Fellowship with God: Confidence in Christ, Lesson 4

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)

 

In this, our fourth lesson, we will slow down a bit to consider the foundational doctrines of our faith which John here sets before us. But first, let’s orient ourselves to what has already been taught, what will yet be taught, and what this passage is not teaching. Simon Kistemaker opens his commentary on 1 John 2:1-2 by observing:

Except for Jesus, there is no one who is sinless. Even if we know God’s law and precepts, we still stumble and sin from time to time. What remedy is there for the person who has fallen into sin? John provides the answer by pointing to Jesus Christ, who is our helper.[1]

We need to keep this comforting reminder at hand because John, with pastoral affection together with apostolic authority, will spend much of this epistle encouraging believers not to sin in terms that, at first blush, are rather challenging. The vast testimony of Scripture assures us that those who are in Christ have been freed from bondage to sin—sin is no longer our master—and yet, we will battle with indwelling sin and temptations from the world and the devil until the moment we pass into glory. So, take heart, dear one, when (not if) you sin, God has provided a means for our cleansing, His own Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, as John will unfold for us in this passage of his epistle. Continue reading “Fellowship with God: Confidence in Christ, Lesson 4”