I. MY LITTLE CHILDREN
A. Picture John, he is around 90 years of age. He is the last of the original apostles.
1. Christianity has spread far and wide.
2. Because of the overthrow and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., John has moved to Ephesus. He is now writing to the believers as the last survivor of those who had been with Jesus.
3. It is his desire to set the record straight concerning Jesus, for already many false doctrines had begun to infiltrate the church.
B. There is something very tender about his address, "My little children."
II. "THESE THINGS WRITE I UNTO YOU."
A. Again, he is declaring his purpose for writing this epistle.
1. In chapter 1, he tells them he is writing that their joy may be full.
2. Here he declares he is writing that they sin not.
3. As he closes, he will tell them that he wrote that they might know that they have eternal life.
4. It is interesting how these purposes all tie together.
a. Our fullness of joy comes from our fellowship with the Father.
b. Our fellowship with the Father is related to our being cleansed from sin.
c. So, he now writes to them that they sin not.
5. You cannot have the fullness of joy if you are living in sin.
a. You can be happy sinning.
b. Sin can be a lot of fun.
c. It might be sweet in your mouth but it will be bitter in your belly.
d. It is the consequences of sin that brings such pain and misery.
e. What you have to determine is was the moment of joy worth weeks, months, years and sometimes a life of pain and misery?
B. John is writing unto them "That you sin not."
1. This is the divine ideal, but none has attained it.
a. In the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the Temple he prayed, "And if they sin, for there is none that sinneth not."
b. In Ecclesiastes he wrote,
For [there is] not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
c. Paul wrote, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
d. In the previous chapter, John declared that if we say that we have not sinned we make God a liar and His truth is not in us.
2. I do not think that we should live with the idea, that I am going to sin, I cannot live an overcoming life.
a. I believe that we should all live in the hopes of not sinning.
b. Many do not make any effort to live a sinless life.
c. The author of Hebrews wrote,
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
d. The Bible tells us that we should resist the devil.
e. The Bible tells us that God makes a way of escape for us in every temptation.
f. If I fall into temptation it is because I did not take God's escape route that He provided.
g. Paul exhorted Timothy to flee youthful lusts.
C. If we sin, we have an advocate with the Father.
1. The word advocate in Greek is Parakleeton. It is the same word that Jesus used when He promised the disciples that He would ask the Father to give them another comforter.
2. The word literally means, "called to one's side," usually for the purpose of helping.
a. It was used in the court of justice to denote a legal assistant.
b. Today we would say an attorney.
c. One who pleads another's cause.
3. We have someone to come along side of us and plead our cause.
D. Who is that one? Jesus Christ, the righteous.
1. In Hebrews we read,
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
2. Isaiah 53
tells us that He made intercession for the transgressors.
3. Paul asked, "Who is he that condemneth?" He answered his own question declaring, "It is Christ who has died, ye rather has risen again, and is even at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us."
4. It is because He is righteous that He can intercede for us.
5. The beautiful fact is that I stand before God in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. I am in Christ as He stands before the Father.
6. Paul told the Ephesians that through Him we have access unto the Father.
III. "HE IS THE PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS."
A. A means whereby our sins are covered and remitted.
1. The righteous justice of God is satisfied through the death of Jesus Christ.
2. John the baptist said of Him, "Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world."
3. Paul wrote to the Romans that God had set Him forth to be a propitiation for our sins through faith in His blood. To declare the righteousness of God in the remission of sin.
B. God declared,
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
1. The sentence of death is on the sinner.
2. There was no remission of sins without the shedding of blood.
For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
C. We have all sinned, how can we escape death?
D. Can God just say, "I forgive you?"
1. Justice would not be served.
2. Justice demands that the law be fulfilled.
3. There must be a just basis upon which the sin is pardoned.
E. Jesus was the propitiation for our sins; (i.e., He provided a just basis for the forgiveness of our sins by dying in our place).
1. The righteousness of the law has now been fulfilled through death. The Lamb of God has taken away the sins of the world.
2. The demands of the law have been propitiated.
F. With David we cry, "Oh how happy is the man whose transgressions have been forgiven, Oh how happy is the man whose sins are covered."