I John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
John was writing to saints in the first century. He was directed by God in his writing. He was addressing his recipients as “little children”. John was writing the words of God. Those who are saved are all little children in the presence of God. We are dependent upon Him and we need His wisdom in all things. We can never come to the place where we can become independent.
As a church, we call ourselves an Independent Baptist Church. We are dependent upon God for all things. Jesus Christ is the Head of this church. Our work here is dependent upon His leadership. We have the Word of God and that must be our final authority in all things. That is liberating. I am called to preach the Word in season and out of season.
In our text, John is writing the Words of God and God does not want His children to sin. We have seen that already in chapter 1. God has provided the means for His children not to sin. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses the repentant sinner and makes that person a new creature.
We know from verse 1 here, that God does not want His children to sin. Since that is the case, we know that He also provides the means to avoid sinning and the means to be forgiven when we sin. God does not expect us to redefine sin to make it seem as though we do not sin. He tells us that we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. An advocate is “an intercessor”. It is someone who intercedes for another. Jesus Christ is The One Who Intercedes on behalf of all those who are saved.
Verse 2 tells us why He can do this. He is the propitiation for our sins. He is the “expiator” for our sins. He is the One Who died in our place. He shed His blood to make it possible for us to be forgiven and He is the Only One Who can forgive us of our sin. He is able to forgive the true child of God because He is without sin.
We are reminded here as well that Jesus Christ did not just die for the saved. This is another refutation of Calvinism. Jesus Christ is the propitiation for the whole world. He is the One Who is able to pay for the sins of the whole world. He died for all. He shed His blood for all people. He rose again demonstrating His ability to save all people. God’s salvation is not automatic. The sinner must turn to God in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
In verse 3 we are again reminded that those who are saved will give evidence of their salvation. Keeping God’s commandments is not the means of salvation. That is very clear throughout the Scriptures. There are many false religions that have some type of works that they have added to salvation. Many believe that their form of baptism, which is not baptism, is needed for salvation. Salvation is a free gift of God. As our text clearly states, those who are saved will prove they are saved by keeping God’s commandments. This is not talking of sinless perfection. We have already seen that I John 1 teaches that those who are saved will sin and when they sin, they must confess that sin to God in order to be forgiven and restored to right fellowship with God. Salvation can never be lost. The closeness that God provides for His children can be hindered by unconfessed sin.
Verse 4 again reminds us of the need to be honest. God does not tolerate lying. He has provided all that is needed for His child to live a holy life. He has made provision for forgiveness when His child sins. God’s people need to be different from the world. We can be different. We can know the fulness of joy when we obey our God and Saviour.
We may be able to fool people. We cannot fool God. He knows our hearts. People can only see the exterior. Those who walk humbly can identify the true tree by its fruit. If we do not want to believe God’s Word, we will be deceived quite easily. It does not help the lost person if we pronounce them saved when they are not. We do not have the final say. God has already declared the facts. It does not help for a person to assume they are saved when they are not. We do not compare ourselves with others. God’s Word is our authority. We need to follow what He says. His salvation is available to all. We must remember that it is His salvation. It is His gift to man. He has the right to declare what salvation is. He provides all that is needed to save the lost sinner. Those who want to pretend need to be reminded that this does not work with God.
John the Baptist understood this while he was preaching and baptizing people. The Pharisees came to him to be baptized. He knew their character. He knew their false religion. He demanded to see evidence of repentance before he would baptize them. He was doing them and others a favour. Getting them wet would not help them. They needed to be changed by true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They rejected that and thus they could not be saved.
Jesus Christ wants to present His bride to His Father without spot or wrinkle. He will do that. There will be no pretenders in heaven. There will be those who will be saved though as by fire. As we will see yet, God’s commandments are not grievous. They are not unreasonable. It is a blessing to walk according to God’s way.
Today is the Lord’s Day. God expects His children to be in His house on the Lord’s Day. He makes provision for this to happen. It is easier today to find a good church than it was years ago. With the internet, we can search and find a good church. If you do not have one in your area, get in touch with what seems to be a good church on the internet. Ask some important questions of the pastor. Listen to his preaching. Visit the church. Examine what is said and done according to God’s Word. Be in prayer and ask others to pray with you for God’s direction. If you are saved, the Holy Spirit will help you to make a wise choice for you and your family. Don’t neglect to listen to God on this important matter. You cannot help your lost neighbours and associates if you refuse to obey the God you claim saved you.