1 John 2:1-5
1 John 2:1 (KJB)
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:
Advocate - a Helper or one who is called beside
Here is the essence of the intercessory ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even though every sin of the Christian has been totally forgiven and removed, the fact is that as we go on in life we still continue to sin. John is using the word “parakletos” which carries with it the meaning of someone called beside, for example, if you are accused of a crime, you will have a defense lawyer by your side. This word is unique to John’s writings. He counsels his readers not to sin but if they sin, and he knows we will, being in the flesh, then we have the advocate the Lord Jesus Christ as our High Priest who already has paid the penalty for our sins by His own blood. This verse is not written to everyone but only to true believers who are in Christ. The unbeliever does not have an advocate but the believers have the Son of the Judge as our advocate.
1 John 2:2 (KJB)
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Propitiation - Expiation or sin offering
It is a sad thing that this verse is very misused by those who advocate free will. If you will notice in the beginning of this verse it talks about the Lord Jesus being the sin offering for the believer. The word “our” is in the genitive or possessive case which means it belongs to us. So what is in view here is that the Lord Jesus Christ was the sin bearer for all the believers. Now the second part of this verse could trip a person up if they do not connect what the rest of the Bible teaches on this. It is a given fact in Scripture that not every person in the world is going to be saved, in fact, there is only going to be a small remnant saved out of all the billions in population. The second part of this verse is not teaching universal atonement because that is simply not true based upon the Scriptures and what we see in life. We can see unbelievers all around us who die in that state. What this verse is simply teaching, based upon all the collateral biblical evidence, is that the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ was not only sufficient for the believers in John’s time, but that sufficiency will extend to the end of time to all the Elect all around the world. It in no way implies universal atonement, in that Christ paid for the sins of every person in the world and all they have to do is “accept Christ” and the atonement will be applied. This is taught nowhere in Scripture because saying a few words does not apply the forgiveness of God. God Himself is the one who chooses who He is going to save and applies the sacrifice of Christ to that person and then indwells them with the Holy Spirit. Man has no part whatsoever except to receive it.
1 John 2:3 (KJB)
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
Here is a test for the believer to see if they are in the faith. We can be sure that we are truly saved if we keep His commandments. (1 Cor 7:19 KJV) Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Now what is not in view is the commandments of men and the commandments in the law. For no one could keep the law and become saved. The law was given to Israel in 1447 B.C. and there is not one shred of biblical evidence that anyone ever became saved through it all the way to time of Christ. The law in view here is the law after the inward man. (Rom 7:22 KJV) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: That is the internal teachings which God plants in the heart of all believers. We keep His commandments while remaining steadfast in Grace. In other words, we continue to progress in our Christian walk and not regress. As we study the Scriptures and get to know God more intimately, we continue to abide in His teachings. We do not do this to attain salvation because we are already saved but we do this to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord. The unregenerate flesh can never keep the commandments of a Holy God, there must be a regeneration in the soul to be able to keep His spiritual commandments in contrast to trying to keep the commandments of the law. It is basically summed up in the following verse. (James 2:8 KJV) If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: In fulfilling the Royal Law, you will have a true desire for others to have the same quality in things and life you desire for yourself. This is the essence of loving your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 14:13-14 KJV) But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: {14} And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. When churches have banquets or gatherings, the poor people should not be excluded simply because they are unable to pay. Compassion and generosity should be the earmark of a true church. Notice this is not just a law but is called the Royal Law. This means that this law is elevated among others. (Mat 22:39-40 KJV) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. {40} On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. This is considered one of the two most greatest commandments.
1 John 2:4 (KJB)
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
The Apostle John may have someone in mind when he makes this statement or it may be a general biblical statement that those who profess to know God, that is, to be truly saved, and are walking in opposition to the Christian life, then they are liars and the truth is not in them. Every true born again Christian will manifest the changed life, although not perfectly, yet there will be a drastic change in their lives. If a person claims to have knowledge of God in a regenerated manner but still clings to the old habits, then salvation has not come to them. For example, a person who was a drunk claims to be saved but still drinks, is showing that no change has taken place and therefore is living a lie and is void of the truth. A person who is truly saved will manifest that changed life and it will definitely show itself and will increase in manifestation as the person grows in grace. In other words, more of Christ and less of the world.
1 John 2:5 (KJB)
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
Perfected - Matured, complete, or finished
Here is a verse which offers solid proof to the believer that they are truly saved. When love, which is a fruit of the Spirit, begins to mature in a believer’s life, it will not be a love consisting of only words. True Godly love when it begins to mature will be filled with actions. True love is action oriented. As we continue to grow in the faith, simultaneously we continue to take action in the body of Christ. The actions could be evangelism, counseling, to disciple others, to become involved in the life of others, etc. True love is not inactive. The more we act on the love of God which is implanted in us, the more we continue to mature in the faith. We see this love very active in the lives of the martyrs whose only desires were to bring those around them to Christ so they could have eternal life. They sacrificed life and limb for this and only true love could drive someone to the point of sacrificing their life for others. The greatest act of love was when the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross for His Elect and did not shirk His responsibility to the Father in this case. When we continue to show active love for others, then we too, are showing that we are taking the Christian walk seriously and that active love itself, is the great proof in the life of the believer that we are truly believers.