The Obligation of the Believer Toward God and Others


“My little children, I am writing these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous One. He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1,2. HCSB

My little children
It is important to understand that John loves the Body of Christ and this calls into memory Ephesians 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing[a] her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.” As Paul writes concerning that a husband is to love his wife just as Christ loves the Church and John seems to writing with a similar idea. Every member of the Body of Christ should love one another as Christ loves His Body, the Church

I am writing these things so that you may not sin.
For some reason far too many Believers have the mistaken idea that we can live with certain liberties knowing that forgiveness is available for sin. They will say that all that is necessary is to confess and receive forgiveness. By reading 1 John1:8,9 it is possible to assume such an idea. Certainly, this promise is available for those who do sin, however these words do NOT provide a credit card for sin.

 “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous One”
Take note of a most important statement…..if anyone does sin……John is NOT writing in the expectation of sin, but rather he writes of his confidence that God has provided us with the ONLY righteous protection those insurrections against the New Covenant between Himself and Man. That Provider of protection is Jesus Christ, His Son. In Him we find Him standing between us and just condemnation from God the Father.

Call attention to Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus that is found in John 3:18. “Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.” The key to understanding the relationship between the Christ, the Advocate, and the folks that claim to have this forgiveness is “Anyone who believes…..” That is to say, the one who has chosen to walk by faith and to live according to the standards put forth by the One who is called the Christ. This Standard is exceptionally high and is NOT to be taken lightly. We who claim to walk as Believers, that is, Followers of the Christ have a difficult task ahead, but is made much easier when we walk by faith in the One who saves and not by our sight.

The right and availability to sin is NOT a part of the New Covenant with the Christ.

He Himself is the propitiation for our sins,
Propitiation is an antiquated word that is very seldom used except by church goers and I would suggest that we use the term, reconciliation. Again, this word is seldom used in most communities except when speaking in economic circles. However, this is the language of God to us. Therefore, propitiation, atonement and reconciliation as defined by Webster:

1.  the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
2. reparation for an offense or injury

The definition “the reconciliation of God” says it best for this discussion. Jesus has paid the price for our offense and injury toward Holy God. We must remember that our sin is NOT only against man, but rather against God.

In Psalm 51 we find the confession of King David for his sin which originated with his sexual sin for Bathsheba. There is no question that David’s transgressions were not without silence, but were raging and engulfed many people. He sinned against Bathsheba, Uriah, his family, his own body, his men, and the Nation under his rule. “Run from sexual immorality! “Every sin a person can commit is outside the body.”[a] On the contrary, the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18. The most tragic result of the sin is that it interrupts our relationship with God just as David says in Psalm 1:4, “Against You—You alone—I have sinned and done this evil in Your sight. So You are right when You pass sentence; You are blameless when You judge.” We must remember that we sin against the Creator, Savior and Judge of mankind.

In the end we must understand that sin never remains a deep dark secret that will not harm others. The dark side of sin is revealed in the lives of those who are affected. Our sin is never as private as we would like to think. Sin never remains in our closet Therefore, the responsibility of every Believer is to live the life that the Scriptures call for, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance but, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” I Peter 1:14-16.

and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.
And this is one of the many statements that confirm that Christ died for the sins of every person int the world and His forgiveness remains for anyone who believes on His Name. Those among us who claim, what I might call, “The Predestination Factor” manipulate God’s Word in order to formulate doctrinal statements not found in the context of Holy Writ.

Certainly, Christ died and resurrected for the redemption of His Church. The Church is the Body of Believers who have been reconciled by faith in Jesus Christ. We know this by what is found in Paul’s hand in Ephesians 2:8-10. “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”

Verse 10 reminds us that we are created for good works toward God. We are not created for sin against Him. Our good works are not for our gain, but are a result of our faith in the Christ. Paual writes, “Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith.” Philippians 3:8b,9. Simply stated we live a life of righteousness because of a living faith in the Savior. We do not live to sin expecting forgiveness. However we are expected by God to live a life of righteousness in order that we might not sin. “My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.”

Jesus is Lord

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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