Study Guide Here
John Explains Our Relationship with the Father
John is 90 years old when writing this letter. He has lost his homeland and the possibility of returning to the way of life in which his father raised him, He can only go forward and trust his new Savior, Jesus. John explains that our relationship with the Father is through the Son and is dependent on the cleansing of our sin through relationship with Him.
Writing these Things to You
John wants his readers to know that he is writing so they know how not to sin. He knows that this isn’t attainable, but expects them to try. He tells them the great Advocate, Jesus, is pleading with the Father on our behalf when we do fail and sin. It’s Jesus who paid the ultimate price so that we can be cleansed of sin.
1 John 2:1-2 (NLT) My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one Who is truly righteous. 2 He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
The divine ideal is to live in a way that we overcome sin and don’t succumb to it. We all know that it is a very difficult, if impossible, ideal. Don’t let the impossibility make you shy away from success in overcoming the sin that all struggle with, but rather let it spur you on to always do right and what God wants you to do. We have the divine power of Jesus Christ living in us and can tap into that power and hope so we can do what is good.
True joy comes from being at peace with the Creator. When you sin, you isolate yourself from His presence. When you reconcile yourself with Jesus, true joy can enter into your relationship and become the firm ground to build life, relationships, and continued right decisions. When you sin, you tend to hide like Adam and Eve in the garden. When Jesus came, we no longer had to hide, but our human tendencies compel us to fall back into old habits instead of the new reality of a redeemed life.
Hebrews 7:25 (NLT) Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice to pay for the sins of the whole world. He has the right to forgive anyone and everyone who seeks His forgiveness and desires a relationship with Him. He has taken the honor of standing in the throne room of God and mediating between us and His Father. We have the perfect Advocate who loves us so much He put aside His Godliness to become a man, then He gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice to settle the debt against us. We have no greater Lover than Jesus Himself.
Jesus is the Propitiation for Our Sins
Propitiation means to make favorably inclined, appease, conciliate. In the context of scripture, it is a means whereby our sins are covered and remitted.
Ezekiel 18:20 (NLT) The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.
God sent Jesus to become the one who would accept the punishment for the sins of each one of us. Each one is responsible for their own wrong-doing, Each one is responsible to accept the free gift of salvation from Jesus and to live to please Him.
We have all sinned. Can God just say “I forgive you?” Justice would not be served if He were to give everyone a covering of forgiveness without justice being satisfied. Justice demands that the law be fulfilled. There must be a reason for the pardon being bestowed on someone who has done what is wrong. The righteous justice of God is satisfied through the death and the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:22 (NLT) In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, He became the One who has the right to justify the guilty and purify the wrong from those who have violated the laws of God. Once there was a sacrifice, God was reconciled with those who were destined to live eternally without Him. When we have the blood of Jesus covering us, we have the gift of that eternal life. We don’t have to be burdened with trying to exonerate and justify each action that has been against God. Jesus took every wrong action and has made it so it never existed. Once we have been forgiven, God doesn’t see any wrong action because Jesus has separated it as far as the east is from the west.
Psalms 103: 11-12 (NLT) For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
Without Jesus, each one of us is destined to endure God’s judgment and punishment. Only the blood sacrifice would ever satisfy God’s need for justice. Jesus is the only person Who has the power to forgive and to give the power to overcome to those who accept His free gift. Only those who have accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation will be reconciled with God. We strive to live a holy life in Christ because we love Him.
Talk About It…
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- How does John approach the topic of sin with his readers?
- How does God react when you sin?
- What does Jesus do on our behalf?
- What is the divine ideal to you?
- What is true joy?
- How can you live an overcoming life?
- How can you recognize the way out of a tempting situation?