Verse 1 – My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
John addresses the Christians, as an old man. All are liable to sin, but when we do, don’t despair. We have a Father that forgives , Jesus Christ who is eminently righteous Himself.
Verse 2 – And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Christ has already suffered the penalty for our sin, so we can’t be tried for something that has already been paid for. United with Christ, we are safe from punishment.
Verse 3 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
Believe int he Lord Jesus Christ and love one another. True Christian faith results in loving behavior.
Verse 4 – He who says, “I know Him, ” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
The true follower of Christ is a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.
Verse 5 – But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
Do you know people who profess to be Christians, but yet you have a hard time seeing “in what area” they are? What they say and what they do does not line up. John say’s they are a liar. God sees the difference and we do too.
Verse 6 – He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
To walk as Christ today we must follow His teachings and let His life reflect in us which is obedience to the Father.
Verse 7 – Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
Verse 8 – Again, a new commandment I write to you, which things is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
The commandment to love one another is both Old Testament and New Testament teaching. Love should be the unifying force and identifying mark of the Christian. We cannot grow spiritually while hating others. Our growing relationship with God will result in a loving relationship with others.
Verse 9 – He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.
Verse 10 – He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
Does this mean that if I don’t like “some” Christians, that I’m not a true Christian? No, it means we are to treat all Christians with respect and concern with their well-being whether we have that feeling of affection or not toward them. Sometimes we have to look beyond their faults, as others look beyond ours. However, I do realize that there are Christians we just don’t like being around.
Verse 11 – But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
This is not talking about the lost anywhere in these previous verses. It is talking about how we treat our fellow Christian brothers and sisters.
Verse 12 – I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
Verse 13 – I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you little children, because you have known the Father.
Verse 14 – I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him, who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.
John was writing to believers of all ages who had experienced forgiveness through Jesus. As young adults move from victory to victory, they grow in their relationship with Christ. Older Christians, having known Christ for years, have developed the wisdom needed to teach the younger people and start the cycle all over again.
Verse 15 – 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.
Verse 16 – For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.
Some think worldliness is just merely thinking like the world and placing a high value on material things. Worldliness is also internal because it begins with the heart characterized by our attitudes.
By contrast, God values is self-control, a spirit of generosity, and a commitment to humble service. Do our values and priorities in this life reflect the world’s values or God’s.
Verse 17 – And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
So many today live as though the things of this world will always be here. They take no thought of God and His word, that one day all this will be gone. A Christian is to live with eternity in mind.
Verse 18 – Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrist have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
John is talking about the closing dispensation in which the affairs of the world are ultimately wound up. Can we not see this happening in our societies today where people call evil good and good evil. And it is getting worse. Any life-style that someone thinks is right, is pushed on others that follow God. A “phoebe” is used to name call those who don’t believe that way.
There have been and will continue to be many antichrist, thinking they are taking the place of Christ in this world. But when the time comes there will be the Antichrist that will rule the world for a time.
This passage proves that these persons, whatever their pretensions and professions may have been, were never sincere Christians. The same may be said of all who apostatize from the faith, and become teachers of error. They never truly converted; never belonged really to the spiritual church of Christ.
Verse 20 – But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
Verse 21 – I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Verse 22 – Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
John calls all those who do not believe Jesus is the Christ an antichrist and a liar.
There are several religions today that do not believe that God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One! Make sure the church you go to and support believe that Christ is the One true Son of God.
Verse 23 – Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either, he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
Verse 24 – 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.
The gospel that you heard when you were first saved, don’t let a false teacher come in and sway you. There will always be people that will try to alter the basic foundations of the truth, then and today. Jesus Christ is God’s Son and is God and His sacrifice saved us from our sins and it is permanent. No teaching should ever contradict that!
Verse 25 – And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.
Verse 26 – These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.
Verse 27 – But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
In other words: Those who are true Christians will not fall away because there is an anointing on them from God. Stay in God’s word and you will know as soon as you hear something contrary to Scripture, you can reject it.
Verse 28 – And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
Verse 29 – If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
Bottom line; The visible proof of being a Christian is right behavior. Many people do good deeds but don’t have faith in Jesus Christ. Others claim to have faith but rarely produce good deeds. A defect in either faith or right behavior will be cause for shame when Christ returns. Because true faith always results in good deeds, those who claim to have faith and consistently do what is right are true believers. Good deeds do not produce salvation, but they are necessary proof that true faith is actually present! So the question is, “Do I produce what I believe?”