, we don’t lose our salvation. We aren’t separated from God on the basis of a singular sin which may happen on occasion, but not as our practice (habit, addiction). And according to 1 John 1, if we walk in the light (truth, righteousness) as God is in the light, and if we are in agreement with God fully about our sin, so we do turn away from the sin to follow Jesus in obedience, then God does forgive and cleanse our sins.
The bottom line in all of this is really that Jesus died for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now honor God with our bodies. And Jesus died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, no longer living under sin’s control.
So, if you are believing that you can “believe” in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and that you are forgiven all your sin (past, present, and future), and that heaven is now guaranteed you when you die regardless of how you live your life from now until then, and that repentance (the forsaking of your sin), obedience to God’s commands, and submission to Christ as Lord are optional or not required at all for salvation and for eternal life with God, then you need to go back and read the Scriptures in context.
The Scriptures are very clear on this subject, and not just in the writings of John, but primarily in the writings of Paul. If we walk (in practice, in conduct) according to the flesh, and in sin, and if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness is not what we practice, and if we are not walking in obedience to our Lord, and if we are not loving our fellow humans, but we are hating them, instead, then we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we confess with our lips or say we believe in our hearts.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
I Pray for Them
An Original Work / June 4, 2013
Based off John 17
“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son
May glorify our God in heav’n.
Father, You granted Him all power
And all authority over men,
That He might give eternal life
To all those whom now
You have given Him.”
“This now then is eternal life:
That they may know You,
Father, and Your Son;
That they may know the only true God,
And Jesus Christ whom the Father sent.
I have brought You the glory by
Finishing the work that You’ve given Me.”
“I have shown You to those whom
You gave to Me out of the world;
They were Yours. You gave them to Me
And they have obeyed Your words
And they accepted them. They knew
That I came from You, and they believed
With certainty, I was sent.”
“Holy Father, I pray for them by the
Power of Your name: Protect them,
So that they may be one as we are,
For they are still living in this world.
I have given them Your word;
Because of Your word, the world
Has hated them.”
“I pray they may have the full measure of
My joy now living within them.
Father, I pray You sanctify them
By Your word; truly Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world,
I send them to tell the world to repent.”