Summary: If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, but He expects our obedience.
The “If” of Knowing Jesus. I John 2:1-6
INTRO.: Wm. Barclay introduces his exegesis of this passage with the following thoughts:
In I John 1:7-9, John says two very important things about sin. He says the blood of Christ purifies us from all sin. This means forgiveness and cleansing come through the sacrifice of Jesus. Then, he says all of us sin and we lie and make God out to be a liar if we claim to be without sin.
Both ideas can be twisted to make sin a very light thing. Why worry about sin if everyone does it? Why live an ethical life if God will forgive us for moral failure?
John counters this with two statements: First, the Christian is someone who has come to know Christ and knowing Him involves obeying Him. Secondly, one who claims to follow Christ must live the same kind of life Christ lived.
So, in this passage we connect two concepts that appear on nearly every page of the Word of God: forgiveness and obedience. Let’s look at a couple “if’s.”
I. “If anybody does sin we have an advocate with the Father.”
A. John already knows we will all sin”
1. He has so stated.
2. Human experience makes this undeniable.
3. We know we shouldn’t, but we do it anyway. It’s the human in us. I Jn. 3:6
B. We have an advocate with the Father.
1. The Greek is “Paraclete” i.e.; one who is called to our side.
2. He is our friend.
3. He is our heavenly “defense attorney.”
C. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1. God has decreed that blood alone can atone for sin.
2. All through the Jewish age, animals were slain to atone for the sins of men. They were insufficient.
3. The innocent Christ, voluntarily dying for our sins was the only one worthy to make such a sacrifice.
4. Not just for us, but for those of the entire world.
D. What does this say to us today:
1. Jesus has never lost interest in His people.
2. Jesus’ message must be carried to the entire world.
II. “if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him” v. 5
A. Different ways men attempt to know God:
1. Intellectual pursuit. Education has value, but no necessary ethical implications.
2. Emotional experience: it fades and has no stability.
3. Revelation from God.
B. If we know God through revelation, ethical demands are made upon us:
1. The God Who reveals Himself in the Bible demands obedience.
2. The Word of God presents a higher standard..
3. Many Christians and Churches need repentance and reform.
C. What is the meaning of “love made complete?”
1. Complete love is love that is mutual.
2. Complete love is based on complete knowledge. The better you know someone the better you can love them.
3. Complete love involves the complete man. Thus, "’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matt 22:37
1. Intellectual pursuit is not to be neglected. We must study God’s Word and His universe.
2. Emotional response is unavoidable when we consider His love for us.
3. But both must combine with obedience to His commands if we are to truly know Christ.
CONC.: John concludes with, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” in other words, if we claim to be a child of God, we must act as if He is our Father.