Life Changing

02 - Chapter 2 By Pastor Jeff Wickwire | LT3438

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1st John Series

Part 2

Last time we closed chapter one with John using the phrase “If

we say” three times—“If we say we have fellowship with Him,”

“If we say we have no sin,” and “If we say we have not


His point is always to reveal whether or not what we say is

true, or if we’ve become deceived. As we begin chapter 2, John

will use another phrase three times—“He who says.” But first,

he brings good news about our Advocate, Jesus Christ:

2:1-2 “My little children, these things I write to you, so that

you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with

the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the

propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the

whole world.”

Advocate means “a legal advocate that makes our case for us.”

It is the word for an attorney. When we sin as believers, we

have an attorney, Jesus Christ, who makes our case before the

Father, testifying that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb.

John also says that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins and

that of the whole world. Propitiation means something that

appeases an angry, offended party. Christ's atoning blood

appeases God's wrath on all confessed sin!


Next, John provides a test for those who claim to truly know

the Lord by using “He who says” for the first time:

2:3-6 “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His

commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not

keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is

perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who

says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He


We know that we truly know the Lord by our desire to keep His

Word, to obey Him, to walk in His commandments. Jesus

Himself said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My

Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our

home with them” (John 14:23 NIV).

If a person says they know Jesus, but live a worldly lifestyle

that clearly runs against the grain of His teaching, or if they

walk in a hateful, non-loving spirit toward the brethren, John

says they are a liar.

He contends:

2: 7-8 “Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an

old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The

old commandment is the word which you heard from the

beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which

thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing

away, and the true light is already shining.”

What I’m telling you is nothing new, says John. He’s employing

an old commandment reaching all the way back to Moses’

words, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone

among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am

the LORD” (Lev. 19:18).

And when Jesus came, He applied this old commandment about

walking in love directly into the light of the New Covenant.

One day Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great

commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love

the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and

with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as

yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and

the Prophets’” (Matt. 22:36-40).


So next, John leaps right into how loving one another is directly

linked to walking in the light. He’s going to use his second “He

who says” to make his point:

2: 9-11 “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is

in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the

light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who

hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and

does not know where he is going, because the darkness has

blinded his eyes.”

There are only two kinds of people on earth—those who walk in

spiritual darkness and those who walk in spiritual light. There

is no in-between. If we say we are in the light, walking in

lockstep with Jesus, but hate our brother, we are deceiving


John contends that hate and light are like oil and water, they

can’t mix! Hate in the Greek language is very strong; it means

to detest a person, to loathe, despise, to wish evil upon.

Jesus warned in His Sermon on the Mount that it is hatred that

leads to the physical act of murder. So He taught us to deal

with our heart before what’s in our heart brings us before a

court of law.

So we can’t hate and at the same time walk in the light of

fellowship with God. Hence Jesus’s constant admonition to

forgive others before an offense becomes a root of bitterness

that devolves into hatred.

If you are walking in hate, John says you don’t even know

where you’re going. You’re like a blind man that can’t see the

path you’re walking on!


Next, the Apostle turns his attention to three kinds of people—

little children (spiritual newborns), fathers (those with many

years in the faith), and young men (those in their prime years

who growing strong in the faith).

2:12-14 “I write to you, little children, Because your sins are

forgiven you for His name’s sake.” The first thing a newborn

child of God experiences is the forgiveness of sins for Jesus’s


13 “I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who

is from the beginning.” Thank God for spiritual fathers who

have known Jesus for a long time and are able to mentor

others in the faith!

“I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the

wicked one.”

Here we’re given a key marker of positive spiritual growth—

overcoming the wicked one—walking in victory over temptation

and Satan’s attacks.

“I write to you, little children, because you have known the

Father.” Praise God for the day we become God’s child and cry

out, “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15)

14 “I have written to you, fathers, because you have known

Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young

men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in

you, and you have overcome the wicked one.”

Here John provides an insight as to HOW the young men have

become spiritually strong. “The word of God abides in you!”

The word “abide” is a picture of someone that visits a house

and decides to stay there. The word of God has stayed in,

remained in, found a home in these young men!


Next, John warns the church against loving this present world:

2:15-17 “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.

16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of

the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the

world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but

he who does the will of God abides forever.”

The Greek word for “world” here is kosmos, which we get our

own word “cosmos” from. It refers to the world system ruled

by evil, not the beautiful creation of God.

The Bible says the devil is the “god of this world,” who has

“blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the

light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the

image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4).

John tells us that the devil’s world system revolves around 3

killers—“The lust of the flesh” (living for sensual pleasure),

“the lust of the eyes” (focused on sensual things), and “the

pride of life” (pride in your achievements and possessions

without giving glory to God).

He says that all of this is passing away, along with the lusts.

But if you do God’s will, you will enjoy eternal life!


Next, John mentions for the first time the antichrist:

2:18-19 “Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard

that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists

have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.

19 These people left our churches, but they never really

belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us.

When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.”

Notice that he says it’s “the last hour.” We talk a lot about

being in the last days, and indeed we are. But the last days

began when Jesus arose from the dead and ascended to the

Father. Hebrews says,

“Long ago God spoke in many different ways to our fathers

through the prophets, in visions, dreams, and even face to face,

telling them little by little about his plans. 2 But now in these

last days he has spoken to us through his Son...”

So we might more accurately say that we are in the “last of the

last days!”


John reminds his readers that they’ve already been told about

a singular “Antichrist” that would come. Paul wrote about it,

and apparently it was a common message in the early church

that a “man of sin” (2 Thes. 2:3) would one day step onto the

world stage.

But John says that many “antichrist’s”—those who hate and

oppose Christ—had already appeared. And their true identity

was exposed when they left the church because they didn’t

agree with the church’s position on Christ. They “left our

churches, but they never really belonged with us.”


Next, John reveals how to spot the “spirit of antichrist.”

2:20-23 “So I am not writing to you as to those who need to

know the truth, but I warn you as those who can discern the

difference between true and false. 22 And who is the greatest

liar? The one who says that Jesus is not Christ. Such a person is

antichrist, for he does not believe in God the Father and in his

Son. 23 For a person who doesn’t believe in Christ, God’s Son,

can’t have God the Father either. But he who has Christ, God’s

Son, has God the Father also.”

Our world is filled with this spirit of antichrist. People in high

places of learning, or with strong media influence, insist that

Jesus is not the Christ, that He’s not the only way to salvation.

This is a “spirit of antichrist” working in them.


Next, John encourages them to stay true to the truth they’ve


2:24-26 “So keep on believing what you have been taught from

the beginning. If you do, you will always be in close fellowship

with both God the Father and his Son. 25 And he himself has

promised us this: eternal life. 26 These remarks of mine about

the Antichrist are pointed at those who would dearly love to

blindfold you and lead you astray.”

Paul told young Timothy the same thing, “But as for you,

continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed,

knowing from whom you learned it” (2 Tim. 3:14).

John reminds them of the ministry of the Holy Spirit as


2:27 “But you have received the anointing (the Holy Spirit),

and he lives within you, in your hearts, so that you don’t need

anyone to teach you what is right. For he teaches you all

things, and he is the Truth, and no liar; and so, just as he has

said, you must live in Christ, never to depart from him.”

The Spirit of God Who lives within every believer will always

point to the Person of Christ and none other.


Finally, John closes chapter 2 with an admonition to stick with

Jesus exclusively!

2:28-29 “And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with

Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and

not shrink back from him in shame. 29 Since we know that

Christ is righteous, we also know that all who practice right

living are God’s children.”