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Verses of 1 John 2

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1 John 2:1 Commentary - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Christ the Propitiation.

A. D. 80.

      1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:   2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

      These verses relate to the concluding subject of the foregoing chapter, in which the apostle proceeds upon the supposition of the real Christian's sin. And here he gives them both dissuasion and support.

      1. Dissuasion. He would leave no room for sin: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not, v. 1. The design or purport of this letter, the design of what I have just said concerning communion with God and the overthrow of it by an irreligious course, is to dissuade and drive you from sin." See the familiar affectionate compellation with which he introduces his admonition: My little children, children as having perhaps been begotten by his gospel, little children as being much beneath him in age and experience, my little children, as being dear to him in the bonds of the gospel. Certainly the gospel most prevailed where and when such ministerial love most abounded. Or perhaps the judicious reader will find reason to think that the apostle's meaning in this dissuasion or caution is this, or amounts to this reading: These things write I unto you, not that you sin. And so the words will look back to what he had said before concerning the assured pardon of sin: God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, c., &lti>ch. i. 9. And so the words are a preclusion of all abuse of such favour and indulgence. "Though sins will be forgiven to penitent confessors, yet this I write, not to encourage you in sin, but upon another account." Or this clause will look forward to what the apostle is going to say about the Advocate for sinners: and so it is a prolepsis, a prevention of like mistake or abuse: "These things write I unto you, not that you sin, but that you may see your remedy for sin." And so the following particle (as the learned know) may be rendered adversatively: But, if a man sin, he may know his help and cure. And so we see,

      II. The believer's support and relief in case of sin: And (or but) if any man sin (any of us, or of our foresaid communion), We have we an Advocate with the Father, c., &lti>v. 1. Believers themselves, those that are advanced to a happy gospel-state, have yet their sins. There is a great distinction therefore between the sinners that are in the world. There are Christianized (such as are instated in the sacred saving privileges of Christ's mystical or spiritual body) and unchristianized, converted and unconverted sinners. There are some who, though they really sin, yet, in comparison with others, are said not to sin, as ch. iii. 9. Believers, as they have an atonement applied unto them at their entrance into a state of pardon and justification, so they have an Advocate in heaven still to continue to them that state, and procure their continued forgiveness. And this must be the support, satisfaction, and refuge of believers (or real Christians) in or upon their sins: We have an Advocate. The original name is sometimes given to the Holy Ghost, and then it is rendered, the Comforter. He acts within us; he puts pleas and arguments into our hearts and mouths; and so is our advocate, by teaching us to intercede for ourselves. But here is an advocate without us, in heaven and with the Father. The proper office and business of an advocate is with the judge; with him he pleads the client's cause. The Judge with whom our advocate pleads is the Father, his Father and ours. He who was our Judge in the legal court (the court of the violated law) is our Father in the gospel court, the court of heaven and of grace. His throne or tribunal is the mercy-seat. And he that is our Father is also our Judge, the supreme arbitrator of our state and circumstances, either for life or death, for time or eternity. You have come--to God, the Judge of all, Heb. xii. 23. That believers may be encouraged to hope that their cause will go well, as their Judge is represented to them in the relation of a Father, so their advocate is recommended to them upon these considerations:-- 1. By his person and personal names. It is Jesus Christ the Son of the Father, one anointed by the Father for the whole office of mediation, the whole work of salvation, and consequently for that of the intercessor or advocate. 2. By his qualification for the office. It is Jesus Christ the righteous, the righteous one in the court and sight of the Judge. This is not so necessary in another advocate. Another advocate (or an advocate in another court) may be an unjust person himself, and yet may have a just cause (and the cause of a just person in that case) to plead, and may accordingly carry his cause. But here the clients are guilty; their innocence and legal righteousness cannot be pleaded; their sin must be confessed or supposed. It is the advocate's own righteousness that he must plead for the criminals. He has been righteous to the death, righteous for them; he has brought in everlasting righteousness. This the Judge will not deny. Upon this score he pleads, that the clients' sins may not be imputed to them. 3. By the plea he has to make, the ground and basis of his advocacy: And he is the propitiation for our sins, v. 2. He is the expiatory victim, the propitiatory sacrifice that has been offered to the Judge for all our offences against his majesty, and law, and government. In vain do the professors of Rome distinguish between and advocate of redemption and an advocate of intercession, or a mediator of such different service. The Mediator of intercession, the Advocate for us, is the Mediator of redemption, the propitiation for our sins. It is his propitiation that he pleads. And we might be apt to suppose that his blood had lost its value and efficacy if no mention had been made of it in heaven since the time it was shed. But now we see it is of esteem there, since it is continually represented in the intercession of the great advocate (the attorney-general) for the church of God. He ever lives to make intercession for those that come to God through him. 4. By the extent of his plea, the latitude of his propitiation. It is not confined to one nation; and not particularly to the ancient Israel of God: He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only (not only for the sins of us Jews, us that are Abraham's seed according to the flesh), but also for those of the whole world (v. 2); not only for the past, or us present believers, but for the sins of all who shall hereafter believe on him or come to God through him. The extent and intent of the Mediator's death reach to all tribes, nations, and countries. As he is the only, so he is the universal atonement and propitiation for all that are saved and brought home to God, and to his favour and forgiveness.

Verses of 1 John 2

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Consult other comments:

1 John 2:1 - Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

1 John 2:1 - The Greek Testament

1 John 2:1 - Barclay Daily Study Bible

1 John 2:1 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

1 John 2:1 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

1 John 2:1 - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

1 John 2:1 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

1 John 2:1 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

1 John 2:1 - B.H. Carroll's An Interpretation of the English Bible

1 John 2:1 - Through the Bible Commentary

1 John 2:1 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

1 John 2:1 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

1 John 2:1 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

1 John 2:1 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

1 John 2:1 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

1 John 2:1 - John Darby's Synopsis of the New Testament

1 John 2:1 - Expositors Bible Commentary

1 John 2:1 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

1 John 2:1 - Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

1 John 2:1 - The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Robertson

1 John 2:1 - Expositor's Dictionary of Text by Robertson

1 John 2:1 - F. B. Hole's Old and New Testaments Commentary

1 John 2:1 - F.B. Meyer's Through the Bible Commentary

1 John 2:1 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

1 John 2:1 - Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

1 John 2:1 - Geneva Bible Notes

1 John 2:1 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

1 John 2:1 - Gnomon of the New Testament

1 John 2:1 - William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

1 John 2:1 - Grant's Commentary on the Bible

1 John 2:1 - The Great Texts of the Bible

1 John 2:1 - Henry Alford's Greek Testament

1 John 2:1 - Smith's Writings on 24 Books of the Bible

1 John 2:1 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

1 John 2:1 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

1 John 2:1 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

1 John 2:1 - International Critical Commentary New Testament

1 John 2:1 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

1 John 2:1 - Commentaries on the New Testament and Prophets

1 John 2:1 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

1 John 2:1 - William Kelly Major Works (New Testament)

1 John 2:1 - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann

1 John 2:1 - A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical by Lange

1 John 2:1 - Cornelius Lapide Commentary

1 John 2:1 - Neighbour's Wells of Living Water

1 John 2:1 - Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's New Testament Commentary

1 John 2:1 - An Exposition on the Whole Bible

1 John 2:1 - Church Pulpit Commentary

1 John 2:1 - The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

1 John 2:1 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

1 John 2:1 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

1 John 2:1 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

1 John 2:1 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

1 John 2:1 - The Complete Pulpit Commentary

1 John 2:1 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

1 John 2:1 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

1 John 2:1 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 John 2:1 - Scofield Reference Bible Notes

1 John 2:1 - The Sermon Bible

1 John 2:1 - Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

1 John 2:1 - Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

1 John 2:1 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

1 John 2:1 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

1 John 2:1 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

1 John 2:1 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

1 John 2:1 - Combined Bible Commentary

Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary