1 John 1:8-2:2 by Charles Clough
Series:1 John
Duration:47 mins 40 secs

© Charles A. Clough 2013

Charles A. Clough
1 John Series

Lesson 9 – Fellowship with God the Father Using His Provisions to Restore Fellowship with Him

10 Nov 2013
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD

We’re going to be in 1 John. If you have the handout from last week, it’s the same one.

(Opening prayer)

We’ve been working with 1 John and on the outline you have … 1 John 1:5 to 2:11 this is the next chunk. Remember, we’re following a format, which is called a rhetorical format because scholarship has worked on this book trying to find how John has organized his thoughts. It appears that this rhetorical approach fits best—the text.

So we’ve had the prologue; and now we’re on the preamble. In literature that was written to be read—it apparently was customary in the first century in this time to have a preamble where you established your readers before you got to the real issue. So this is a set up that John’s doing here.

As we go through 1 John 1:5 to 2:11 you’ll see he moves through the Trinity. In the section that we’re on from 1 John 1:5, that’s where that begins with the idea that “this is the message which we have heard of Him and declare to you” all the way down to 1 John 2:2. It has us primarily focusing on the Father.

Remember when we went through the Trinity I used the tri-unity of the human being as an analogy. There we had the nature, the person, and the personality. Remember, behind the person is what we see. We don’t see personality. We experience the personality. That’s the effect a person has on us and on others. The person—we look at the person we can see a nature behind the person. So, it’s a finite analogue to the Trinity here.

When we’re looking at the Father we’re looking at His essence as His nature. That’s why we said in verse 5—you follow in the text now. There is an emphasis in this sentence.

NKJ 1 John 1:5, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

That’s a little emphatic construction in that sentence. That alerts us that John is making a point here. Evidently this is going to play a role (and we know it does) later in his epistle. But he’s making a point absolutely righteous. There is no darkness. This is in total collision with this culture, because in the culture all paganism mixes the evil and the good. It’s not clearly separated. We think it’s clear because we’ve been exposed to Christianity. But if we had grown up in a totally pagan society (which our children are) in that kind of a situation good and evil are mixed.

So that’s why I had this chart and again [Slide 2] ... of the problem of what happens when you try to build ethics on nothing. That’s what’s happening today. If you listen to the culture around us, it is filled with moralistic rhetoric. Those of you who are old enough to remember the arguments over the Vietnam War will recall how we had all of this rhetorical stuff from the war protestors—that the war was illegitimate.

“We are so concerned for the Vietnamese people that are being so abused by our invasion of Vietnam.”

That was really a fig leaf for their ethical nakedness. There was no question about the morality of the Vietnam War. Ho Chi Minh had killed 100,000 Vietnamese before the whole thing ever started. It was in a cold war with communists who were trying to take over the world.

These people who professed (Jane Fonda and the rest of them) that they were so concerned and all the moral rhetoric about their concern that this moral feeling about the poor Vietnamese people. Funny, after the troops left and there was no danger of these spoiled brats being drafted, then all of a sudden their concern morally for the Vietnamese people evaporated; so when millions of them were drowning in the South China Sea, the moral rhetoric disappeared showing that it was a phony from the start.

The same thing goes on today. We have all kinds of schemes being promulgated for political reasons. There’s nothing to do with morality. It is dressed up in moralistic rhetoric to sell. But underneath, there isn’t.

The latest thing is that we’re so concerned for our children’s education in this country that we now have “common core”, which every teacher who has any experience in the classroom knows is not going to work because it’s cookie-cutter education.

In a class of 20 students you have 20 different individual students with individual learning styles with individual rates of learning. You can’t cookie cutter their education, especially if you live 15 levels up in the ozone level of management.

This is what’s going on. But listen, it’s being “sold” so that if you object to it, you don’t have concern for the children. Now the problem with this whole thing is is that in1  John 1:5 this is the only moral authority that is in the real world. That is God’s character.

The problem again …

… how shall we say is an autobiographical expression. It has nothing to do with a moral standard other than a private opinion.

… this can be lived out consistently.

(Recording problems)

Resulting anarchy leads to totalitarianism because any society—and this is the way ours is going. This is the way our culture is going. It has to go this way people. There is a design in this. You can’t violate God’s design without consequences. If you’re not going to hold to a transcendental standard over all society to which we all agree, then you’re going to have morally disagreeable conflicts. That leads to anarchy. Society can never tolerate an anarchy. So the answer to anarchy is totalitarianism—very simple.

It’s going to happen. It has to happen. Either you have God as a standard over all and His character being the standard, or you have millions and millions of standards. You can’t have millions and millions of standards so to reconcile it; you’re going to have to have a standard imposed upon everyone by whoever holds political power. That’s what’s going on today. It’s due to the fact that the Bible story of God being the standard has been violated. The reason there are consequences in real life from this violation is because what we’re seeing in the Scriptures is reality. This is reality; not the fantasyland that we’re living in today. So that starts off 1 John 1:5.

Now let’s think about – let’s go to the next slide [Slide 3]. We’ve already talked about the Fall. This is the depiction of the difference—understand the difference that’s going on here. There is a difference between how the Bible presents good and evil and how outside of the Bible in the pagan culture of good and evil is conceived. Only in the Bible do you ever have evil starting at a point and ending at a point. Evil is bracketed in Scripture. It is bracketed nowhere else in the world. There is no other philosophy, no other religion that does this. Only the Bible does this.

Now that has consequences because we go to 1 John 1:6 and 7. In verses 6 and 7, we have the way John writes, his antithetical style. We pointed this out. If you read John, in this epistle particularly, almost every other verse switches. One is positive; the other is negative. One is positive; the other is negative. Let’s look at this. Just test it.

NKJ 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

So there’s the negative.


NKJ 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”



NKJ 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”



NKJ 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”



NKJ 1 John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”



So that’s the way John writes. That’s his style. It’s not Paul’s style. It’s John’s style. Now we want to look at this flow from 1 John 1:6–10. Verses 6 and 7—because verses 6 and 7 are one whole sentence. In the Greek this is one whole sentence.

It starts off:

NKJ 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

We said that when we get into this, we’re seeing how John contrasts word and deed. For him the deed is important because he’s looking at how we observe. John is observing. Notice the first verse of the epistle. Remember back in the first verse, look at the verbs that John uses. Those are verbs that are not just hearing. There is one verb, to hear.

But then it says, “We have seen Him with our eyes.”

Then it says, “We gazed upon Him.”

Then, “We handled Him.”

That’s sight, thoughtful sight, and touching. Only one verb deals with hearing. So John’s emphasis is on the empirical; and it reflects in all his writing. In verse 6 he talks about:

NKJ 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

We’re not actually out there doing the truth. He includes himself in this. Remember it’s a plural, first person plural, not singular—plural. It’s not third person either.

NKJ 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, …”

He’s going to deal with the walking in darkness more; but obviously you can tell walking in darkness is getting involved in some sort of sin. Fellowship requires us walking in the light.

So that comes to 1 John 1:7. The connective there—I think in some of the translations the translators have divided verses 6 and 7, made it into different sentences; but it’s really not. It’s a continuous one.

NKJ 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

There is a lot in this thing because when he says, “We walk in the light,” John uses that light over and over and over.

Here’s a way to think about that to kind of capture what he’s doing. Those of you who have studied in history courses and so on, what is the age that starts in 16th century called? The Age of Enlightenment. Now why do you suppose it’s called the Age of Enlightenment? This is interesting. This is the kind of indoctrination that goes on in these courses and if you are a perceptive student, you want to think about this.

Why do you suppose scholars created that term for what happened in the 16th century? They assumed the age before the 16th century was dark. We call the medieval period the Dark Ages. Does anybody detect a bias against Christianity? Here’s an example of our college education, the university level, and in the media that is programming us to think certain ways by attaching labels.

To the secular mind, enlightenment is the use of reason. That was the Age of Reason, the idea that the individual is going to conquer the world with reason. The problem with that is—what’s the justification for the validity of reason? Do evolving apes have brains sufficient to create thinking that matches reality? There is no basis for reason on a secular basis.

Nevertheless we’re sold on the Age of Enlightenment. Ironically today we live in a postmodern culture that has turned its back on reason, which was the whole motive of the Age of Enlightenment. All that to say that for John—if John were here today, if John were studying on the college campus; he would say the Age of Enlightenment has already started. It didn’t start in the 16th century. What did it start with? Jesus Christ. So the Age of Enlightenment is here now.

With all that background let’s reread verse 7.

NKJ 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,”

Let’s just stop there. If we walk in the light, if we are enlightened and the enlightenment is not what comes out of human reason; the enlightenment he’s talking about comes from the character of God. God is righteous. God is holy. If we walk in light—in that light—because you notice how he qualifies it.

NKJ 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light”

Then he puts a phrase in there. What does he put in there?

“as He is in the light”

... just so we don’t misunderstand. We’re not talking about some human enlightenment. We walk in the light that is His light—that holiness, that standard.

“If we walk in that standard,” John says, “then we have fellowship with one another.”

He’s going to develop the fellowship as he goes on. But anticipating what he’s going to do here, he talks about having fellowship. He’s talking about sharing the life of Christ that is true of every born-again person and that life comes from Him.

I’m not talking about sharing our flesh, our sin natures. What we share is the righteousness that comes from Him and that eternal life is a shared thing. We can’t share that if we’re walking in darkness. So it behooves to have fellowship one with another, we have to be walking to the same sheet of music. The same sheet of music is God’s character. That’s what unites. He is talking about unity here. What unites is the character of God.

NKJ 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another”

Then he goes on. Look at the next clause

“and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

The moment he does this, he has removed the conversation from something that could be misunderstood as just psychology. If we stopped before this we could say, “Well, what John really means is that we are all walking to the same tune; and we all share the same values.” That’s true; but if we’re thinking of values as those which come out of human society, the latest Gallup Poll, for example, we miss the point completely.

What 1 John 1:7 is saying is if we walk in the light, God’s light, God’s standard, if we walk in that light, we have fellowship one with another. Then he adds there is something going on. This is just an illustration, not literal; but what he’s saying here is there is a 5th dimension to life. There are three dimensions in space, one dimension in time. That’s four dimensions.

What he’s saying is reality has five dimensions. There’s the unseen world. There are things that are going on that we can’t observe. They’re beyond our powers of observation. We only know what is going on in the unseen world because God in Scripture has communicated what is going on—some of what is going on in that unseen world. So the last part of this is:

“and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Before he ends this section, he is going to deal more with this invisible stuff going on. This takes it out of the realm of human psychology. We’re not just dealing with human psychology here. We’re dealing with something that reaches into the heights of Heaven. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. That’s needful. Notice it says:

“It cleanses us from all sin.”

If we walk in the light we’re going to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction for our sin through the Word; and then we will do something about it, which he is going to get to.

So now he starts in 1 John 1:8. Remember we’ve gone negative—positive. Now we’re on the negative.

NKJ 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin … the truth is not in us.”

Next slide [Slide 4]. There are going to be three responses now to the light. 1 John 1:8 is the first response; 1 John 1:9 is the second response; and 1 John 1:10 is the third response. The first response in verse 8 is—oh and by the way before we even get to the first response, something else is going on here, too.

That is to remember—this is so hard to remember, particularly if we are discouraged and if we have some sort of besetting sin and addiction. It is very, very hard for someone fighting those kinds of things to think that they have the freedom to choose. It’s like they’re imprisoned with a drug.

“Well, that’s nice; but I just can’t do that.”

John says, “Yes, you can.”

He’s going to deal with volition and human responses here. It’s not like you’re trapped into something. Yes, there are besetting sins. Yes, there are addictive things that are terrible that take years to deal with. We’re not denying that. But the Scriptures insist we have personal responsibility. We always have some zone of personal responsibility. If we don’t, verses 6 and 7 are an atrocious lie.

We have a choice of walking in the light or we have a choice of walking in the darkness. That’s a choice. That’s not determined by the government. That’s not determined by our psychology. That’s not determined by some sort of illness. We have human responsibility. This is good news.

People sometimes think of it as bad news because it’s sin; but actually there was a (recording problem) group of counselors back in the late ’60s. There was a gentleman by the name of Jay Adams who wrote a book. It was a bombshell in evangelical circles. It was called Competent to Counsel.

I can remember because I was studying in seminary when this happened. He was about as welcome as Henry Morris was with The Genesis Flood. Evangelicals ridiculed him. Particularly offended were the psychiatric communities and the psychology communities because Jay Adams argued that if we really as Christians believed the Scriptures were sufficient unto every good work, they must be sufficient for counseling.

He didn’t dismiss the fact that if somebody parted your hair with a baseball bat that you would have a brain injury. If somebody has a chemical problem, that’s a medical problem. It’s not a psychological problem. It may cause psychological problems; but the heart of the problem if it’s a chemical imbalance, that’s a medical problem. MDs should be addressing that, not a psychologist. So dismissing that segment of problems, the genuine medical problems, then everything else falls into the biblical place here of volition and responsibility. So that’s the battle.

Well, Adams argued and he gave a very interesting illustration. He had gotten his doctorate at the University of Illinois under O. Hobart Mowrer. O. Hobart Mowrer was a secular psychologist; but Adams narrates the following episode that happened when he was doing his clinical.

They were walking through the community there and they ran across a so-called schizophrenic and O. Hobart Mowrer walked up to that schizophrenic man and he said, “I can have you out of here in three weeks if you’ll admit the fact that you’re a cheater of federal government. I know that you cheated. You know that you cheated. All this schizophrenia stuff is a bunch of bull that you’ve created to cover up your guilt. So admit it, and you can be out of here in three weeks.”

Well, this was an eye opener to Jay Adams to see O. Hobart Mowrer treat these people who he had these supposedly incurable problems by addressing their personal responsibility. That’s why later he began to read the Scriptures and began to see that the Scripture’s imperative verbs are command verbs, are they not? Every imperative mood is addressing volition.

Well if the Scriptures are full of imperative verbs, what does that say about volition and responsibility? It must exist. If it doesn’t exist there shouldn’t be any imperative verbs, right? So when we see a simple command like 1 John 1:6 and 7, there’s a choice here. The choice is totally different than what you often get in therapies that deal with addictions. Everyone can walk in the light. Everyone can walk in darkness. It’s our responsibility.

So now he’s going to deal with the responses to the light [Slide 5]. Here we are fallen beings. God is a God of light. Now how do we respond to His nature because we’re dealing with God’s nature here?

So 1 John 1:8 is the first response.

NKJ 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

This is again something we have to be careful of. I know often times people come to this and they say that verse 8 is referring to the sin nature. Well, that’s a truth; but here we have to be careful. Hamartia—this word that John uses here for sin, he uses differently. You want to see how John uses the word sin here so we see that there’s something different than just saying we have a sin nature.

Let’s hold our place and turn to John 9:41. Here’s an example of how he uses it in his Gospel. This is that passage, by the way, where Jesus gets up and says, “I am the light of the world.” In verse 41 the last verse of chapter 9 in the Gospel of John:

NKJ John 9:41, “Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, “We see.” Therefore, your sin remains.’ ”

That’s how John uses the word sin here. It’s a response to the light; and it’s responsibility. So verse 8 is dealing with our human responsibility.

NKJ 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin,”

That is, we’re not responsible. We excuse everything. Then John says:

NKJ 1 John 1:8, “… and the truth is not in us.”

You are living in fantasyland. 1 John 1:8 is addressed to that area. It’s very, very relevant to the whole issue of counseling and psychology today. John would argue that behind what we call schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, unless they are chemically caused, these kinds of things are the sin nature. We have different bodies. Our chemistry works differently. We manifest choices differently. They can medically affect us. Doctors can detect differences but a lot of it is due simply to sin. It is a result of our trying to cope with guilt. So, John says:

NKJ 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin,”

We can’t be Christians and not be constantly aware that we have sin, that we can sin, that we have these guilt situations.

NKJ 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. The truth is not in us.”

Now the second response is the response is to confess—1 John 1:9, one of the most famous verses in all Scripture. Here it says:

NKJ 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, …”

So that’s a response when God brings these things to our awareness.

“He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Here we have a theological statement. It’s not just mouthing the words, “I’m sorry, I have sinned.” It’s not just mouthing those words. If God wasn’t there, if the universe wasn’t designed the way the Bible says it’s designed, that would be just a psychological exercise—just to make you feel good because you’re saying something. What John says is, “No, it’s more than just saying it. If we confess our sins, something is happening in the unseen realm.” In other words, God Himself is interacting with this. We can’t smell it; we can’t touch it; we can’t see it. But John says this is what happens.

NKJ 1 John 1:9, “… He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and …”

Furthermore he says:

“to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,”

which apparently may be the motives and of all the implications that got involved with that particular sin. So He cleanses us.

He also says:

NKJ 1 John 1:9, “… He is faithful and just”

So now we have two attributes of God going on here. See how theologically deep this is. This is not just a psychological thing going on here. This is not therapy. This is an act of confession and it involves God Himself. It says He is first of all faithful, meaning that He responds to this—that God has responded to this down through the corridors of time. He has responded to millions and millions of people. He responds to you. He responds to me the same way. He is faithful to the way He responds.

NKJ 1 John 1:9, “… and just”

which introduces another thing. This is a tremendous point theologically.

Old fashioned liberals used to make fun of gospel preachers back in the ’20s. One of the things they would yell at Billy Sunday and these old guys was that they believed in slaughterhouse religion. Do you think you know what they meant when they said, “You fundies, you believe in slaughterhouse religion?”

What do you think the liberals were getting at? The blood of Christ, the idea that in order to have forgiveness you had to have a slaughter—Old Testament. What happened when you sinned? What did they do? They slaughtered animals. What happened in the Garden of Eden? God slaughtered. With all due apologies to Peter, the first death of an animal God Himself caused. So why is it necessary to have slaughterhouse religion? Because God has to be propitiated. God is a holy God; and there is no other way—period.

Here’s the problem though. If you don’t have slaughterhouse religion, if you don’t have bloody mess—those of you want to see what cruelty existed in the first century read [Bill] O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus: A History. He goes on and gives a tremendous cultural [background]—I differ theologically with a lot of it, but culturally that is a tremendous work that shows you the absolute cruelty that went on in that day and that age.

Then you realize our Savior was exposed to that kind of life. All the early Christians were exposed to that kind of life. Every one of the Apostles was killed except John. That’s the life those guys lived in a very pagan society. We have it easy compared to what they had to go through.

The idea here is there had to be justice. This is another example of one of this moralistic rhetoric going on. How many times have you heard, “I believe in social injustice?” No, you don’t. If you haven’t read the book of Deuteronomy you don’t know what social justice is. So let’s cut out that stuff. That’s just a fig leaf for moral justice. The idea here is that justice—justice is an absolute rooted in the God who is Light, in Who there is no darkness at all. Now how are you going to have a just God forgive sin without a slaughterhouse religion?

This is the dilemma Islamic theologians have. One of the problems in Moslem theology—and it’s a very deep problem, and it has manifestations all across the board—I have read Moslem theologians who have argued that Allah can forgive or not. He can do evil or he can do good, that is his choice. In other words, they hold to the sovereignty of god so powerfully we call it voluntarism—that god can choose to do evil and god can choose to do good—period. That is Islamic theology.

What is also true is that Allah can forgive without blood atonement. Now if a god can forgive without blood atonement, what does that do to his standard? If you forgive somebody, are accepting their sin, are you not? Well, if you accept their sin what happens to your holiness? It’s inconsistent.

So in answer to the old liberal and in answer to the modern liberal, we argue that unless you have a blood sacrificial atonement, you cannot have a justice that forgives. This is why in Romans 3 there’s that magnificent passage by Paul where God can be just and the justifier. He can be both, but only because of the atonement.

Now he develops this. Look at 1 John 1:10. The third response is that when we’re convicted of sin we deny it. John says:

NKJ 1 John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

See the sensitivity here to conscience? Very strong and it’s fed not as a psychological thing; it’s fed as a theological thing with the character of God.

Now in 1 John 2:1–2 this is what’s going on topside. This is what takes this passage out of the area of psychology and puts it into area of reality that there is a God there, our Creator and Savior God. Our sin down here is affecting things up there. Up there there are all kinds of things going on. So John lets us see the stuff that’s going on up there in the 5th dimension that we can’t smell, taste, see, or hear. Here’s what’s going on. He says:

NKJ 1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.”

That verse is addressed to the fact that people say, “Ah well, I’ve got 1 John 1:9. That’s a license to sin.”

No, that’s not why John is doing this.

He says, “I’m writing this so you won’t sin, because I want to make you aware of who God is and the lengths to which He goes to forgive our sin. It is nontrivial for God to forgive sin. Here’s why.”

He says:

NKJ 1 John 2:1, “… And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

NKJ 1 John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

Now the idea of an advocate—before you get to that—well maybe we’ll go with the advocate first. That’s the same word that Jesus used in the Upper Room Discourse for the Holy Spirit, which is interesting. It is also an example of what Jesus does now. A passage that kind of gives us a little video of what it looks like when Jesus acts as an advocate.

Hold your place and turn to Luke 22. Here’s an example of His advocacy. After reading passages like this, I hope we all appreciate the fact that human actions down here involve a whole lot more than what we learn in a psychology course. This is way, way beyond any human psychology therapy. Luke 22:31.

The Lord, while on earth, somehow knew what was going on topside and He knew specific things that were going on before the throne of God while He was down here. So, he’s talking to Peter. Here’s what He says:

NKJ Luke 22:31, “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you …’ ”

How do you think Jesus knew that? Think of all the millions of people that existed at this time. Jesus is cognizant of the fellow that He’s right next to.

He says, “Peter, I know that Satan has just asked to have you.”

Think of the communication involved here that Jesus knew this.

NKJ Luke 22:31, “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.’ ”

Look at this. Here’s the advocacy.

NKJ Luke 22:32, “ ‘But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’ ”

So here our Intercessor, our Advocate hears the attack. Remember there is a judicial fight going on. This is, by the way, in a dimension of theology that traditional Protestant Reform Theology does not deal with. But, I believe that a literal dispensational approach does deal with. That is the doxological issue.

The universe is beyond just redemption. There are doxological things going on that have nothing to do—well, redemption has a role, but angels are not redeemed. There is a battle going on in the throne room of God over the issue of God’s essence. Is God just or is He unjust? You get that in the Book of Job.

Here again it comes up. Satan is probably saying to God what he said to God about Job. Now he’s going after Peter because he wants to show that somehow God’s work with us violates God’s character because Satan wasn’t given redemption. The angels that fell with Satan are not ever going to be saved. Therefore, there’s some sort of courtroom argument that’s been going on for centuries about why God redeems us; but He doesn’t redeem them. Satan is like a prosecutor. He wants to go after it and after it and after it.


The question: Jesus in kenosis (true biblical kenosis) gave up the independent use of His attributes. But obviously God the Father allowed Him to do this. So we just say that Jesus knew this because God allowed Jesus to know this. Jesus is omniscient. He exercises it. He could exercise any one of His attributes anytime He felt the Father allowed Him to do it.

For example, He comes to Mark.


The Father probably gave Him permission to use His omniscience when He was dealing with His disciples in this situation.


This is the whole. We are coming to grips with kenosis, which is a Christological doctrine that has to do with the fact that Jesus didn’t short circuit God’s protocols for living His life. If He did, He wouldn’t be the model for us.


How does this apply to us?

Oh, I see what you are saying—is He acting as a human being knowing the Scripture? I would say probably not in this case, because He has specific insight into a conversation that has just taken place in Heaven.

Here He says, “Peter I prayed for you.” … and at that point made a difference for Peter. It’s interesting had Jesus not heard or had He heard and not cared; Peter might have had a problem. It was precisely because Jesus did hear, and He acted as the intercessor. He acted as an advocate and Peter survived and Peter could come out of his spiral; but that was only because Jesus heard, and He advocated. When we think we’re so hotshot and that we’re having victory in the Christian life; it may very well be just because someone is praying for us that we did not know and we better be a little more humble about some of our achievements.

Finally, it says:

NKJ 1 John 2:1, “… Jesus Christ the righteous.”

Notice John. Here he goes again—God’s nature, God’s holiness, God’s righteousness, justice. See how often he talks about that. There is no compromise in John with light.

KJ 1 John 1:5, “…and in Him is no darkness”

Jesus, in order to be the Advocate, must be righteous.

Then he goes on and finishes in 1 John 2:2.

NKJ 1 John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

Propitiation is a theological word that means to satisfy God’s holy demands. That is what propitiation means. So He is the propitiation of our sins and also for the sins of the whole world.

Our time unfortunately is up but we are finished with this chunk. So next week we’ll move on. Now the focus changes to Jesus, the Righteous One. Now you’ll see there’s a tone of difference. We focused on God’s nature and that’s how we work with the Father. Now what about our relationship with the Son? That is the next passage.

(Closing prayer)