Read through the following to the end, where you’ll find my brief appreciation of this passage : )
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous;
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Words of Ministry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After we are saved, we should sin no more. John 8 speaks of the Lord Jesus forgiving a woman who had committed adultery. He said to her then and there, “From now on sin no more” (v. 11). Once we are saved, we are charged by the Lord to sin no more! As saved ones, we surely should not continue in sin.
Since a Christian should not sin and should not continue in sins, is it then possible for a Christian not to sin? The answer is yes! It is possible for Christians not to sin because we have God’s life within us. This life does not sin. It cannot tolerate any trace of sin. This life is as holy as God is holy. The life within us makes us very sensitive to sin. If we walk according to the sense of this life and if we live by this life, we will not sin.
However, it is possible for Christians to sin. We are still in the flesh. If we do not walk according to the Spirit and live in life, we can sin at any time. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers, even if a man is overtaken in some offense…” First John 2:1 says, “My little children…if anyone sins…” It is possible for Christians to be overtaken by sins. There is still the possibility of sinning. First John 1:8 says, “If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves.” Verse 10 says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar.” Hence, our experience shows us that it is possible for Christians to fall accidentally into sin.
Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible
and Words of Ministry from Watchman Nee, Messages for
Building Up New Believers, pp. 321-322. Both are published
by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA
I was quite intrigued that this passage highlights two sides – to sin or not to sin.
- To sin: We as Christians can sin because we have a fallen human nature, which is prone to “fall[ing] accidentally into sin” in our experience.
- To not sin: We as Christians cannot sin because we have God’s life in us, which is incapable of sinning!
It could have seemed incorrect for the passage to have such a title when it describes that we can either sin or not sin. However, a key aspect of this passage lies in the Bible verse shown above (1 John 2:1b) which says, “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous”. Christ is our Advocate for the reasons of Hebrews 4:15 – He is our High Priest who is touched with the feelings of our weaknesses. Furthermore when we confess our sins, “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This means that when we confess, He cleanses us, “wipes away” our sins and does not remember our sins (Isaiah 43:25). Hallelujah! We have such a Christ today in our experience; we just need to confess, to be cleansed, and allow the divine, incorruptible life to operate within us : D