1 John 2 Bible study

Living Word Magazine

Chapter 2



Christ the Atonement for our Sins 2: 1 - 2.


2:1  (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 One,


Note that John is writing his letter to Christians, my little children.   His purpose in telling them these things is that they may not sin.   But if anyone should sin we have one who will intercede for us with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, our advocate (support) because He gave Himself for our sins upon the cross (Heb. 9:25-26).


2:2  and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.


It was He, this same Jesus who John has told us is God manifest in the flesh, who gave His own life as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not just for ours but for the whole world (John 3:16-21).


Proof of knowing Christ 3 - 6.


2:3  Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments.


The word know here has the fullest of meanings i.e. to observe, understand, acquainted with (having a good knowledge of).   We cannot know Christ in a detached way we have to know him intimately.    How do we know how much we have come to know Him?  By the extent we keep His teachings.


2:4  The one who says "I have come to know God" and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person.


Whoever says that they know Christ to the extent that the word means but do not walk according to His teachings is a liar and the truth (of the Gospel) is not in him.


2:5  But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him.


But he who treasures His Word in their hearts and therefore fulfils it, the love of God and for God has fully developed.   By this we may be sure that we not only know Him but are in Him.


2:6  The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.


Whoever says that He abides In Christ ought to conduct and live his life as He did.


Light of Love 7 - 11.


2:7-8  Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have already heard. On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.


In an indirect way John is giving a reminder of the old commandment that the Lord gave, he does not actual give it word for word but rather by inference (John 13:34).   Although it is old, given them in the beginning (this does not refer to the beginning of time or of the Law given to Moses (Lev. 19:18) it is always new.   The truth of this commandment is effected in Christ and in those who belong to Him.   As we live out this new commandment, to love one another, so the darkness in our lives disappears as it gives way to the light of Christ's life in us.


2:9-10  The one who says he is in the light but still hates his fellow Christian is still in the darkness. The one who loves his fellow Christian resides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.


Anyone who claims to he is in the light and yet hates his brother is still in darkness. It is he who loves his brother lives in the Light of Christ and there is no reason for him to slip and fall in sin.


2:11  But the one who hates his fellow Christian is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.


But the one who hates his brother is wandering around in spiritual darkness and doesn't know where he is going because the darkness has blinded him to the truth of the teachings of Christ.


Reason's for Writing 12 - 14.


There are various opinions as to who John is addressing in these verses.   Some say that he addresses different age groups, others that it is different stages of spiritual growth.   I would say that he is addresses according to their age in the faith.


2:12  I am writing to you, little children, that your sins have been forgiven because of his name.


He embraces all groups as he endearingly refers to them as, little children.   So he writes to them in the first place because their sins have been forgiven them in the name of Jesus Christ.


2:13  I am writing to you, fathers, that you have known him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, that you have conquered the evil one.


To the fathers, those that are older in the faith, because they have come to know Him who was from the beginning (John 1 - 2) because they had been walking with Him a long time.   To the young men, those not so old in the faith, because they have resisted and overcome the devil (James 4:7).   To those who are young in the faith because they have come to know God as their Father14.   The words to the fathers is a repeat but he adds for the young men, because they are strong with God's Word in their heart and have overcome the devil by His Word as Christ did (Luke 4:8).


Love not the World 15 - 17.


2:14-15  I have written to you, children, that you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers that you have known him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young people that you are strong, and the word of God resides in you, and you have conquered the evil one. 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,


Stop loving this evil world and all the things that it offers.   For when you love these things it shows that the love of the Father is not in you (James 4:4).


2:16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.


All worldly things. the evil desires, greed, the pride that comes with wealth and importance, confidence in one's own resources and abilities are not from God the Father but is from the evil world.


2:17  And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.


This material world will pass away and all the evil things with it but whoever does the will of God will live forever.


The Antichrist and antichrists 18 -23.


2:18  Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. We know from this that it is the last hour.


John writing nearly 2000 years ago refers to it as being the last hour, i.e. before Christ comes again.   The early Christians lived in the expectancy of Christ returning any moment.    Before this happens the Antichrist will be revealed (2 Thess. 2:3).   He warns them here that the Antichrist is coming but there are even now many antichrists, false prophets, and false teachers, agents of the devil seeking to deceive and destroy the work of Christ.   By this we know that it is the end time.


2:19  They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us, because if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But they went out from us to demonstrate that all of them do not belong to us.


These were at one time in the church but they left because they were not true believers, followers of Christ.   Anyone who makes a false profession of salvation will not be able to remain in a church where the Word of God is continually given in fullness and truth.   If they had been then they would have remained.   Their very departure was to make it clear that they were not true believers.


2:20-21  Nevertheless you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you that you do not know the truth, but that you do know it, and that no lie is of the truth.


However those who are true have been anointing by Christ and know the truth and that is why John has written to them.   They also know the truth from a lie and that no deception is of the Truth.


2:22  Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son.


A liar is he who denies that Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One of God.   He is an antichrist who refuses to acknowledge the Father and the Son.


2:23  Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. The person who confesses the Son has the Father also.


No one who denies the Lord Jesus Christ can have the Father for whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.   They cannot be separated Father, Son and Holy Ghost.   You cannot believe on the one without the others for they are one.


Hold fast to the Truth 24 -29.


2:24-25  As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. Now this is the promise that he himself made to us: eternal life.


Therefore we need to keep in our hearts the things that we have received from the beginning of our salvation that we might remain in Christ and the Father.   For He Himself has promised us eternal life.


2:26  These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you.


The things that John has written with reference to those who will try to deceive and lead astray.


2:27  Now as for you, the anointing that you received from him resides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as it has taught you, you reside in him.


The anointing which true believers receive is from Christ.   Christ is our teacher and He imparts His Word of Truth to us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit through the Ministry Gifts and Gifts of the Holy Spirit.   This anointing which we receive from Christ bears witness to the Truth so there is no excuse why any should be taken in by the antichrists.


2:28  And now, little children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back.


John concludes this chapter with an exhortation to remain in Christ so that when He comes we may have and enjoy perfect confidence and not be ashamed before Him.


2:29  If you know that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been fathered by him.


If we know that Christ is righteous i.e. conforms to the Fathers will in purpose, thought and action, we can be sure that everyone who practices righteousness is born of God.

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