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Things Hard to be Understood
2 PETER, U.
by the Spiritually Unlearned. come, Lord Jesus." the coming-Greek, "presence of showing that certain definite churches, or particular a person: usually, of the Saviour. the day of God-God classes of believers, are meant by "you." in which has given many myriads of days to men: ope shall be epistles. The oldest MSS. read the feminine relative the great "day of God" Himself. wberein-rather as hais); not as Received text Chois)." in which things." Greek, " on account of lor owing to) which' day. hea- some things hard to be understood-riz., in reference to vens- the npper and lower regions of the sky, melt- Christ's coming, e... the statements as to the man of Onr igneous rocks show that they were once in a liquid sin and the apostasy, before Christ's coming. "Paul state. 13. Nevertheless - "But:" in contrast to the seemed thereby to delay Christ's coming to a longer destructive effects of the day of God stand its con- period than the other apostles, whence some doubted structive effects. As the flood was the baptism of the altogether His coming." (BENGEL) Though there be earth, eventuating in a renovated earth, partially de- some things hard to be understood, there are enough livered from "the curse," so the baptism with fire / besides plain, easy, and sufficient for perfecting the man shall purify the earth so as to be the renovated abode of God. "There is scarce anything drawn from the of regenerated man, wholly freed from the curse, his obscure places, but the same in other places may be promise - (Isaiah, 66, 17; 66. 22.) The "we" is not found most plain." (AUGUSTINE.) It is our own preemphatical as in English Version. new heavens-new judice, foolish expectations, and carnal fancies, that atmospheric heavens surrounding the renovated earth, make Scripture difficult. (JEREMY TAYLOR) righteousness - dwelleth in that coming world as its learurd - Not those wanting human learning are essential feature, all pollutions having been removed. | meant, but those lacking the learning imparted by the 14. that ye...be found of him "in His sight" (ALFORD). Spirit. The humanly learned have been often most at His coming : plainly implying a personal coming. deficient in spiritual learning, and have origiasted without spot - at the coming marriage feast of the many heresies. Cr. 2 Timothy. 2. 23. A different Lamb, in contrast to ch. 2, 13, “Spots they are and Greek word, "unlearned," lit., "untutored." When blemishes while they feast," not having on the King's religion is studied as a science, nothing is more ab pure wedding garment. blameless-(1 Corinthians, 1. 8: | struse; when studied in order to know our duty and Philippians, 1, 10; 1 Thessalonians, 3. 13; 6. 23.) in I practise it, nothing is easier, unstable--not yet esta peace--in all its aspects, towards God, your own con- blished in what they have learned; sbaken by every sciences, and your fellowmen, and as its consequence seeming difficulty; who, in perplexing texts, instead of eternal blessedness; "the God of peace" will effect waiting until God by His Spirit make tbem plain in this for you, 15. account...the long-suffering...is saiva-comparing them with other Scriptures, bastily adopt tion-9 designed for the salvation of those yet to be distorted views. wrest - strain and twist (properly gathered into the church: whereas those scoffers with a hand-screw) what is straight in itsell, es ** count it to be the result of) slackness" on the Lord's 2 Timothy, 2. 18. Other scriptures-Paul's epistles vere. part (0.9). our beloved brother Paul - A beautiful in- | therefore, by this time, recognised in the church, 86 stance of love and humility. Peter praises the very "Scripture:" a term never applied in any of the fifty epistles which contain his condemnation. according to places where it occurs, save to the Old and New the wisdom given unto him - Adopting Paul's own Testament sacred writings. Men in each church bav language, 1 Corinthians, 3. 10. " According to the grace ing miraculous discernments of spirits would have of God which is giren unto me as a wise master prevented any uninspired writing from being put on a builder.“ Supernatural and inspired wisdom "GIVEN" par with the Old Testament word of God: the him, not acquired in human schools of learning. bath | apostles' lives also were providentially prolonged, written-Greek aorist, "wrote," as a thing wholly past: Paul and Peter's at least to thirty-four years after Paul was by this time either dead, or had ceased to Christ's resurrection, John's to thirty years later, 50 minister to them to you - Galatians, Ephesians, that fraud in the canon is out of question. The three Colossians, the same region as Peter addresses. Cf. first Gospels and Acts are included in " the other ** in peace," o. 14, a practical exhibition of which Peter Scriptures," and perhaps all the New Testament DOW gives in showing how perfectly agreeing Paul (who books, save John and Revelation, written later. unte wrote the epistle to the Galatians) and he are, not their own destruction-not through Paul's fault (ch. 1.1. withstanding the event recorded Galatians, 2. 11-14. 17. Ye-Warned by the case of those "unlearned si Colossians, 3. 4, refers to Christ's second coming. The unstable persons (v. 16), knowing... before the event. epistle to the Hebrews, too (addressed not only to the led away with the very term, as Peter remembers, Palestinian, but also secondarily to the Hebrew used by Paul of Barnabas' being “carried," Greek, led Christians everywhere), may be referred to, as Peter away with, Peter and the other Jews in their hypocris. primarily though not exclusively) addresses in both wicked --" lawless," as in ch. 2. 7. tall from-grace. epistles the Hebrew Christians of the dispersion (Note, Galatians, 6. 4: the true source of) "stedfastnesi 1 Peter, 1. 1). Hebrews, 9. 27, 28: 10. 25, 37, "speak of or stability in contrast with the "unstable" it. & these things" (v. 16) which Peter has been handling." established" (ch. 1. 12): all kindred Grect terms. viz., the coming of the day of the Lord, delayed Cf. Jude, 20, 21. 18. grow-Not only do nos fall fros through His “long-suffering." yet near and sudden, (0, 17), but grow onward: the true secret of not goi 16. also in all his epistles-Romans, 2. 4, is very similar backward. Ephesians, 4. 15. “Grow up into Him, the to , 16 beginning. The Pauline epistles were by this Head, Christ." grace and...knowledge of Christ time become the common property of all the churches. I grace and knowledge of Christ" (ALFORD richthyl: the The "all" seems to imply they were now completed. grace of which Christ is the author, and the barried The subject of the Lord's coming is handled, 1 Thes- of which Christ is the object for ever-Ordi salonians, 4, 13,-5, 11; cf. v. 10, with 1 Thessalonians," to the day of eternity :" the day that has no od: 5. 2. Still Peter distinguishes Pani's epistle, or the day of the Lord," beginning with the long epistles," TO YOU." from "all bis (otheri epistles," | coming.
THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF
INTRODUCTION. AUTORSHIP.-Polyenrp, the disciple of John (ad Philippenses, c. 7), quotes ch.4.3. Eusebins, Ecclesiastical History,
8. 39, says of Papias, a hearer of John, and frieust of Polycarp, "He used testimonies from the first epistle of John." Irenens, according to Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 5. 8, often quoted this epistle. So in his work against heresies (3. 15. 5,8) he quotes from John by Dame, ch. 2. 18, &c.; and in 3. 16.7, he quotes ch. 4. 1-3; 5. 1, and 3 Joha, 7, 8. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 2. 68, P. 464, refers to ch. 3. 16, as in John's larger epistle. See other quotations, Stromala, 3. 32, 42; 4102, Tertullian, adversus Marcion, 5, 16, refers to ch.41, &c.; adversus Praxean, c. 15, to 1 John, 1.). See his other quotations, c. 28; and contra Gnosticos, 12. Cyprian, Epistle 28 (24), quotes, as John's, ch. % 3, 4; and de Oratione Domini, 5., quotes ch. 2. 15-17; and de Opere and Eleemos, ch. 1. 8; and de Bono Patientiae, 2., quotes ch. 2. 6. Muratori's fragment on the canon states, " There are two of John (the gospel and epistle ?) esteemed Catholic," and quotes ch. 1. 3. The Peschito Syriac contains it Origen in Eusebirus, 6. 25, speaks of the first epistle as genuine, and "probably the second and third, though all do not recognise the latter two:" on the Gospel of John, tom. 13., vol. 2, he quotes ob. 1. 5. Dionysius of Alex. andria, Origen's scholar, cites the words of this epistle as those of the Evangelist John. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3. 24, maye, John's first epistle and gospel are acknowledged without question by those of the present day, as well as by the anciente. So also Jerome, in Catalogus Ecclesiasticorum Scriptorum. The opposition of Cosmas Indicopleustes, in the sixth century, and that of Marcion, because our epistle was inconsistent with his views, are of no weight against such irrefragable testimony.
The internal evidence is equally strong. Neither the gospel, nor our epistle, can be pronounced an imitation; yet both, in style and modes of thought, are evidently of the same mind. The individual notices are not so numerous or obvious as in Paul's writings, as was to be expected in a Catholic epistle; bat such as there are, accord with John's position. He implies his apostleship, and perhaps alludes to his gospel, and the affectionate tie which bound him as an aged pastor to his spiritual "children;" and in ch. 2. 18, 19; 4. 1.3, he alludes to the false teachers as known to his readers; and in ch. 5. 91, warns them against the idols of the surrounding world. It is no objection against its authenticity, that the doctrine of the Word, or Divine second person, existing from everlasting, and in due time made flesh, appears in it, as also in the gospel, as opposed to the heresy of the Docetae in the second century, who denied that our Lord is come in the flesh, and maintained He came only in outward semblance ; for the same doctrine appears in Colossians, 1. 15-18; 1 Timothy, 3. 16; Hebrews, 1. 1-3; and the germs of docetism, though not fully developed till the second century, were in existence in the first The Spirit, presciently through John, puts the church beforehand on its guard against the coming heresy.
TO WHOM ADDRESSED.-Augustine, Quæst. Evang., 2. 39, says this epistle was written to the Parthians. Bede, in a prologue to the seven Catholio epistles, says that Athanasius attests the same. By the Parthians may be meant the Christians living beyond the Euphrates in the Parthian territory, outside the Roman empire, "the church at Babylon elected together with the churches in the Ephesian region, the quarter to which Peter addressed his epistles. As Peter addressed the flock wbich John subsequently tended (and in which Paul had formerly ministered), so John, Peter's close companion after the ascension, addresses the flock among whom Peter had been when he wrote. Thus " the elect lady answers to the church elected together." See further confirmation of this view in Introduction to 2 Joha. It is pot necessarily an objection to this view, that John never is known to have personally ministered in the Parthian terri. tory. For peither did Peter personally minister to the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia, thongh he wrote his epistles to them. Moreover, in John's prolonged life, we cannot dogmatically assert that he did not visit the Parthian Christians, after Peter had ceased to minister to them, on the mere ground of absence of extant testi. mony to that effect. This is as probable a view as Alford's, &c., that in the passage of Augustine, "to the Parthians," is to be altered by conjectural emendation, and that the epistle is addressed to the churches at and around Ephesus, on the ground of the fatherly tone of affectionate address in it, implying his personal ministry among his readers. But hig position, as probably the only surviving apostle, accords very well with his addressing, in a Catholic epistle, a cycle of churches which he may not have specially ministered to in person, with affectionate fatherly counse), by virtue of his general apostolio superintendence of all the churches,
TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING.-This epistle seems to have been written subsequently to his gospel, as it assames the readers' acquaintance with the gospel facts and Christ's speeches, and also with the special aspect of the incarnato Word, as God manifest in the flesh, set forth more fully in his gospel. The tone of address, as a father addressing his "little children" (the continually-recurring term), accords with the view that this epistle was written in John's old age, per haps about 90 A.D. In ch. 2. 18, * It is the last time," probably does not refer to any particular event, as the destruction of Jerusalem, which was now many years past, but refers to the nearness of the Lord's coming as proved by the rise of anti-Christian teachers, the mark of the last time. It was the Spirit's purpose to keep the church always expecting Christ as ready to come at any moment. The whole Christian age is the last time in the sense that no other dispensation is to arise till Christ comes Cr. “these last days," Hebrews, 1.2 Ephesus may be conjectured to be the place whence it wag written, The controversial allusions to the germs of Gnostic beresy, accord with Asia Minor being the place, and the last part of the apostolie age the time, of writing this epistle.
CONTENTS.-The leading subject of the whole is, fellowship with the Father and the Son (ch. 1. 3). Two principal divisions may be noted, (1.) ch. 1. 5,-2.98: the theme of this portion is stated at the outset, "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all;" consequently, in order to have fellowship with Him, we must walk in light; connected with which is the confession and subsequent forgiveness of our sins through Christ's propitiation and advocacy, without which forgiveness there could be no light or fellowship with God: a further step in thus walking in the light is, positively keeping God's com. mariments, the sum of which is love, as opposed to hatred, the acme of disobedience to God's word : negatively, he exhorts thern according to their several stages of spiritual growth, chudren, fathers, young men, in consonance with their privileges as forgiven, knowing the father, and having overcome the wicked one, not to love the world, which is incompatible with the indwelling of the love of the Father, and to be on their guard against the anti-Christian teachers already in the world, who were not of the church, but of the world, against whom the true defence is, that his believing readers who have the anointing of God, should continue to abile in the Son and in the Father. (2) The second division (ch. 2. 29,-5. 5) discuss the theme with which it opens, "He is righteous;" 000sequently (as in the first division), "every one that docth righteousness is Introduction.
born of Him." Sonship in us involves our purifying ourselves as He is pure, even as we hope to see, and therefore to be marle like our Lord when He shall appear : in this second, as in the first division, both a positive and a negative side are presented of "doing righteousness as He is righteous," involving a contrast between the children of God and the chil. dren of the devil. Hatred marks the latter; love, the former: this love gives assurance of acceptance with God for our selves and our prayers, accompanied as they are (s. 23) with obedience to His great commandment, to believe on Jesus, and love one another:" the seal (v. 24) of His dwelling in us and assuring our hearts, is the Spirit which He hath girea 128 la contrast to this (as in the first division), he warns against false spirits, the notes of which are, denial of Christ, and a herence to the world. Sonship, or birth of God is, then, more fully described: its essential feature is unslavish free low to God, because God Arst loved 18, and gave His Son to die for us, and consequent love to the brethren, grounded on their being Sons of God also like ourselves, and so victory over the world: this victory being gained only by the man who below in Jan as the Son of God. (2.) The conclusion establishes this last central truth, on which rests our fellowship with God, Chefs having come by the toater of baptism, the blood of atonement, and the witnessing Spirit, which is truth. As in the opening, he rested this cardinal truth on the apostles' witness of the eye, the ear, and the touch, so now at the close be rests it on God's witness, which is accepted by the believer, in contrast with the unbeliever who mnaten God a har. Tben follow his cloning statement of his reason for writing (oh. 5. 18; cf. the corresponding ch. 1. 4, at the beginning), namely, that were in Christ the Son of God may know that they have now already) eternal life (the source of joy," eh. 1. 4; of similarly bia object in writing the gospel, John, . 31), and so have confidence as to their prayers being answered (corresponding to e. 3. 2 in the second part); for instance, their intercessions for a sinning brotha (unless his sin be a rin imto death Be closes with a brief summing up of the instruction of the epistle, the high diguity, sanctity, and safety from evil, of the children of God, in contrast to the sinful world, and a warning against idolatry, literal and spiritual: "Keep yourselres from idols.*
Though the epistle is not directly polemical, the occasion which suggested his writing was probably the rise of ant Christian teachers; and, because he knew the spiritual character of the sereral classes whom he addresses, children, youth fathers, he feels it necessary to write to confirm them in the faith and joyful fellowship of the Father and Son, and to sur them of the reality of the things they believe, that so they may hare the full privileges of believing
STYLE.-His peculiarity is fondness for aphorism and repetition. His tendency to repeat his own phrases arises partis from the affectionate, hortatory character of the epistle; partly, also, from its Hebraistic form, abounding in parallel clauses, as distinguished from the Grecian and more logical style of Paul; also, from his child-like simplicity of spirit which, full of his one grand theme, repeats, and dwells on it, with fond delight and enthusiasm. Moreover, as Alford wch says, the appearance of uniformity is often produced by want of deep enough exegesis to discover the real differences in passages which seem to express the same. Contemplative, rather than argumentative, he dwells more on the general, than on the particular, on the inner, than on the outer Christian life. Certain fundamental truths he recurs again and again to, at one time enlarging on, and applying them, at another time repeating them in their condensed simplicity. The thoughts do not march onward by successive steps, as in the logical style of Paul, but rather in cireles drama found one central thought which he reiterates, ever reverting to it, and viewing it, now under its positive, now under its negative aspect. Many terms which in the gospel are given as Christ's, in the epistle appear as the favourite expressions of Johann naturally adopted from the Lord. Thus the contrasted terms, "flesh" and "spirit, "light" and "darkness, it and “death," "abide in Him:" " fellowship with the Father and Son, and with one another," is a farourite plirase also. not found in the gospel, but in Acts, and Paul's epistles. In him appears the harmonious union of opposites, adapting bim for his bigh functions in the kingdom of God, contemplative repose of character, and at the same time ardent seal, cu bined with burning, all-absorbing love; less adapted for active outward work, such as Paul's, than for spiritual service. He handles Christian verities pot as abstract dogmas, but as living realities, personally enjoyed in fellowship with God in Christ, and with the brethren. Simple, and at the same time profound, his writing is in consonance with his spirit, eurde torical, and updialectic, gentle, consolatory, and loving: the reflexion of the Spirit of Him in whose brunst he lay at the last supper, and whose beloved disciple be was. Ewald in AVord, speaking of the "unruffled and heavenly repose" wbida characterize this epistle, says, “It appears to be the tone, not so much of a father talking with his beloved children, of a glorified saint addressing mankind from a higher world Never in any writing has the doctrine of heavenly love, love working in stillness, ever unwearied, never exbausted, so thoroughly approved itself, as in this epistle.
JOHN'S PLACE IN THE BUILDING UP OF THE CHURCH.-As Peter founded, and Paul propagated, so Jela completed the spiritual building. As the Old Testament puts prominently forward the fear of God, su John, the last writer of the New Testament, gives prominenoe to the low of God. Yet, as the Old Testament is not all limited to prekosis the fear of God, but sets forth also His love, so John, as a representative of the New Testament, whilst breathing so 006 tinually the spirit of love, gives also the plainest and most awful warnings against sin, in aocordance with his original bar acter as Boanerges, son of thunder." His mother was Salome, mother of the sons of Zebedee, probably sister to Jest mother (cf. John, 19.25, "His mother's sister," with Matthew, X. 56; Mark, 15. 40), so that he was cousin of our Lord; his mother, under God, he may have owed bis first serious impressions. Expecting, as she did, the Messianic kingdes glory, as appears from her petition (Matthew, 20. 20-93), she doubtless tried to fill his young and ardent mind with the same hope. Neander distinguishes three leading tendencies in the development of the Christian doctrine, the Pauline the Jacobean (between which the Petrine forms an intermediate link), and the Johannean, John, in common with Jasse was less disposed to the intellectual and dialectio onst of thought which distinguishes Paul He had not, like the apostie the Gentiles, been brought to faith and peace through severe conflict; but, like James, had reached his Christina is dividuality through a quiet development: James however, bad passed through a moulding in Judaism previously, which under the Spirit, caused him to present Christian truth in connexion with the law, in so far as the latter in its par though not letter, is permanent, and not abolished, but established under the gospel. But John, from the Erst, a drawn his whole spiritual development from the personal view of Christ, the model man, and from intercours # Him. Hence, in his writings, every thing turns on one simple contrast: divide life in communion with Christ; death 1 separation from Him, as appears from his characteristic phrases, "life, light, truth; death, darkness, lie. As J and Peter mark the gradual transition from spiritualised Judaism to the independent development of Chreticin, and as Paul represents the independent development of Christianity in opposition to the Jewish stand-point, et enteinplative element of John reconciles the two, and forms the e'o ing point in the training of the ar astolic che (Neander.]
Our Fellowship with the
1 JOHN, I.
Father and Son. CHAPTER I.
| may thus be known, but not comprehended. The reVer. 1.10. THE WRITER'S AUTHORITY AS AN petition of " with" before the "Son," distinguishes EYE-WITNESS TO THE GOSPEJ. Facts, HAVING the persons, whilst the fellowship or communion with SEEN. HEARD, AND HANDLED HIM WHO WAS FROM both Father and Son, implies their unity. It is not THE BEGINNING: HIS OBJECT IN WRITING : His added." and with the Holy Ghost;" for it is by the Holy MESSAGE. IF WE WOULD HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH Ghost or Spirit of the Father and Son in us, that we HIM, WE MUST WALK IN LIGHT, AS HE IS LIGHT. are enabled to have fellowship with the Father and 1. Instead of a formal, Jobn adopts a virtual address Son (cl. ch. 3. 24). Believers enjoy the fellowship OF, (cf. v. 4). To wish joy to the reader was the ancient but not. WATH, the Holy Ghost. "Through Christ customary address. The sentence begun in v, 1, is God closes up the chasm that separated Him from the broken off by the parenthetic v. 2, and is resumed at human race, and imparts Himself to them in the 1. 3, with the repetition of some words from v. I. That communion of the Divine life." (NEANDKR.) 4. these which was not "began to be," but was essentially things-and none other, viz., this whole epistle. write (Greek een, not egeneto) before He was manifested we unto you-Some oldest MSS. omit "unto you," and (v. 2): answering to "Him that is from the beginning" emphasize "we." Thus the antithesis is between (ch, 2. 13): so John's gospel, l. 1, "In the beginning "we" (apostles and eye-witnesses) and “your." We was the Word." Proverbs, 8. 23, “I was set up from | write thus, that your joy may be full. Other oldest everlasting. from the beginning, or ever the earth MSS. and versions read "OUR joy." viz., that our joy was." we-apostles. heard... seen... looked upon... may be filled full by bringing you also into fellowship handled-A series rising in gradation. Seeing is a more with the Father and Son. Cf. John, 4, 36, end; convincing proof than hearing of: handling. than Philippians, 2. 2. “Fulfl ye my joy." 16; and 4. 1; even secing. "Have heard...hare seen" (perfects), as 12 John, 8. It is possible that "your" may be a cor. a possession still abiding with us ; but in Greek (not rection of transcribers to make this verse harmonize as English Version "bave." but simply) "looked upon" with John, 16. 11; 16. 24; however, as John often (not perfect, as of a continuing thing, but aorist, past repeats favourite phrases, he may do so bere, so time) whilst Christ the incarnate Word was still with "your" may be from himself. So 2 John, 12, " your us. "Seen, viz., Alis glory, as revealed in the trans in oldest MSS. The authority of MSS. and versions on figuration and in His miracles; and His passion and both sides here is almost evenly balanced. Christ Himdeath in a real body of flesh and blood. "Looked upon" self is the source, object, and centre of His people's joy 23 & wondrous spectacle stedfastly, deeply, contem-(cf. v. 3, end); it is in fellowship with Him that we have platively: so the Greek. Appropriate to John's con Ijoy. the fruit of faith. 5. First Division of the body of templative character. hands ... handled-Thomas and I the epistle (cf. Introduction). declare - Greek, "anthe other disciples on distinct occasions after the renounce;" report in turn: a different Greek word from surrection. John himself had leant on Jesus' breast I v. 3. As the Son announced the message heard from at the last supper. Contrast the wisest of the heathen the Father as His apostle, so the Son's apostles anfeeling after (the same Greek as here : groping after nounce what they have heard from the Son, John no WITH THE HANDS) i haply they might find God. This where uses the term "gospel;" but the witness or proves against Socinians, he is bere speaking of the testimony, the word, the truth, and here the message. personal incarnate Word, not of Christ's teaching God is light-What light is in the natural world, that from the beginning of His official life. of_"concern-God, the source of even material ligbt, is in the iog :" following "heard." "Heard" is the verb most spiritual, the fountain of wisdom, purity, beauty, joy. applying to the purpose of the epistle, viz., the truth and glory. As all material life and growth depend which John had heard concerning the Word of life, i.e.. on light, so all spiritual life and growth depend on (Christ) the Word who is the life. "Heard," viz., from GOD. As God here, so Christ, in ch. 2. 8, is called Christ Himself, including all Christ's teachings about "the true light." no darkness at all-Strong negation: Himsell. Therefore he puts "of," or "concerning." Greek, "No, not even one speck of darkness," no before the word of life," which is inapplicable to | ignorance, error, untruthfulness, sin, or death. John any of the verbs except “heard;" also “heard" is the heard this from Christ, not only in express words, only one of the verbs which he resumes at v.6, 2. the I but in His acted words, viz., His whole manifestation life-Jesus, "the Word of life." was manifested-who in the flesh as the brightness of the Father's glory." had previously been with the Father." show-trans- Christ Himself was the embodiment of "the message, late as in v. 3. “declare" (cf. v. 6). Declare is the representing fully in all His sayings, doings, and sufgeneral term ; write is the particular (v.4). that eter ferings, Him who is LIGHT. 6. say - profess. have ual life-Greck. "the life which is eternal." As the fellowship with him - (v. 3.) The essence of the Chrisepistle begins, so it ends with "eternal life," which I tian life. walk-in inward and outward action, whitherwe shall ever enjoy with, and in, Him who is "the life soever we turn ourselves. (BENGEL) in darknesseternal." which - Greek. "the which," the before Greek, "in the darkness;" opposed to "the light (cf. mentioned (v. 1) life which was with the Father from ch. 2 8, 11). lie-ch. 2. 4.) do not-in practice, whatthe beginning" (cf. John, 1.1). This proves the distinct ever we say, the truth-(Ephesians, 4. 21; John, 3. 21.) ness of the First and Second Persons in the one God 17. Cf. Ephesians, 6, 8, 11-14. "WE WALK:" God is hesd. 3. That which we have seen and heard-Re- (essentially in His very nature as "the light," v. 5) ia sumed from I, wherein the sentence, being inter the light." WALKING in the light, the element in rapted by o. 2, parenthesis, was left incomplete. de- / which God Himself is, constitutes the test of fellow. clare we unto you-Oldest MSS. add also: unto you also ship with Him. Christ, like us, walked in the light who have not seen or heard Him that ye also may (ch. 2. 6). ALFORD notices, Walking in the light as le have fellowship with us — that ve also who have not is in the light, is no mere imitation of God, but seen, may have the fellowship with us which we who an identity in the essential element of our daily walk have seen enjoy; what that fellowship consists in with the essential element of God's eternal being. be proceeds to state. “Our fellowship is with the Fa we have fellowship one with another-and of course with ther and with His Son." Faith realizes what we have God (to be understood from . 6), without having felnot seen as spiritually visible; not till by faith we too lowship with whom there can be no true and Christian bave seen, do we know all the excellency of the true fellowship one with another (cf.0.3). and-as the result Solomon. He Himself is ours: He in us and we in of "walking in the light, as He is in the light. the Him. We are "partakers of the Divine nature." We blood of Jesus ... cleanseth us from all sin-daily conKoow God only by having fellowship with Him: He tracted through the sinful weakness of the flesh, and
To Confess our Sins is the Way to Pardon. 1 JOHN, IL.
Christ our Adroente the power of Satan and the world. He is speaking, I revealed in the law and gospel as a whole: for these not of justification through His blood once for all, but throughout rest on the fact that we have sinned, and of the present sanctification ("cleanseth" is present) have sin, which the believer, walking in the light and having fell
CHAPTER II. lowship with God and the saints, enjoys as His privi- Ver. 1-29, THE ADVOCACY OF CHRIST IS OUR lege. Cl. John, 13. 10, Greek, "He that has been bathed, ANTIDOTE TO SIN WHILST WALKINO IN THE LIGHT: peedeth pot save to cash his feet, but is clean every FOR TO KNOW GOD, WE MUST KEEP His COMMAND whit." Cf. v. 9, "cleanse us from all unrighteons MENTS, AND LOVE THE BRETBRES, AND NOT LOTA ness," a further step besides "forgiving us our sins." | THE WORLD, NOR GIVE HEED TO ANTICHRIST Christ's blood is the cleansing mean, whereby gradual. AGAINST WHOM OUR SAFETY 18 THROUGH THE Ixly, being already justified and in fellowship with God, I WARD ANOINTINO OF GOD TO ABDE IN Gop: SOAT we become clean from all sin which would mar our CHRIST'S COMING WE SHALL NOT BE ASHAXED. 1. fellowship with God. Faith applies the cleansing, Ch. 6. 18.) My little children-The diminutive ej. purifying blood. Some oldest MSS. omit "Christ," presses the tender affection of an aged pastor and others retain it. 8. The confession of sins is a neces- spiritual father, My own dear children, i.e., sons and sary consequence of "walking in the light" (v. 7). "If | daughters Note, v. 12). tbese things - (ch. 1. 6-10) thou shalt confess thyself a sinner, the truth is in My purpose in writing what I have just written is, thee : for the truth is itself light. Not yet has thy not that you should abuse them as giving a licence to life become perfectly light, as sins are still in thee, but sin: but, on the contrary, "in order that ye may not yet thou hast already begun to be illuminated, because sin at all" (the Greek aorist implying the absence not there is in thee confession of sins." (AUGUSTINE.) only of the habit, but of single acts of sin (ALFORD). that we have no sin-" HAVE," not have had," must In order to "walk in the light" (ch, 1. 57), the first step refer not to the past sinful life whilst unconverted, is confession of sin ch, 1. 9), the next (ch. 2. U) is that but to the present state wherein believers have sin we should forsake all sin. The Divine purpose bas even still. Observe, "sin" is in the singular: " (con- for its aim, either to prevent the commission of, or fess our) sins" 0.9) in the plural. Sin refers to the to destroy sin. (BENOEL) And-Connected with the corruption of the old man still present in us, and the former: Futhermore, "if any man sin," let him, whilst stain created by the actual sins flowing from that old loathing and condemning it, not fear to go at once to nature in ns. To confess our need of cleansing from God, the Judge,confessing it, for "we have an Adroeste present sin is essential to "walking in the light;" so with Him." He is speaking of a BELIEVER's occasional far is the presence of some sin incompatible with our sins of infirmity through Satan's fraud and malice. The in the main " walking in light." But the believer hates, use of "we" immediately after implies that are all are confesses, and longs to be delivered from, all sin,wbich liable to this, though not necessarily constrained to sin. is darkness. "They who defend their sins, will see in we have an advocate--Advocacy is God's family blessine: the great day whether their sins can defend them." other blessings He grants to good and bad alike, but deceive ourselves - We cannot deceive God; we only justification, sanctification, continued intercession, and make ourselves to err froin the right path. the trath | peace, He grants to His children alone. advocate
ch. 2. 4.) True faith. "The truth respecting God's Greek, "paraclete," the same term as is applied to the holiness and our sinfulness, which is the very first Holy Gbost, as the "other Comforter:" sbowing tbe spark of light in us, has no place in us." (ALFORD.) unity of the Second and Third Persons of the Trinits. 9. confess-with the lips, speaking from a contrite heart; Christ is the Intercessor for us above and, in Hus involving also confession to our fellowmen of offences absence, hero below the Holy Ghost is the other incommitted against them. be-God. faithful-to Histercessor in us. Christ's advocacy is inseparable from own promises; "true" to His word. jost-Not merely the Holy Spirit's comfort and working in us, as the spini the mercy, but the justice or righteousness of God is of intercessory prayer. rightecus-As our "advocate." set forth in the redemption of the penitent believer Christ is not a mere suppliant petitioner. He pleds in Christ. God's promises of mercy, to which He is for us on the ground of justice, or righteousness, as well faithful, are in accordance with His justice. to-Greek, as mercy. Though He can say nothing good of us, fie "in order that." His forgiving us our sins and cleans can say much for us. It is His righteousness, or obedi ing us from, &c., is in furtherance of the ends of Hisence to the law, and endurance of its full penalty fux eternal faithfulness and justice, forgive-remitting the us, on which He grounds His claim for our acquittal guilt. cleanse-purify from all filthiness, so that hence- The sense therefore is," in that He is righteous:* in forth we more and more become free from the presence contrast to our sin ("if any pan sin"). The Faber, of sin through the Spirit of sanctification (cf, Hebrews, by raising Him from the dead, and setting Him at His 9. 14; and above. Note, v. 7). unrighteousness-offensive own right, has once for all accepied Christ's claim for to Him who "is just" or righteous: called "sin," v. 7. | us. Therefore the accuser's charges against God's because "sin is the transgression of tbe law," and the children are vain. "The righteousness of Christ law is the expression of God's righteousness; so that stands on our side ; for God's righteousness is in nn is unrighteousness. 10. Parallel to v. 8. we have Jesus Christ, ours." (LUTHER) 2. And be-Grecia not sipned-referring to the commission of actual sins, “And Himselt." He is our all-prevailinz Advocate even after regeneration and conversion; whereas in because He is Himself "the propitiation:' abstract 3 v. 8, "we have no sin," refers to the present QUILT re- in 1 Corinthians, 1. 30: He is to us all that is Tuerdad maining (until cleansedfrom the actual sins com- propitiation " in behalf of our sins:" the propitiatan mitted, and to the six of our corrupt old nature still sacrifice, provided by the Father's love, removing the adhering to us. The perfect "have ... sinned" brings estrangement, and appeasing the righteous wrath, down the commission of sins to the present time, not God's part, against the sinner. “There is no DOUNE merely sins committed before, but since, conrersion.gruity that a father should be ofended with that sea we make him a liar-A gradation: v. 6, "we lie;" 1.8, whom he loveth, and at that time offended with an "we deceive ourselves :" worst of all, "we make Him a when he loveth him." (BISHOP PEARSOX.) The outs liar," by denying His word that all men are siprers (cf, other place in the New Testament where Grex ch. 6. 10). his word is not in us - "His word," which pitiation occurs, is ch. 4. 10: it answers in LXX to is "the truth" (v. 8), accuses us truly; by denying it we Hebrew caphar, to effect an atonement or termiliation drive it from our hearts (cf. John, 5.38). Our rejection with God, and in Ex. 44. 29, to the sun-ogering. la of " His word" in respect to our being sinners, implies Romans, 3. 26, Greek, it is "propitiatory." ie, the as the consequence our rejection of His word and will mercy seat, or lid of the ark whereon God, represented