Today marks getting to verse 10 as well as finishing chapter 1. If you have been memorizing, you now probably have the first few verses down pretty well and don’t need to recite those verses every day. However, if you don’t keep reciting them regularly over a long duration, no matter how well you think you have them down now, you won’t have them as fixed in your memory as well as you would like and the whole effort, while at least getting you familiar with the verses, is not meeting the goal of having instant recall.
The next step is to drop a verse from your daily recitation as new verses are added so that you will always have ten verses in a day that you are working on recalling. But, you need to continue to recite all the verses you have learned at least three days a week for now. When we get to a higher number of total verses, you will recite a set on different days of the week. For now, until we get to 2:10, recite all the verses on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Work on the most recent ten verses every day.
At the start of each new day, there will be a reminder of which verses you need to recite for that day to help you keep track. To give you an idea of how this will work, today (Saturday) you will do all ten verses of chapter 1. Sunday you will do 1:2-2:1; Monday, 1:3-2:2; and then on Tuesday recite 1:1-2:2 prior to working on 2:3. Then on Wednesday you will do 1:5-2:4, and Thursday 1:1-2:5. And so on. You can see why there will be something at the beginning of each day help you keep track. If all goes as planned, we should be completing 1 John on September 11, but we will continue reviewing portions of it for the next month to ensure we have it and then have a plan on how to continue refreshing over time.
If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.(ESV)
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (KJV)
Greek: ἐὰν εἴπωμεν ὅτι οὐχ ἡμαρτήκαμεν, ψεύστην ποιοῦμεν αὐτὸν καὶ ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἡμῖν.
Transliterated Greek: ean eipōmen hoti ouch hēmartēkamen, pseustēn poioumen auton kai ho logos autou ouk estin en hēmin.
Literal Word for Word Translation: if we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.
Vocab: ἡμαρτήκαμεν, hēmartēkamen, we have sinned; οὐχ, ouch, not; ψεύστην, pseustēn, liar; λόγος, logos, word.
Commentary: In verse 8, John was countering the Gnostic claim that they had no sin. Some might claim they were saying they have no sin in that it had no effect on them at all. However, in Romans 6 Paul explains how those in Christ are dead to sin (Rom 6:6-11). But he also says to not let it reign (Rom 6:12). He doesn’t say it is not existent and not still dwelling in the body (Rom 6:12-14).
Now in verse 10, John is countering their claim that they have not sinned. It seems John is repeating Himself, but he is covering all of the nuances. It is a little different say you have no sin and to say you have not sinned. In Romans 3 Paul states, 21 But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed —attested by the Law and the Prophets 22—that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. So any claim that one has not sinned is contrary to God’s Word as spoken through Paul and through the many prophets before him, thus making God out to be a liar if the Gnostics were right. However, God does not lie (1 Sam 15:29; Titus 1:2), so anyone claiming to have not sinned does not know the word of God, which further means it is not in him guiding his beliefs and life.
Chapter 1 of 1 John was an introduction countering Gnostic claims. The word became flesh and was a physical person that John and others heard, saw, and touched. He noted that sin was a reality that cannot be denied by anyone who knows God. And it is Jesus, the life made manifest, who cleanses us of such sin. Chapter 2 will now move to being more personal to believers – a reminder of what they have in knowing Christ, and what their lives should look like.