1Jn_2:1. My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not.
This is one of the great objects of all that is written by inspiration, — that we may be kept from sin. O child of God, as thou wouldst fear to drink poison, as thou wouldst flee from a serpent, dread sin!
1Jn_2:1. And if any man sin, —
Is it a hopeless case then? Far from it: “If any man sin,” —
1Jn_2:1-3. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
Holiness of life is the best proof that we know God. It matters not how readily we can speak about God, nor how much we suppose that we love him, the great test is, do we keep his commandments? What a heart-searching test this is! How it should humble us before the mercy-seat!
1Jn_2:4-6. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandment, is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
When we try to be, in every respect, what God’s Word tells us we ought to be, then may we know that we are in God; but if we walk carelessly, if we take no account of our actions, but do, after a random fashion, whatever comes into our foolish hearts, then have we no evidence at all that we are in God.
1Jn_2:7. 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. “From the time when Christ first began to preach, or when the gospel was first preached in your ears.”
1Jn_2:8. 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.
That which is new in the gospel, in one sense, is not new in another; for, though John was about to write what he called a new commandment, yet, at the same time, he was writing something which was not novel, something which was not grafted upon the gospel, but which grows naturally out of it, namely, the law of love.
1Jn_2:9. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness, even until now.
God is love, and God is light therefore, love is light, and the light of God is love. Where enmity and hatred are “till in the heart, it is proof positive that the grace of God is not there.
1Jn_2:10-15. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 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. I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 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. 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. 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.
For this sinful world is directly opposed to the Father. You cannot send your heart at the same time in two opposite ways, — towards evil and towards good; you must make a choice between the two.
1Jn_2:16-17. For all that is in the world, the best of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. It ought not, then, to be difficult to make a choice between these fleeting shadows and the everlasting substance.
1Jn_2:18. Little children, it is the last time: —
You may read the passage, “It is the last hour,” as if John wanted to show how late it was, and how soon Christ would come: “It is the last hour:” —
1Jn_2:18. And as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
How much more emphatically John might write this verse if he were writing today!
1Jn_2:19. They went out from us, —
For, alas! many of the antichrists came out of the church; they sprang up from among the followers of Christ: “They went out from us,” —
1Jn_2:19-20. 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. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
“You who know God — and even the little children, the babes in Christ, know the Father, — know all “things; and you will not be led astray and deceived by these antichrists who have gone out into the world”
1Jn_2:21. 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.
The truth is all of a piece, and a lie cannot be a part of the truth. Christ does not teach us a Jesuitical system in which error and falsehood are mixed up with truth; the gospel is all truth, and to those who believe it we may say, “Ye know the truth, and ye also know that no lie is of the truth.”
1Jn_2:22-23. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: —
They who deny the Deity of Christ practically deny the Divine Fatherhood of God. It is not possible for us to understand the rest of truth if we do not believe in Christ, who is the Truth. As the poet says, — “You cannot be right in the rest Unless you think rightly of him.”
1Jn_2:23-28. [But] he that acknowledgeth the son hath the Father also. 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. And that is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 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 in truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, we shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; —
That which is the subject of promise is also the subject of precept; and the precepts of the gospel are given to Christians because, in this way, God keeps his own promise, and so leads me to obey his precepts.
1Jn_2:28-29. That, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
1Jn_3:1-2. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.