Dealing With Our Sin Part 2

I Jn 1:7-2:2

7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 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. (NKJ)

Preached at FBC Toulon, IL on August 26, 2001 by Albert Harmon; see it at

 Last week we looked at the sin problem and this week we want to look at the solution.

If you were to get dirty, what would you do?

You would find some soap and water and clean yourself up. Sin is like dirt that ruins the beauty of all that God created around us. Sin takes the beauty of the human body and turns it into pornography. Sin takes the beauty of marital love and turns it into lust and adultery.

Sin turns beauty into jealousy and envy. Sin turns friendship into dissension and quarreling. Sin can separate the closest friends and even mothers and fathers, parents and children.

Christians do sin, but this does not mean they must be saved all over again. Sin in the life of the believer breaks the fellowship but does not destroy the sonship. A true Christian is always accepted even if he is not acceptable. How does God provide for the sins of the saints? Through the heavenly ministry of Christ. We are saved from the penalty of sin by His death (Rom. 5:6-9), and we are saved daily from the power of sin by His life (Rom. 5:10). The word "advocate" means "one who pleads a case" and is the same Gk. word as "Comforter" in John 14:16. Wiersbes Expository Outlines on the New Testament

Sin is our number one problem. It is responsible for all the ill in the world. But God has a sin solution.

  1. The cleansing
    1. Is based on our connection with Jesus, But if we walk in the light as He is in the light,
      1. 1:7 but if we walk in the Light. To walk in the light is to live in obedience to God's commandments. Two things result from walking in the light: (1) fellowship with other believers; (2) continual cleansing from sin (since walking in the light brings to light other sins that need cleansing). The contrast of light and darkness characterizes the section 1:5-2:17. Ryrie Study Bible NASB
      2. The person who walks in the light is not sinless, for the text says such a person still needs forgiveness and purification. Instead the person who walks in the light sees things in the light of God's Word, and accepts the verdict of that Word on what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is evil; what is righteous and what is sin. As long as a person, accepts the verdict of God about himself and his action, there is hope. He or she is walking in the light, and will seek God's forgiveness acknowledging his or her sins to the Lord (1:9). The Victor Bible Background Commentary, NT
      3. To walk according to the light would require sinless perfection and would make fellowship with God impossible for sinful humans. To walk in it, however, suggests instead openness and responsiveness to the light. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament
    2. The Blood of Jesus
      1. By this the writer indicates the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus on the cross for us.
      2. It is based on the ancient pattern of the atonement.
      3. Eph 1:7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
      4. his Son cleanseth us from all [every] sin--This is a continual cleansing from daily sins that issue from our fallen natures as we live in the world under constant attack from Satan. It is the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, which cleansed us completely and brought us into fellowship with God; now the same blood of Jesus keeps us clean from all sin that would mar that fellowship. New Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Testament Volume
    3. His blood is the propitiation for our sins.
      1. Propitiation brings about the merciful removal of guilt through divine forgiveness.
        1. In the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint), the Greek term for propitiation was used for the sacrificial mercy seat on which the high priest placed the blood of the Israelites' sacrifices (see Ex. 25:17-22; 1 Chr. 28:2).
        2. This practice indicates that God's righteous wrath had to be appeased somehow. God sent His Son and satisfied His own wrath with Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross.
        3. Our sins made it necessary for Jesus to suffer the agonies of the crucifixion; but God demonstrated His love and justice by providing His own Son.
        4. The sacrifice of Jesus' sinless life is so effective that it can supply forgiveness for the whole world (see 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19; Heb. 2:9).
        5. Christ's death is sufficient for all, but efficient only for those who believe in Christ. Not everyone will be saved, but Jesus offers salvation to all (see Rev. 22:17). The Nelson Study Bible
        6. propitiation = satisfaction. Christ is the only offering that satisfied God concerning sin (cf. Rom. 3:25). See note on Heb. 2:17. Christ died for the sins of the whole world, the entire human race. Ryrie Study Bible NASB
        7. to make propitiation or expiation. Propitiation refers to God's wrath being satisfied by the death of Christ (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2). Expiation emphasizes the removal of sin by the sacrifice that satisfied God. Sin interrupts normal relations with God; expiation removes sin and restores the relationship. Ryrie Study Bible NASB
      2. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (2:2). The Greek is hilasmos, which means "to propitiate or expiate," and draws attention to the fact that in His death Christ satisfied the justice of God, which demanded sin be punished. It is on the basis of Christ's work that we experience the forgiveness and cleansing that John has just described. The Victor Bible Background Commentary, NT
      3. But what does it mean when it says that His is the atoning sacrifice for "the whole world"? Simply that Christ's sacrifice was sufficient in God's eyes to pay for all humanity's sins, not just for those of believers. However, the consistent teaching of Scripture is that the merit of Christ's sacrifice is applied to the account only of those who believe. The Victor Bible Background Commentary, NT
    4. God's purpose for you and me is to cleanse us from our sin and make us acceptable in His presence.
      1. Tit:2:13looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
      2. Eph. 5:25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
      3. Heb. 9.14 14how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
      4. "Purifies us" is katharise, to cleanse or purify. The tense indicates an ongoing, continuous process by which God deals not just with acts of sin but with the very principle of sin in our lives. John's point is that when we walk in the light, and are honest with God and with ourselves, we open up our personality to the Lord so that He can work within us to change our inner orientation toward sin, to an inner orientation toward righteousness. The Victor Bible Background Commentary, NT
  2. Confession, the key to forgiveness & continual cleaning.
    1. We must ask forgiveness.
      1. A Christian who never asks his heavenly Father for forgiveness for his sins can hardly have much sensitivity to the ways in which he grieves his Father. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament
      2. Confession of sins does not save us, but repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
      3. First John 1:9 is not spoken to the unsaved, and the effort to turn it into a soteriological affirmation is misguided. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament
    2. If we confess (ean homologoômen). Third-class condition again with ean
      and present active subjunctive of homologeoô, "if we keep on confessing."
      Confession of sin to God and to one another
      (James 5:16) is urged throughout the N.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament
      1. John has no patience with professional perfectionists (1:8-10), but he has still less with loose-livers like some of the Gnostics who went to all sorts of excesses without shame. Word Pictures in the New Testament
    3. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from unrighteousness (1:9). "Confess" (homologeo) means "to acknowledge." The point is well expressed by Augustine, who says "he who confesses and condemns his sins already acts with God." To confess sins is to condemn our sins by labeling them for what they are, sins. When we take this step, we take our stand with God and against our own actions. It is this, not feeling sorry or promising to "never do it again," which makes it possible for us to experience forgiveness and the cleansing work of God in our lives. The Victor Bible Background Commentary, NT
    4. Each Christian, however, is responsible to acknowledge whatever the light makes him aware of, and when he does so, a complete and perfect cleansing is granted him. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament
    5. The word "confess" means "to say the same thing." To confess sin means to say the same thing about it that God says. Keep in mind that Christians do not have to do penance, make sacrifices, or punish themselves when they have sinned. Every sin has already been taken care of at the cross. Does this give us license to sin? Of course not! The Christian who truly understands God's provision for a life of holiness does not want to deliberately disobey God. Wiersbes Expository Outlines on the New Testament
    6. He is faithful and just and will forgive us Moreover, it is comforting to learn that the forgiveness which is promised here is both absolutely assured (because God "is faithful") and also is in no way contrary to His holiness (He is "just"). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament
    7. Obviously God is "just" or "righteous" when He forgives the believer's sin because of the "atoning sacrifice" which the Lord Jesus has made (see 2:2). As is already evident from 1:7, a Christian's fellowship with God is inseparably connected with the effectiveness of the blood which Jesus shed for him. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament
  3. Jesus has become our Advocate
    1. John's desire was that these believers would abstain from sin.
      1. Some of John's readers might have thought his insistence on the sinfulness of Christians somehow would discourage holiness. The opposite was John's intention as he affirmed: My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament
    2. advocate
      1. (Gk. parakletos) (2:1; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) G3875: The Greek word literally means "one who is called to our side." This could be a comforter, a consoler, or a defense attorney. In John 14:26 and 15:26, the Holy Spirit is called our parakletos, our Comforter. Here Christ is called our parakletos, our Advocate. While the Holy Spirit works within us to comfort and help us, Christ represents us before the Father in heaven. The two Paracletes work together in perfect harmony (see Rom. 8:26, 27, 34). The Nelson Study Bible
      2. Advocate. Lit., one summoned alongside, a helper or patron in a lawsuit. Used only by John in the NT and translated "Helper" in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7. Our defender in the courtroom of God is righteous and therefore effective. Ryrie Study Bible NASB
    3. The thought here in 1 John 2:1 is of a defense attorney who takes up the case of his client before a tribunal. The way in which the advocacy of the Lord Jesus works for His sinning people is admirably illustrated in His prayer for Peter (Luke 22:31-32) 31£And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament
    4. The consequences of a believer's failure, his restoration, and future usefulness are all urgent matters which Jesus takes up with God when sin occurs. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament  

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at