Don’t Sin, But If You Do …
(1 Jno. 2:1-6)
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. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.- 1 Jno. 2:1-6
I must adhere to the purpose of not committing sin. But if I do, there is no cause for anguish, provided I confess my sin (as John instructed in the previous chapter). Jesus, by His “propitiation for our sins” is the place where I am assured of God’s mercy. This advocacy is not automatic, continual, or unconditional. This remedy is continuously available but is applied to the sinner through the sinner’s response.
Observe phrases here which further identify what it means to walk in the light(1:7):“keep His commandments,” and “walk in the same way in which He walked.” These expressions communicate to us what our purpose ought to be. We should get up every day with the intention to not sin, to keep His commandments and follow Christ. Should we fail, we have an Advocate, who – by His atoning death – relieves us of the guilt and consequence of sin, when we “confess our sins,” (1:9).