Sunday, November 18, 2018

678. 1 John 1:9 (Part 2) Contrasting Chapter 1 (Unbelievers) with Chapter 2 (Believers)

Understanding the context leading up to 1 John 1:9 will help us from falling into doctrinal traps which contradict other Scriptures on the subject of God’s completed work of forgiveness. Many passages and verses explain how we’ve already been forgiven by God through the blood of the cross. But regardless of how many good news verses are submitted, misguided teaching has caused believers to trip over this one, single verse:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NASB).

Compare the language between Chapter One vs. Chapter Two. John’s conversation in the first chapter is attempting to convince unbelievers that Jesus was manifested and came in the flesh. He is speaking to people with whom he doesn’t have fellowship or a joy that is complete regarding them. These were people who denied they had a sin problem and walked in darkness. They were liars who made God out to be a liar. Using John’s own words, they did not have the truth nor God’s word in them. Remember, believers in Christ are declared to be in the light, and have God’s word and truth in them (these identify Christ in us).

Other NT epistles address believers at the beginning. John made an exception and didn’t do that with this letter in chapter 1, but he does in chapter 2. Here we begin to see where he identifies his audience for the rest of the letter (believers). Notice the differences in language from his opening chapter… these were people who have been forgiven, who know God and have overcome, they had the word of God abiding in them, they knew the truth and had an anointing from the holy one which abided in them. John warned them of the deceivers - those who denied God by not confessing the Son. This is referring back to what he wrote in 1 John 1:9 and reveals the true purpose of his statement… not a confession of every individual sin but a confession of Jesus Christ as Lord. When one confesses the sin problem, they confess need for the Savior. It results in receiving salvation and forgiveness.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this, and all the truth you and Mike give on Growing in Grace. I have been listening for five years or so, and you have really been a help on my grace journey.

    1. Thank you for sharing with us. We're grateful to have you listening in, and we're so glad the podcast has been a help to you!