Verses to review today: 1 John 1:2-1:10
New Verse: 1 John 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.(ESV)
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: (KJV)
Greek: Τεκνία μου, ταῦτα γράφω ὑμῖν ἵνα μὴ ἁμάρτητε. καὶ ἐάν τις ἁμάρτῃ, παράκλητον ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν δίκαιον•
Transliterated Greek: Teknia mou, tauta graphō hymin hina mē hamartēte. kai ean tis hamartē, paraklēton echomen pros ton patera Iēsoun Christon dikaion•
Literal Word for Word Translation: My little children, these [things] I am writing to you in order that you may not sin. And if anyone should sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous [one]•
Vocab: Τεκνία, Teknia, little children; γράφω, graphō, I am writing; παράκλητον, paraklēton, helper; δίκαιον, dikaion, righteous (adjective).
Commentary: As John has finished contrasting the truths of the gospel in chapter 1 regarding the Life and Light against what the Gnostics were claiming, he now tells his readers (hearers, as the letter would be read to the congregations) why he is writing to them. He is concerned about them sinning. He has made the point previously that no one is without sin, but as he will point out more later, we should not be in the practice of sinning. Jesus didn’t go to the cross so that we could continue to sin as if it didn’t matter, but so that we could be released from the clutches of sin that keeps us in bondage and destroys us (Rom 6:6-14). If we keep on sinning, we don’t understand God’s hatred of it, what its consequences are – even in this life for a saved person, and why Jesus had to take our punishment due to sin (Isaiah 53:4-6). Jesus’ death is not a free ticket out of hell, but a demonstration of a love that wants to rescue us from hell. Later John will stress that it is only the love of God in us that causes us to love others in a sinless way and to desire to do good.
Nevertheless, John knows that we are not instantly perfect once we come into the light and know Jesus, but that we are continuing to grow in our holiness day by day. As we grow, we still stumble at times and commit acts of sin, especially during our weak times. So he makes the point that we have an advocate, a helper, at the Father’s side for when that happens. Interestingly enough, the Greek word for helper, parakleton, is the same name Jesus uses for the Holy Spirit in John 14:16.