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If - A Little Word

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“if” a small word with big implications



1.     Read text: 1 Jn. 1:1 – 2:1.

2.     Regarding text:

(1)         Jn. 10:10.

(2)         Jn. 20:30-31 -John’s gospel was written to produce faith so that we might have life.

(3)         1 John opens greater detail of that life (1 Jn. 3:14).

A.       1 Jn. 1:4 – “…that your joy may be full.”

B.       1 Jn. 2:1 – “…that you may not sin.”

C.       1 Jn. 5:13 – “…that you may know that you have eternal life.”

(4)         There are a variety of key words that may drive ones’ study or focus in 1 Jn.

A.       “Know” – appears 32 times in 1 John.  (cf. 3:2-5;

B.       “born of God” – appears 7 times in 1 Jn.  (Cf. Jn. 3; how deny baptism / birth?)

C.       “love” – appears 36 times in 1 Jn. (Love of God, Father, of brothers, one another).

3.     Our study will focus upon the word – IF, A Small Word With Big Implications.

(1)         We hang the world on the word at times.

(2)         We use it to shape our perception of the future.  We use it to soften the mistakes of the past

4.  We will guide our study by looking at the small word “IF” – Small word – Big Implication.


I.            the deceiving if (1 Jn. 1:8).

1.      planao – “to go astray; to wander; to lead astray.”

2.      You can avoid sin, be forgiven of your sin, identify sin, but you cannot live above it completely.

(1)           Flesh is weak.

(2)           Temptation is great.

3.      You need the blood of Jesus Christ applied to your life.

(1)           He could and did rise above / live above sin.

(2)           If you think that you can be saved without Him and His blood, you go astray!

A.         You have deceived yourself about your character and your ability.

II.          the insulting if (1 Jn. 1:10).

1.      A Christian does not continue in sin, but even a Christian sins on occasion (Read 1 Jn. 3:9).

2.      Once you realize it and admit it, you will be the second to know it.  God knows it.  Hence the sending of Christ and the revelation of the word.

(1)           God makes the statement over and over, and in various ways.

A.         There is none righteous, no not one (Rom. 3:10).

B.         “There is not a just man on earth who does good, and does not sin” (Eccl. 7:20).

C.         “The Scripture has confined all under sin…” (Gal. 3:22).

D.         Rom. 3:23.

(2)           As wonderful as you are; as productive as you are for the Lord; as much good as you have done, even as a Christian, you are operating in the realm of God’s grace.

3.      As we go about doing good, let us not insult God and think / act / say that we have not sinned.

(1)           God wants us to be people who freely confess our sins (Prov. 28:13).

(2)           God wants us to be people who take Him at His word.

(3)           Cf. Mt. 6:9-13.

III.        the fatal if (1 Jn. 1:6).

1.      The passage draws a conclusion / inference from evidence / implication.

(1)           If you say, “I have fellowship with God” but walk in “darkness” then the Scripture / John draws the conclusion – “you do not practice truth.”

(2)           I believe God must find hypocrisy (unrepented of) especially offensive.

2.      The message of John –

(1)           If you are claiming Christ, but walk in darkness, you sin in both word & deed.

(2)           If God is light (v. 6) then that excludes darkness.  If you are walking in darkness then you have excluded God.

(3)           You might delude yourself into thinking that God is ok with your walking in darkness, but John says you are fooling yourself.

3.      God wants more than belief!  God wants action / activity from you!

(1)           It is fatal to think and act otherwise.

(2)           It is fatal to think and act as if sin is not a great barrier.

IV.       the blessed if (1 Jn. 1:9).

1.      Do you notice the transition or intensification from v. 8 to v. 9?

(1)           V. 8 = “If we say.”              

(2)           V. 9 = “If we confess.”       

2.      Confession involves a pained, penitent acknowledgment of wrong doing.

(1)           Homologeo = homo (same / together) ; logeo (logos) = something said.

(2)           Idea = to speak together with God.  God tells us we’ve sinned.  We confess.

3.      Idea = “keep on confessing” (Cf. sin (v. 8) VS sins (v. 9).

4.      There is a blessing in it for you, if you will make a personal confession.

V.        The assuring if (1 Jn. 1:7).

1.      Entrance and continuance in the light is conditional, but for a child of God, Scripture describes it as a constant habitation.

(1)           Cannot continue in sin.

(2)           But, it is clear that you will not continue without occasionally committing sin.

2.      If you are in fellowship with God, you have the warm assurance of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.

(1)           Cleanses = katharizei = present tense = constant, continual.

(2)           A shade of difference between idea of forgives and cleanses.

3.      You can be assured:  God wants to forgive you of your past sins, and He also stands ready to continue to offer a cleansing through Jesus’ blood.

VI.       the advocating if (1 Jn. 2:1).

1.      Advocate = court representative;  righteous implies that we aren’t.

(1)           Suppose you knew of a lawyer who was recently arrested, tried and convicted in a court of law of the crime of theft.

(2)           If you had to appear before the exact same judge, charged with the exact same crime, who would you rather have represent you –

A.         The lawyer who was just convicted of the crime by the judge?

B.         Or a lawyer who had an impeccable reputation?

2.      Legal terms for a legal situation. 

(1)           You have violated the law (1 Jn. 3:4).

(2)           Jesus has not (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; Jn. 8:46).


1.     “If is the middle word of  L  I  F  E !

2.     It is a small word with big implications.  Eternal implications.

3.     If is a word about choices.

        (1)     Deceive -  If you say you have no sin, you deceive yourself.

        (2)     Insult - If you say you have not sinned, you make God a liar.

        (3)     Fatal – If you say you have fellowship with God, but walk in darkness…

        (4)     Blessed – If you confess your sins.

        (5)     Assured – If you walk in the light.

        (6)     Advocating – If any Christian sins, he has an advocate.

4.     You choose the life you want to live and the master you want to serve, but IF you choose improperly…

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