1 John 2- Chapter Study
Chapter 2 of 1 John is a perfect example of something I mentioned last week in my introductory comments as we started our study of this letter.
John doesn’t follow the outline used in the other NT letters.
Whereas they tend to follow a more logical format of laying down a principle and then applying it, moving from one subject to another in a neat and easy to follow flow – John covers a handful of subject and returns to them again and again, taking each one to a deeper and deeper level.
If you wanted to give his style a visual – picture a spiral that is narrow on top and widens out as it goes downward – that’s the structure of this letter – and we’ll see it in our study tonight.
1My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
John writes this to give a balance to something he had just written at the end of Chapter 1.
In the verses just prior to this, he’s made it clear that anyone who says he/she is sinlessly perfect is fooling no one but themselves.
1 John 1:8 • If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John • If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
John knows from his many years of experience that if that’s all he says about sin, some people will take it as a license to sin.
They will twist his words and make them into an argument that goes something like this –
“Okay, I am going to sin. So, I might as well not even bother trying to be holy.”
John says, “No! That’s the wrong attitude! And don’t you dare take my words and twist them into an excuse to sin.”
“I am writing this,” he says in v. 1, “So that you won’t sin!”
As we read on, we see how he arms us with the knowledge we need to keep all this in the proper balance.
But the bottom line is this – We ought to set our sights on holiness and purity, motivated by God’s love for us, and seeing our obedience to Him as the expression of our love back to Him.
Yet even with this as our focus, we have to recognize that because we have not yet been perfected, we will fail.
When we do fail, because we DO long for righteousness, God will pick us up, cleanse us, and restore us to the pursuit of holiness.
So he goes on and says – v. 1
1My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
In 1:9, John wrote -
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Here in vs. 1 & 2, John explains HOW God can be both faithful AND just to forgive our sins.
Think of sin as a spiritual crime.
The Law that is violated is God’s Holiness.
This universes was created BY God and operates by both natural and super natural laws.
Natural Law deals with the physical, material universe.
Supernatural Law deals with the realm of the spiritual universe.
If you attempt to violate one of the Natural Laws, you will suffer the consequences in a physical way.
For instance, if you attempt to defy gravity, you are in for a world of hurt!
In the same way, if you violate one of the spiritual laws, there are spiritual consequences.
The Law, whether we’re talking about natural or supernatural law, is simply the rules by which things work in the universe God created.
Break the law, and there are consequences.
The ultimate and eventual consequence for breaking the spiritual law is death.
But death was not the end God intended for His creation, so He has provided a way for us to be forgiven, without at the same time nullifying the reality or consequence of the spiritual crimes we’ve committed.
If someone commits a crime today, and goes before a judge for sentencing, we expect that judge to be just, not merciful!
We want judges who are tough on crime – unless of course, it is US who are standing there!
Then we don’t want a judge who’s just – we want a judge who’s merciful!
God is both perfectly just and perfectly merciful.
And the way He reconciles both of these seemingly opposite things is in Jesus Christ.
For when a crime is committed, what we want to make sure happens is that justice is served and the consequences of the crime a sufficiently answered.
That’s what happened at the Cross! Our sin, all of it, was paid for.
The demands of God’s righteous law were satisfied in the sacrifice of Christ.
Now, as we stand before God as Judge, we have an Advocate, a Defense Attorney.
And here’s what makes our attorney so effective – In Himself, He is just like the Judge = RIGHTEOUS.
On top of that, He is the very One Who has already paid for our crimes.
Therefore, it would be UNJUST of God to make us pay for them again!
The word ‘propitiation’ in v. 2 is a special word which is translated in different ways in different versions, usually as ‘sacrifice’ or ‘atoning sacrifice.’
But the King Jimmy and NKJ render it best as ‘propitiation,’ reaching back into the past of the English language to find a word that’s suitable for the Greek word John uses here.
The word is ‘hilasmos’ and means ‘an appeasing.’
We get a better idea of what this word means by looking at Hebrews 9:5 – where we find the Greek word ‘hilasterion’, which is translated as ‘mercy seat.’
Hilasmos and hilasterion share the same root which means appeasement.
You remember what the mercy seat was – it was the lid of the ark of the covenant, which held the 10 Commandments.
Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest of Israel would enter the Holy of holies where the ark was kept in seclusion, and would sprinkle the blood on the top of the mercy seat, thus covering over the sins of the people.
God’s presence was manifest above the mercy seat in the bright shining cloud called the Shekinah.
His presence could abide there, because the sins of the people had been symbolically covered by the blood of the sacrifice.
The place of meeting and reconciliation between God and the people was where?
At the mercy seat!
There the righteous demands of God’s Law were satisfied, and there God’s presence was mercifully restored.
When John says here in v. 2 that Jesus is our ‘hilasmos’, he is saying that Jesus IS our mercy seat!
He is the place where our sins are fully paid for and the righteous demands of God’s law are met, but He is also the place where fellowship with God is restored.
Remember that John’s main theme in 1 John is relationship!
The basis and ground of our relationship with God is Jesus!
It isn’t that God has just forgiven our sins in Christ – it’s much more than that!
We have been brought into intimate fellowship with God through Christ.
You & I can be at odds, and then go to one another and forgive one another for whatever has caused the rift – but that doesn’t mean we are then restored to fellowship with one another.
We may forgive each other but them keep our distance form one another.
Some people look at their relationship with God this way.
They receive forgiveness from God through Christ, but then they are content to remain at a distance from Him.
They need to understand that the reason Jesus died wasn’t just to forgive sin – it was to restore us to fellowship with God; sin was merely what was IN THE WAY of that fellowship.
But fellowship, intimate fellowship with God IS THE WHOLE GOAL AND REASON we are even here!
Jesus is our propitiation – the place where our sins are discharged and fellowship is restored!
But then John adds this – not only is Jesus the propitiation for our sins, but for the entire world!
One of the main pillars of Calvinism is “Limited Atonement,” that Jesus did not die for the sins of the world but only for the elect.
One wonders how such a belief could be developed when this verse is so utterly clear!
Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for the entire world!
Of course, the only ones who will benefit from His sacrifice are those who repent and receive it by faith – but that doesn’t negate the fact that there is sufficiency in the blood of Christ for the sins of all.
In fact, this is what makes the condemnation of the lost that much more grievous – they neglect the forgiveness that could be theirs if they would only believe.
Before we move on, notice how John begins v. 1 – “My little children . . .”
John uses the word ‘children’ 13 times in this letter.
9 of those times, he refers to his readers as “my little children.”
Because a lot of what John writes here doesn’t fit into the pre-conceived theology of some modern teachers, they attempt to say that this letter was written to unbelievers.
John’s use of the tender and affectionate “my little children” simply does not allow this interpretation.
3Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
What’s John’s main theme in 1 John? RELATIONSHIP!
Here he gives a test of genuine relationship with God.
If we truly know God, what will we do?
We will obey Him! We’ll keep His commandments!
4He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Disobedience says what about a person?
They don’t know God.
5But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
Now, notice how John jumps ahead in his thinking.
What we expect John to say here is - But whoever keeps His word, truly the knowledge of God is perfected in him.
But he doesn’t say “knowledge” – he says what genuine knowledge and experience of God produce – love!
God has created us to love beauty and perfection – these things are attractive – that is, they ‘draw’ us.
While sin has marred the image of God in man, it hasn’t destroyed it, so while rebel man may be opposed to and hate God, he is still drawn toward beauty and perfection.
When we are reconciled to God through faith in Christ, our rebel hearts are turned into worshipping hearts that realize the beauty and perfection of God, and we are attracted to Him.
In this attraction, we hunger to know Him more, and the more we know, the more we recognize His beauty.
We fall in love with Him, and the more in love with Him we are, the more we want to know Him, and the more we know Him, the more we love Him, and the more we love Him, the more we want to know Him, and on and on . . .
So, obedience to God is the evidence of the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of God leads inevitably to the love of God.
Tell me – how will love affect our obedience?
6He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
The person who claims to be in fellowship with God will have a lifestyle that is clearly reminiscent of Christ.
This is just plan common sense and John feels no need to prove his point.
If you know someone who claims to be a solid Christian and yet is living in flagrant sin, simply challenge them with this verse.
Like John, you don’t need to argue or prove your point – what John says here is clear enough.
Having shared it, leave it to the Holy Spirit to apply it to them.
And if they want to turn it around and ask if you are walking as Jesus walked, simply respond – “We’re not talking about me. I will have to answer to God for that. And YOU will have to answer to God for how YOU are living.”
There’s another way we can apply v. 6 –
6He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
If a person wants to walk as Jesus walked – what should they do?
They should abide in Christ.
Just as a branch draws it’s life from the vine to produce fruit, we draw our strength to live like Christ by abiding in Him.
7Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
Everything John has said so far is the stuff they had learned from the earliest days of their faith in Christ.
This was nothing new to them – but the very basics that he simply wanted to affirm and remind them of.
8Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
John is not contradicting what he’d just said in v. 7.
For the new commandment he’s referring to here in v. 8 is not some new thing he’s about to spring on them for the first time.
No! It’s the old commandment he referred to in v. 7, but which JESUS had called new in John 13:34 –
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
When Jesus came, He made it clear that God was not interested in a dead kind of religious asceticism that was all wrapped up in rules and rituals.
God is into life and freedom and genuine faith in Him is an active, vibrant love affair.
So among His followers, Jesus said the distinguishing trait that would set them apart in the eyes of the world would be their love for one another.
The imperative of love for God and one another was one of the very first lessons John’s readers had learned.
And here he is reminding them of that old-new commandment.
John then brings in a theme that is one of his favorites – light and darkness.
We find this over and over again in his writings as he contrast the world to the children of God.
The world is in moral and spiritual darkness while we are citizens of the Kingdom of Light with Christ as the Sun!
As we abide in Him we reflect his light into this dark world.
And now, as John considers things, he sees that the Church has become well-planted and that the darkness of the world is being repulsed by the appearance of the light of God in His people.
John means us to understand that the kingdom of light and the kingdom of love are one and the same.
So he says . . .
9He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
He keeps returning to this theme of those who claim to be right with God but whose lifestyle is contrary to the Word and will of God.
· He’s said if we know God – we’ll obey Him.
· If we abide in Him, then we’ll walk as He walked.
· If we are truly in the light, then we love others.
· But if these things are not true, of us, then we are liars and are walking in darkness.
There must have been a problem with false-confessors that were troubling the church; people who took the label ‘Christian’ but whose lifestyle indicated they were not truly born again.
John was concerned for clarifying what genuine faith in Christ will look like, what kind of a heart it will produce.
A person who is born again will want to walk in holiness and love.
Their relationship with God will lead to specific choices and behavior, because of that relationship!
I’m married to Lynn.
Because I’m her husband, I make certain choices.
I go home at night to 401 Geranium Place because that’s where we live together.
I communicate with her on a regular and intimate basis.
I avoid relationships with other women that would threaten the trust Lynn has in me.
And I make it a point to keep our relationship moving forward and not just growing into a comfortable place of boredom.
Well, in a similar way, you and I are betrothed to Christ.
And because of that, we make choices that are aimed at strengthening the loyalty and love we have for Christ.
We spend time with Him.
We avoid competing affections.
And we seek to keep growing in the things of the Spirit.
Another way our relationship with Him works itself out in our choices is what John identifies here – we demonstrate our love fore God by loving one another.
This is a theme he will come back to revisit again.
Now John writes an interesting section that’s in the form of rhythmic verse.
There are three groups he addresses here:
· Little Children
· Young men – in that order
Some have thought that John was referring to three different groups in the church, but the order he places them in seems to go against that interpretation.
It seems better to understand these not as different groups, but different ways to refer to all believers – specially in light of what he says to each.
To each of them he says two things in cyclic fashion – beginning with the phrase, “I write to you . . .”
12 I write to you, little children,
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
13 I write to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
Because you have overcome the wicked one.
Then he starts over again . . .
I write to you, little children,
Because you have known the Father.
14 I have written to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
That’s the same thing he had said to them before.
I have written to you, young men,
Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one.
That’s virtually the same thing he’d said to the young men before but his time he adds strength and abiding.
Bible scholars have been a bit puzzled on WHY John wrote these three verses.
It isn’t really clear what he’s trying to get across here.
But here’s a possibility –
To those he calls ‘children’ he writes –
· your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
· you have known the Father.
What’s the first thing a brand new Christian realizes?
That they are forgiven of their sins, not based on their own merit but ON God’s forgiveness and that they have entered into a new relationship with God as their Father.
Then to ‘fathers’ he writes –
· you have known Him who is from the beginning.
As John links fathers to the knowledge of God, he’s pointing out that the knowledge of God is fruitful; it produces spiritual fruit, especially in terms of bringing life to others.
The Lord wants each of us to know the joy of bringing someone else to faith in Christ.
Just like natural birth, the process of spiritual birth can be painful and slow, but the joy that comes when it’s done is incredible and makes the pain worth it.
To the ‘young men’ he writes –
· you have overcome the wicked one.
· you are strong, and the word of God abides in you.
This is the characteristic of young men – they are strong and ready to fight.
Don’t be thrown off by John’s use of the masculine here.
It was customary in the speech of the day to refer to all mixed groups by masculine titles.
More than likely, what John is doing in vs. 12-14 is affirming his readers in their different roles and relationships as Christians.
In terms of their relationship with God – they are like little children who enjoy open access to their Heavenly Father.
And because they are all children of the same Father, they are all brothers and sisters.
In terms of their relationship to the lost, they are like fathers because their witness is one of righteous fruit which brings the lost to repentance an faith.
In terms of their relationship to the enemy, they are like young men who are strong and know how to wield the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God in effectively overcoming all the plans and strategies of the evil one.
15Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
We covered this at length on Sunday so if you weren’t here, get the tape.
18Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
John says a coupe of eye-opening things here;
Just what does he mean by – “It is the last hour”?
After all, nearly 2000 years have passed since John penned this – that’s a very long time!
With the other NT writers, John viewed the whole period between Christ’s first & second coming as the last days.
It was the “last days” or “last hour” because there was no prophecy or revelation of another period of time before the return of Christ to set up the heavenly Kingdom.
Both the OT prophets and teaching of Christ had made it clear that in the last days, the rebellion of mankind would be consummated in the emergence of a world ruler who would be the embodiment of evil.
This man is referred to as the Antichrist.
And while THE antichrist had not risen in John’s day, he could see there was a growing antichrist spirit in the world.
In chapter 4 he describes what this antichrist spirit does – it denies the person and work of Jesus Christ.
19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
The “they” of v. 19 are the many antichrists of v. 18.
John could see a growing camp of people who had at one time been a part of the church, but had broken away to teach things contrary to the Word of God and the Message of the Apostles.
They were teachers who wanted to fiddle with the basic truths of the Faith regarding the person and work of Jesus Christ.
John says that these antichrists, these false teachers started out in the Church, the visible church that is.
They were never really born again, for if they had been, then they would have stayed with the community of Christ.
That they left proved they were never really a part in the first place.
You know, it’s interesting – as you look at the cults, you realize most of their founders & leaders started out in valid churches.
In fact, they presented themselves as a kind of reform movement within the church.
But when the leader began to claim special revelations equal to scripture, the movement eventually ran into a head on collision with orthodox Christianity and the rift occurred.
Both Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses started out this way.
John says that the emergence of a whole slew of antichrist-like teachers was sure evidence that we are living in the last days.
20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
John expresses his confidence that his readers are able to discern the difference between truth and error because they are indwelt by the Spirit of Truth.
He doesn’t have to worry about them being deceived by the spirit of antichrist.
22Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
One of the lies the false teachers of that time were trying to foster was that Jesus and Christ were two separate things.
They taught that Jesus was just a man; a good man, but not perfect.
They said that Christ was a spirit being who had descended on Jesus when he was baptized by John the Baptist and that the Christ spirit had empowered Jesus to do and say all kinds of special things.
Then, just prior to His arrest in the Garden, the Chris spirit had departed from the man Jesus so that what was tortured and crucified wasn’t Christ – just a man.
These false teachers went on to say that the same Christ Spirit would descend upon anyone who made him or herself ready.
This was a very early form of Gnosticism called Docetism.
And as I mentioned, John considered it to be a manifestation of the Antichrist spirit.
What’s fascinating is that this ancient heresy, which was pretty much laid to rest by the late 4th Century, experienced a revival in the early 20th Century and has been given new energy and life in the New Age Movement.
Many New Age groups today believe this very thing and are beseeching the Christ-spirit to come once again.
What a perfect set up for THE Antichrist to step forward and claim to be the present day embodiment of the Spirit of Christ.
If he is able to work miracles – lying sings and wonders, as 2 Thess. 2 calls them, then many will be convinced and flock to Him.
In V. 18, John had written -
. . . even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
He considered the emergence of a lot of people moved by the spirit of antichrist to be a sign of the last days.
If that was true of His day, HOW MUCH MORE the day in which we live?
In v. 22, John refutes the Docetic heresy and says Jesus IS the Christ; they are one and the same!
Another thing the false teachers were doing was assigning Jesus an identity less than God.
So John dispenses with that idea by repeating something here that Jesus had said again and again.
In John 12:44-45, Jesus said,
He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.
John 13:20 -
He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
Biblical Christianity has always been quick to deny any attempt at the fine splitting of hairs between the Father and the Son.
They are separate persons who are one God, and that is really about as far as we differentiate between them.
24Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.
What John is referring to here, what they need to abide in, is the truth which was preached to them by the gospel, which led them to faith in Christ and resulted in their being filled with the Spirit.
Note that v. 24 begins with “therefore.”
Because there’s a dangerous and deceptive antichrist spirit at work in the world, the best way to protect against it is to stay focused on the first things and continually cultivate the basic truths of the Christian faith.
John is not advocating a kind of naïve spiritual shallowness or immaturity.
He expects Christians to grow and mature, but he knows that real spiritual growth is always on a solid foundation of the basic truths of the faith.
Those truths need to be constantly affirmed and renewed.
It seems that humans are by nature drawn to something just because it’s new. 
Advertising hit on this some years ago and began to use it liberally as a marketing device.
We almost always think of new as better.
But when it comes to truth, new is not better.
In terms of the Faith, that which you heard from the beginning is better.
Paul said much the same thing in Galatians 1:6-9, where he warns against going after a new gospel, and emphasized the importance of continuing on in the original gospel he had taught them.
In other places, Paul mentions how many immature and unstable believers are tossed to & fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by tricksters who with skilled cunning and deceitful plotting tell wild stories and claim all kinds of special interpretations of scripture.
I have to say this - Virtually every time I turn on TBN, which isn’t very often, I think of what Paul says in Ephesians 4:14 – “winds of doctrine.”
It seems every guest claims a new vision, a new revelation, some new prophecy, a new super-spiritual interpretation of the Word of God.
And the audience eats it up!
[TBN – Totally New Blasphemy!]
He goes on in v. 24 -
If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
‘Abide’ means more than ‘remain.’
‘Abide’ carries the idea of an activity, of life.
If something is abiding, it’s living.
It is possible for a person to have their head and not their heart full of the Word of God.
There are many people who are excellent debaters when it comes to fine points of doctrine but their lifestyle is devoid of the love of God and the life of the Spirit.
John says that if God’s Word LIVES in us, then we will live in Him.
Over the years, I have had many people come to me complaining that the vitality has gone out of their spiritual lives.
They haven’t lost faith in God, but they lost the sense of His presence.
When I ask if they’re taking time regularly to read the Bible and pray over it, they say they haven’t for some time.
When I ask why, they say they don’t feel like it.
Tell me, if you’re hungry, will you feel full before or after you eat?
If you’re thirsty, will you be satisfied before or after you drink?
If you’re lonely, will you find companionship before or after you visit someone?
If we want to know the love of God and the life of the Spirit we need to abide in what we’ve heard from the beginning – the Word of God.
26These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
V. 27 ought to be a serious wake-up call to Modern Day Western Christians, living as we do in what is called the post-modern age.
Post-modernity is marked by a mindset that says not only is truth relative, the idea of truth is altogether meaningless!
Yet John pre-supposes there’s an objective truth and that we who believe it are under attack.
He writes to forewarn us and affirm our grasp of the truth.
He trusts that what he writes will bear witness with the inner work of the Spirit who is our real Teacher.
There’s a sense in which no man or woman is a teacher – only a speaker.
In order for us to truly learn something spiritual, it requires the inner work of the Holy Spirit.
Whatever truth a man or woman may speak doesn’t originate with them, it comes from God.
So, in a sense, man doesn’t teach – it’s the Spirit who teaches and brings us in to all truth, as Jesus said in John 16:13.
That’s what John means here when he says in v. 27 -
you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things
John is NOT saying that we don’t need anointed men and women to teach the Word of God.
After all, teaching and preaching are spiritual gifts – but that’s just the point – it’s the Spirit who gives the gift and is the one energizing the teaching and preaching.
All the person who is speaking ought to seek to do is be as faithful in their preparation and presentation as possible – allowing the Holy Spirit to flow through them in an unrestricted manner.
When that happens, then the Spirit who speaks through the teacher ministers to the Spirit indwelling the hearer and truth is imparted and planted in fertile soil where it can produce a rich harvest of life.
28And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
This will be my text for Sunday so I’ll leave till then.
29If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
If a person truly knows God, they know that He is righteous.
And if they know that He is righteous, then they also know that to be His child means to bear a family resemblance to Him.
We say, “Look, she has her mother’s eyes” or “He has his father’s nose.”
The children of God should have a resemblance to their Father in heaven.
He is righteous, so those who are born of Him also have a lifestyle of practical righteousness.
This chapter shows us that a genuine relationship with God will be revealed in the fact that it will affect our choices and lifestyle.
We will walk in holiness toward God and love toward one another.
These two things go hand in hand.
Where they are lacking, as John makes so clear here, there is reasons to doubt the sincerity of a person’s confession.