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True & False Believers and the Issue of Sin- I John 1_5-10- Final Version-1

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True &False Believers and

the Issue of Sin

I John 1:5-10

People today minimize and redefine sin, often alleging that the "failures" of their lives and certain "disorders" exist because of how others have treated them.

 

Example: New age church

The Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles

Making no claim at all to be Christian, but still calling itself a church, Pastor Michael Beckwith confidently exclaims, “we combine new thought with ancient wisdom. We don’t believe you are born into sin. We are born into blessings. While some seek salvation, we call it self-elevation” (World, Dec. 15, 2001, p. 16).

Example: Liberal Episcopalian church, woman mad

Russ Moore, a member of the faculty at Southern Seminary spoke at a liberal Episcopalian Church in New Albany, Indiana recently, (Feb. 2002), explaining what Baptists believe.

During a Question and Answer session, a woman spoke up and said, “My daughter is 10 and she has never sinned and I don’t think she ever will. I don’t think she has it in her.”

Example: National Day of prayer

Congress voted some years ago to require the President to proclaim each year a national day of prayer, and Truman began it in 1952.

The following year (1953) President Eisenhower made his first proclamation and in it he made a reference to SIN.

He borrowed the words for his proclamation from a call issued in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln, the country’s first Republican and most theological President:

“It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon.”

An article in “Theology Today” has this to say about Eisenhower’s use of the word “sin”:

“None of Eisenhower’s subsequent calls to prayer mentioned sin again. The word was not compatible with the Commander-in-Chief’s vision of a proud and confident people. … Since 1953, no President has mentioned sin as a national failing. Neither Kennedy, Johnson, nor Nixon. To be sure, they have skirted the word. The Republicans referred to the problems of “pride” and “self-righteousness.” The Democrats referred to “short-comings.” But none used the grand old sweeping concept of sin. I cannot imagine a modern President beating his breast on behalf of the Nation and praying “God be merciful to us sinners” …’

______________________________

The victim mentality reigns supreme as popular culture comforts itself in affirming that people are basically good and whatever may be wrong is not really wrong, but merely a preference of personal freedom.

Instead of accepting responsibility for their behavior, people demand to be accepted as they are.

They reclassify serious and heart issues "illnesses" and "addictions" and try to "cure" them with prescription drugs and psychotherapy.

But because that fails to deal with sin, the actual root cause of the problem, society goes from bad to worse.

In contrast to all that delusion, Jesus taught that every person is sinful at the very core of his or her being:

Mark 7:20-23

    And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. [21] For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, [22] Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: [23] All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Jeremiah 17:9

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Yet, many in the church today seem to be reluctant to make the diagnosis Jesus did, for fear they might offend someone or be deemed "unloving."

Thus, sin is explained away in culturally acceptable terms.

Example: Israel in Malachi's day "What sin?"

The people of Judah in Malachi's day were equally good at denying their sin. God had given them very clear and detailed instructions concerning what offerings were acceptable to Him (Lev. 1:1-7:38).

Yet they continued to present defiled food and defective animals to the Lord.

Then they acted surprised (as though they had done nothing wrong) when the Lord, through the prophet Malachi, confronted them about their clear disobedience:

Malachi 1:6-8

    A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? [7] Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. [8] And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts.

John has an altogether different understanding both of sin’s severity and a Savior’s necessity.

He recognizes the danger of calling God a liar and warns his “little children” (2:1) to be on alert.

Find out what a person believes about Jesus and what he thinks about sin, John says.

1 John 1:5

    This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

/“This then is the message which we have heard of him..”[1]-/ The message that John and the other apostles preached came from God not from men (cf. Gal. 1:12).

“God is light” – In Scripture, light and darkness are very familiar symbols.[2]

Intellectually, /“light”[3]/ refers to biblical truth while “darkness” refers to error or falsehood (cf. Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23; John 1:4; 8:12).

Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Proverbs 6:23 (KJV)

 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

John 1:4 (KJV)

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 8:12 (KJV)

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Morally, “light” refers to holiness or purity while “darkness” refers to sin or wrongdoing (Rom. 13:11–14; 1 Thess. 5:4–7).

Romans 13:11-14 (KJV)

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-7 (KJV)

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

The heretics claimed to be the truly enlightened, walking in the real light, but John denied that because they do not recognize their sin.

“and in Him is no darkness at all. [4]”- With this phrase, John forcefully affirms that God is absolutely perfect and nothing exists in God’s character that impinges upon His truth and holiness.[5]

James 1:17 (KJV)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Those two essential properties of divine light and life are crucial in distinguishing genuine faith from a counterfeit claim.

If one professes to possess the Light and to dwell in it—to have received eternal life—he will show evidence of spiritual life by his devotion both to truth and to righteousness, as John writes later in this letter:

1 John 2:9-11

    He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. [10] He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. [11] But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

We will mark how the issue of sin exposes true believers from false believers:

I. False Believers- v. 6, 8, 10

False Believers are:

1. In Darkness- v.6

1 John 1:6

    If we[6] say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

A. Notice their claim- v.6a

“If we say” (ἐὰν εἴπωμεν) introduces a hypothetical claim.[7]

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness”- present the religious profession, marked by a clear contradiction between the claim and the conduct maintained.

 

“Walk” is a common figure of speech to denote moral conduct.[8]

In spite of their claims to enlightenment and although the false teachers may have claimed fellowship with Christ, their walking in darkness refuted such claims

This showed their lack of genuine salvation.[9]

B. Notice their condemnation- v.6b

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth”

“we lie”- It is not an innocent mistake but a conscious lie.

Whenever there is a clear conflict between an individual’s verbal claim and his habitual conduct, it is always his conduct that shows what he is.

The negative assertion “we… do not the truth/,[10]”/ means they fail to embody God’s revealed truth in their daily conduct and character.

As Stott observes, “Religion without morality is an illusion.”[11]

Those who really believe the truth follow after James admonition:

James 1:22-25

    But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. [23] For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: [24] For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. [25] But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

False Believers are:

1. In Darkness- v.6

2. In Deception- v.8

1 John 1:8

    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

A. Notice their claim- v.8a

The expression “have no sin” is intended as a denial that human nature is sinful.

By this he meant that the old sinful nature has been taken out of them.

This view makes sin just simple mistakes, frailties, pardonable errors of human limitation—anything but “sin.”

B. Notice their condemnation- v.8b

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

we deceive ourselves - (ἑαυτοὺς πλανῶμεν, “ourselves we lead astray”)[12].

The reflexive pronoun stresses that this is man’s own doing.

The verb implies serious departure from the truth.

In Matthew 24:5 Jesus used the term of the coming false teachers; in Revelation it depicts the work of Satan, the arch deceiver (12:9; 13:14 ; 20:3, 8, 10 ).

Such self-deception is possible only through a willful rejection of the evidence concerning one’s inner nature as a fallen human being.

“the truth is not in us”- Self-deception involves refusal to allow “the truth” a place in one’s inner being.[13]

 

“The truth” ( ἀλήθεια) denotes the saving truth of the gospel.[14]

As a person commits himself to Christ that truth becomes his inner possession

If someone never admits to being a sinner, salvation cannot result

Example: The Rich Young Ruler- Matt. 19:16-22

Matthew 19:16-22 (KJV)

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

False Believers are:

1. In Darkness- v.6

2. In Deception- v.8

3. Defaming God- v.10

1 John 1:10

    If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

A. Notice their claim- v.10a

 

“If we say that we have not sinned,”- In contrast to the denial of a sinful nature in verse 8, this is a denial of sinfulness in deed.

The perfect tense verb refers to the past and with the negative it includes all of past time up to the last minute.

It claims that one is now in the state of never having committed sin.

It is therefore a denial that one has ever sinned.[15]

Such an individual might acknowledge the reality of sinful human conduct but claim that he himself had never committed such evil deeds.[16]

B. Notice their condemnation- v.10b

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

we make him a liar”- (ψεύστην ποιοῦμεν αὐτὸν, lit. “a liar we make Him”).[17]

This person is stating that God lied in because He has said over and over that all men are sinners.

Romans 3:10-12

    As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [12] They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 7:18

    For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Romans 8:7-8

    Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [8] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Ephes. 2:12

    That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

The present tense characterizes God as being “a liar”

Jesus said that being a “liar” is the very character of the devil. (cf. the words of Jesus in John 8:44.)

“His word is not in us.” - God’s Word has found no place in his inner life and being.

He has rejected the most basic application of God’s Word on his own heart and conscience.

For such willful rebellion against God and His Word there is no remedy.

Unless that rebellion is consciously terminated, no possibility of acceptance and fellowship with God is possible.

Illustration: Being barefoot as a kid, Atlanta & Beverly

Atlanta and Beverly’s feet were totally numb!

People’s hearts are a lot like our feet.

The longer we continue living a lie and deceiving other people, the more hardened our hearts become.

One lie leads to another.

False Believers are:

1. In Darkness- v.6

2. In Deception- v.8

3. Defaming God- v.10

II. True Believers- v.7, 9

True Believers are:

1. Cleansed from Sin- v.7

1 John 1:7

    But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If one walks in the light, then he can have fellowship with the Lord Jesus and with his fellow Christians.

Illustration: Little had “Internal Life” John 3:16

Little children have a unique way of framing the truth of God’s Word in ways that strike the heart of the matter.  This is one little girl’s interpretation of John 3:16.

[Dr. Walter Wilson] “was visiting in a home and the members of the family were asked to quote Bible verses.

“One little girl quoted John 3:16 as follows:

‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have INTERNAL LIFE.’”

The point is, if you walk in the light of Christ, His blood will cleanse you from all sin. 

This cleansing happens from the inside out. 

Thank God for INTERNAL LIFE!

As far as John is concerned in this passage, a man is either in the light or in darkness.

If he is in the light, he is a member of God’s family.

If he is in darkness, he does not have anything in common with God because there is no darkness in God at all.

Those who walk in the light, that is, those who are Christians, have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus[18] Christ continually cleanses[19] them from all sin.[20]

All God’s forgiveness is based on the blood of His Son that was shed at Calvary.

That blood[21] and sacrifice of Jesus provided God with a righteous basis on which He can forgive sins.[22]

Illustration: Man in dark room on ship

. . . The story is told of a midshipman who was put down into the hold of a vessel as a means of punishment. After an hour or so, his superior officer went over to the hatch to find out how the lad was doing. To his surprise-if not to his disgust-he heard him cheerfully whistling away in the dark. With set determination to teach this youngster a lesson, the officer lowered a light into the hold of the ship, and as the filth and vermin became apparent around him, the midshipman began to plead, “Let me out! Let me out of this place!” It was the light that made him aware of his true condition and surroundings.

*The light of God’s word and character has made us see our need for cleansing from sin.

True Believers are:

1. Cleansed from Sin- v.7

2. Confess their Sin- v.9

1 John 1:9

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Continual confession of sin is an indication of genuine salvation.

While the false teachers would not admit their sin, the genuine Christian admitted and forsook it

Example: David

Psalm 32:3-5 (KJV)

When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

In order for us to walk day by day in fellowship with God and with our fellow believers, we must confess our sins: sins of commission, sins of omission, sins of thought, sins of act, secret sins, and public sins.

We must drag them out into the open before God, call them by their names, take sides with God against them, and forsake them.

Yes, true confession involves forsaking of sins:

Proverbs 28:13 (KJV)

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

When we do that, we can claim the promise that God is faithful and just to forgive.

He is faithful in the sense that He has promised to forgive and will abide by His promise.

Jeremiah 31:34

… for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

He is just to forgive because He has found a righteous basis for forgiveness in the substitutionary work of the Lord Jesus on the cross.

And not only does He guarantee to forgive, but also to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The forgiveness John speaks about here is parental, not judicial. Judicial forgiveness means forgiveness from the penalty of sins, which the sinner receives when he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is called judicial because it is granted by God acting as Judge.

But what about sins which a person commits after conversion?

As far as the penalty is concerned, the price has already been paid by the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary.

But as far as fellowship in the family of God is concerned, the sinning saint needs parental forgiveness, that is, the forgiveness of His Father.

He obtains it by confessing his sin.

We need judicial forgiveness only once; that takes care of the penalty of all our sins—past, present, and future.

But we need parental forgiveness throughout our Christian life.

When we confess our sins, we must believe, on the authority of the word of God, that He forgives us.[23]

2. Illustrate

. . . On the island of Trinidad there is a crater in an extinct volcano which is completely filled with pitch. This asphalt is hard enough for folk to walk on, even though here and there gas escapes in bubbles from its surface. Men dig great chunks from this tar-like lake and load train cars full of it to pave the roads of the world. It is said, however, that no matter how large a hole is made in this Pitch Lake, no cavity will remain after 72 hours. for it immediately fills up from down below. For almost 100 years they have been taking shiploads of asphalt out of this crater, yet it never runs empty. They have gone down as far as 280 feet and still they have found this black, gum-like substance bubbling up. There seems to be an inexhaustible supply. So, too, with God’s grace; it is superabundant, and never diminishes. No matter how great the need, it cannot exhaust His love. His grace is sufficient.

Henry G. Bosch, Our Daily Bread (Grand Rapids: Radio Bible Class, n.d.).

4. Illustrate

 . . . A fish taken out of water gasps for air and quickly perishes. A flower snapped from its stem withers and dies. A Christian removed from the life-sustaining nourishment of the local church begins to fade spiritually and eventually dies. A church home is important not only for teaching, but for fellowship. The church that does not gather into its fold the drunks, the harlots, the liars, and the thieves, does not deserve the right to welcome the saints.

Additional Annotations

 1. Illustrate

 . . . Everyone needs forgiveness and cleansing. As Joyce Marie Smith points out, it is not enough to live a moral life. She puts it this way: “As a 14-year-old, I had three goals in life: to get good grades, to be popular, to have lots of fun-not necessarily in that order! I was not immoral, into drugs or alcohol, or a criminal. Yet when the claims of Jesus Christ were presented at a high school camp, I felt a need for God’s forgiveness. Deep within my heart I sensed my sinfulness and lack of fellowship with God. As I confessed need for Christ, . . . I was cleansed and forgiven.”

Joyce Marie Smith, A Rejoicing Heart (Wheaton, 1981), p. 40, adapted.

2. Illustrate

 . . . A Christian mother was putting her two small boys to bed. An hour before they had had an awful fight, and they were still angry with one another. Very wisely, the mother suggested that they forgive each other. One boy was amenable to the idea, while the other was defiant as ever. “But you would not like Jesus to come back again during the night and find that you had not forgiven your brother,” explained the parent. Tom thought for a moment and then blurted out, “All right, I’ll forgive him and confess my sin but if Jesus doesn’t come back tomorrow morning, I’ll punch him in the nose!”

3. Illustrate

 . . . LeRoy Eims tells of an impressive young man-tall, handsome, well-mannered, intelligent, spiritual. “The summer after we met,” writes Eims, “he went back to college . . . he attended a conference where I was speaking, and I could sense there was something wrong. His eye had lost its sparkle; his face had lost its smile; and his step had lost its bounce. He avoided me. He kept to himself. After the last meeting I sought him out and asked some questions . . . It seems that after the summer he had met a girl. Her husband traveled a lot and she was lonesome. Soon he was spending time over at her home, and before long he was living in sin with her. Before the young man could know the peace and joy of fellowship with God, he had to confess this sin and repudiate the relationship.”

The statement “God is light” is one of three assertions concerning the nature of God from the pen of John:

“God is a spirit” (John 4:24); “God is light” (1 John 1:5); “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16).

While other biblical writers tell about the attributes and activities of God, John alone in these statements tells what He is.

“God is light” ( θεὸς φῶς ἐστιν) is a metaphorical statement of His very nature.

Characteristically the apostle added a negative to his positive assertion: “and in Him s no darkness at all” (καὶ σκοτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδεμία, lit. “and darkness in Him not is, not one bit”).

The double negative stresses the total absence of any darkness in Him.

For John “darkness” is not merely the absence of light; it has a moral quality, standing in direct oppisite to all that characterizes God as “light.”

 (D. Edmond Hiebert, An Expositional Study of 1 John — Part 2: An Exposition of 1 John 1:5-2:6, Dallas Theological Seminary: Bibliotheca Sacra, Volume 145, Issue 331, July 1988, p. 331.)

For pagans in John’s day, familiar with the Greek and Roman mythologies, that was a startling assertion.

As Findlay notes,

Self-deception involves refusal to allow “the truth” a place in one’s inner being.

 

“The truth” ( ἀλήθεια) denotes “that specific body of truth, both moral and soteriological, that God has revealed to His people.”[24]

As a person commits himself to Christ that truth becomes his inner possession


----

[1] John skillfully uses the order of words in the Greek to emphasize his point.24 Although we are able to convey the emphasis in English only with the translation this is the message, John puts the stress on the verb is to convey the sense exists: “There exists this message.” He discloses not only the importance of the message but also its timeless significance. This message, therefore, has not been subject to change and modification, because it did not originate with John or with any other apostle or writer.

(Simon J. Kistemaker and William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of James and the Epistles of John, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001 (New Testament Commentary 14), p. 241.

[2] A scientific analysis of sunlight reveals that it consists of three kinds of rays: (1) Chemical rays or actinic. These rays are invisible and can neither be felt nor seen. (2) Light rays- can be seen but are never felt. (3) Heat rays- these rays are felt be never seen. [Possible allusion to the Godhead] (M.R. Dehaan, The Chemistry of the Blood, Lamplighter books, Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan Publishing House, 1981, p. 62.)

[3] “Another wonderful property of light is that it cannot be defiled. Even though it passes, say, through a glass of muddy water, light is not defiled.” (John Phillips, Exploring the Epistles of John, Kregel Publication, Grand Rapids, MI, 2003, p. 32.)

[4] (καὶ σκοτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδεμία, lit. “and darkness in Him not is, not one bit”). The double negative stresses the total absence of any darkness in Him.(D. Edmond Hiebert, An Expositional Study of 1 John — Part 2: An Exposition of 1 John 1:5-2:6, Dallas Theological Seminary: Bibliotheca Sacra, Volume 145, Issue 331, July 1988, p. 331.)

[5][5] They had gods that could cheat and lie, gods licentious and unchaste, gods spiteful and malignant towards men, quarrelsome and abusive toward each other. They had been accustomed to think of the Godhead as a mixed nature, like their own, only on a larger scale—good and evil, kind and cruel, pure and wanton, made of darkness and light. (George G. Findlay, Fellowship in the Life Eternal (New York: Hodder and Stoughton, n.d.), p. 96.)

[6] John is simply stating general principles which are applicable to all men equally. This kind of "preacher's we" is often heard in the pulpit. E.g., "If we reject the claims of Christ we will be eternally lost, but if we trust Christ as our Savior we will be eternally saved." The "we" really means anyone, but in order to associate with his readers he uses "we". Cf. also 2:9-11,22 ("the one who") and 2:23,29; 3:3,4 ("everyone who").

[7] “The Third Class: Undetermined, but with Prospect of Determination. This condition states the condition as a matter of doubt, but with some expectation of realization” (A. T. Robertson and W. Hersey Davis, A New Short Grammar of the Greek Testament [New York: Harper & Brothers, 1935], p. 353)

[8] The compound verb denotes the whole round of daily activities, including thought and deed. The tense denotes the continued action.

[9] John's point is that the person who claims to be in fellowship with God (i.e., saved) yet consistently and characteristically walks in darkness is a liar. What do they lie about? . . . their claim to be Christians! "We are right," says Stott, "to be suspicious of those who claim a mystical intimacy with God and yet 'walk in the darkness' of error and sin, paying no regard to the self-revelation of an all-holy God. Since God is light, such claims are ludicrous. Religion without morality is an illusion" (p.74).

[10] "do not the truth"- This points to their habitual failure regarding the practice of the truth. (MacArthur Study Bible).

[11] J. R. W. Stott, The Epistles of John, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1964), p. 74.

[12] Robert Young, The Holy Bible Consisting of the Old and New Covenants Translated according to the Letter and Idioms of the Original Languages (London: Pickering & Inglis, n.d.).

[13] Spurgeon said, “The idea of having no sin is a delusion; you are altogether deceived if you say so; the truth is not in you, and you have not seen things in the true light; you must have shut your eyes to the high requirements of the law, you must be a stranger to your own heart, you must be blind to your own conduct every day, and you must have forgotten to search your thoughts and to weigh your motives, or you would have detected the presence of sin. He who cannot find water in the sea is not more foolish than the man who cannot perceive sin in his members. As the salt flavors every drop of the Atlantic, so does sin affect every atom of our nature.” (“Honest Dealings With God,” June 20, 1875).

[14] Whenever "truth" [aletheia] appears in the Johannine literature with the definite article ["the"] it refers to the body of Christian truth, i.e., the gospel in its fullness (cf. John 1:17; 3:21; 5:33; 8:32,40,44,45; 14:6,17; 15:26; 16:13; 17:17; 18:37; 1 John 2:4,21; 3:19; 4:6; 5:6; 2 John 1,2; 3 John 4,8,12).

[15] Burdick, The Letters of John the Apostle, p. 128.

[16] Hiebert, Ibid. p. 337.

[17] Young, The Holy Bible Consisting of the Old and New Covenants.

[18] A.M. Stibbs in The Meaning of the Word “Blood” in Scripture” (Tyndale Press, 1948), he clearly shows that “blood” in the bible (e.g. Lev. 17:11) signifies no “life” merely, but “life violently ended; it is a sign of life either given or taken in death.” (p. 33).

[19] “Cleanses us from all sin” declares the impact of His blood as continuous and comprehensive. The present tense verb “cleanseth” (καθαρίζει, “keeps on cleansing”) presents its competence to do what nothing else can, while the phrase “from all sin” (ἀπὸ πάσης ἁμαρτίας) points to every act of sin that may occur while believers walk in the light. (Ibid. Hiebert)

[20] The principle given by Dr. Samuel Storms commentary on I John is good: the new, immature believer sins a lot and hates it a little, whereas the older, mature believer sins a little and hates it a lot.

[21] Isaac Watts (1674-1748) wrote: Not all the blood of beasts, On Jewish altars slain, Could give the guilty conscience peace, Nor wash away one stain. But Christ, the heavenly Lamb, Took all our sins away; A sacrifice of nobler name And richer blood than they. ( Philips, Ibid. p. 35)

[22] William MacDonald and Arthur Farstad, Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1995, S. 1 Jn 1:7.

[23] (Ibid. MacDonald)

[24] Burdick, The Letters of John the Apostle, p. 125.

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