2:1 My 1 little children, these things write I unto you, that
ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an a advocate with
the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
(1) It does not follow that we must give our wicked nature free
rein, or sin much more freely, because our sins are
cleansed by the blood of Christ, but we must rather much
more diligently resist sin, and yet we must not despair
because of our weakness, for we have an advocate and a
purger, Christ Jesus the Just, and therefore acceptable to
(a) In that be names Christ, he eliminates all others.
2:2 And he is the b propitiation for our sins: and not for
ours only, but also for [the sins of] the c whole world.
(b) Reconciliation and intercession go together, to give us
to understand that he is both advocate and high priest.
(c) For men of all sorts, of all ages, and all places, so
that this benefit being not to the Jews only, of whom he
speaks as appears in (1Jo 2:7) but also to other
2:32 And hereby we do know that we e know him, e if we
keep his commandments.
(2) He returns to the testimony of our union with God, that is,
to sanctification, declaring what it is to walk in the
light, that is, to keep God's commandments. By this it
follows that holiness does not consist in those things
which men have devised, neither in a vain profession of the
(d) This must be understood of such a knowledge as has faith
with it, and not of a common knowledge.
(e) For the tree is known by the fruit.
2:43 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his
commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
(3) Holiness, that is, a life ordered according to the
prescript of God's commandments, however weak we are, is of
necessity joined with faith, that is, with the true
knowledge of the Father in the Son.
2:54 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the f
love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in g
(4) He that keeps God's commandments loves God indeed: He that
loves God, is in God, or is joined together with God.
Therefore he that keeps his commandments is in him.
(f) Wherewith we love God.
(g) He means our union with Christ.
2:65 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to
walk, even as he walked.
(5) He that is one with Christ, must live his life, that is,
must walk in his steps.
2:76 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an
old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old
commandment is the word which ye have heard from the
(6) The apostle expounding the commandment of charity towards
one another, tells first that when he urges holiness, he
brings no new idea of life (as they use to do who devise
traditions one after another) but reminds them of that same
law which God gave in the beginning, that is, by Moses, at
the time that God began to make laws for his people.
2:87 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, h which
thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is
past, and the true light now shineth.
(7) He adds that the doctrine indeed is old, but it is in a way
new, both in respect to Christ, and also to us: in whom he
through the gospel, engraves his law effectually, not in
tables of stone, but in our minds.
h Which thing (that is, that the doctrine is new which I
write to you) is true in him, and in you.
2:98 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his
brother, is in darkness even until now.
(8) Now he comes to the second table, that is, to charity
towards one another, and denies that a man has true light
in him, or is indeed regenerate and the son of God, who
hates his brother: and such a one wanders miserably in
darkness, may he never brag of great knowledge of God for
he knowingly and willingly casts himself headlong into
2:12i I write unto you, 9 little children, because your
sins are forgiven you for his k name's sake.
(i) Therefore I write to you, because you are of their
number whom God has reconciled to himself.
(9) He returns again from the sanctification to remission of
sins, because that free reconciliation in Christ is the
ground of our salvation upon which afterwards
sanctification must be built as upon a foundation.
(k) For his own sake: in that he names Christ he eliminates
all others, whether they are in heaven or on earth.
2:1310 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him
[that is] from the beginning. 11 I write unto you, young
men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. 12 I write
unto you, little children, because ye have known the
(10) He shows that this doctrine agrees to all ages, and first
of all speaking to old men, he shows that Christ and his
doctrine are ancient, and therefore if they enjoy with old
things, nothing ought to be more acceptable to them.
(11) He advertises to young men, if they desire to show their
strength, that they have a most glorious combat set here
before them, that is, Satan the worst enemy, who must be
overcome: willing them to be as sure of the victory, as if
they had already gotten it.
(12) Finally, he shows to children, that the true Father from
whom they have to look for all good things, is set before
them in the gospel.
2:1413 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have
known him [that is] from the beginning. I have written unto
you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God
abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
(13) He adds afterward in like order, as many exhortations: as
if he should say, Remember, you Fathers, as I wrote even
now, that the everlasting Son of God is revealed to us.
Remember you young men, that that strength by which I said
that you put Satan to flight, is given to you by the word
of God which dwells in you.
2:1514 Love not the l world, neither the things [that are]
in the world. If any man love the world, the m love of
the Father is not in him.
(14) The world which is full of wicked desires, lusts or
pleasures, and pride, is utterly hated by our heavenly
Father. Therefore the Father and the world cannot be
loved together: and this admonition is very necessary for
young and growing youth.
(l) He speaks of the world, as it agrees not with the will
of God, for otherwise God is said to love the world
with an infinite love, (Joh 3:16) that is to say,
those whom he chose out of the world.
(m) Wherewith the Father is loved.
2:1715 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but
he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
(15) He shows how much better it is to obey the Father's will,
than the lusts of the world, by both their natures and
2:1816n Little children, 17 it is the last time: 18
and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now
are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the
(16) Now, he turns himself to little children, which
nonetheless are well instructed in the sum of religion,
and wills them by various reasons to shake off laziness,
which is too familiar with that age.
(n) He uses this word "Little" not because he speaks to
children, but to allure them the more by using such
(17) First, because the last time is at hand, so that the
matter suffers no delay.
(18) Secondly, because antichrists, that is, such as fall from
God, are already come, even as they heard that they would
come. And it was necessary to warn that careless and
fearless age of the danger.
2:1919 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if
they had been of us, o they would [no doubt] have
continued with us: 20 but [they went out], that they
might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
(19) A digression against certain offences and stumbling blocks
at which that young age especially might stumble and be
shaken, Therefore that they should not be terrified with
the falling back of certain, first he makes plain to men
that although those who fall from God and his religion had
a place in the Church, yet they were never of the Church:
because the Church is the company of the elect, who cannot
perish, and therefore cannot fall from Christ.
(o) So then the elect can never fall from grace.
(20) Secondly, he shows that these things happen to the benefit
of the Church, that hypocrites may be plainly known.
2:2021 But ye have an p unction from the q Holy One, and
ye know all things.
(21) Thirdly, he comforts them, to make them stand fast, as
they are anointed by the Holy Spirit with the true
knowledge of salvation.
(p) The grace of the Holy Spirit, and this is a borrowed
type of speech taken from the anointings used in the law.
(q) From Christ who is peculiarly called Holy.
2:2122 I have not written unto you because ye know not the
truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the
(22) The taking away of an objection, He did not write these
things to men who are ignorant of religion, but rather to
those who know the truth well, yes so far that they are
able to discern truth from falsehood.
2:2223 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the
r Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and
(23) He shows now plainly the false doctrine of the
antichrist's, that is, that either they fight against the
person of Christ, or his office, or both together and at
once. They who do so, boast and brag of God in vain, for
in denying the Son, the Father also is denied.
(r) Is the true Messiah.
2:23s Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the
Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the
(s) They deceive themselves, and also deceive others, who
say that the Moslems and other infidels worship the same
God that we do.
2:2424 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard
from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the
beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in
the Son, and in the Father.
(24) The whole preaching of the prophets and apostles is
contrary to that doctrine, therefore it is utterly to be
cast away, and this wholly to be held and kept, which leads
us to seek eternal life in the free promise, that is to
say, in Christ alone, who is given to us by the Father.
2:2625 These [things] have I written unto you concerning them
that seduce you.
(25) The same Spirit who endues the elect with the knowledge of
the truth and sanctifies them, gives them the gift of
perseverance, to continue to the end.
2:27 But the t anointing which ye have received of him abideth
in you, and ye u need not that any man teach you: but as
the same x anointing teacheth you of all things, and is
truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye
shall abide in him.
(t) The Spirit who you have received from Christ, and who
has led you into all truth.
(u) You are not ignorant of those things, and therefore I
teach them not as things that were never heard of, but
call them to your mind as things which you do know.
(x) He commends both the doctrine which they had embraced,
and also highly praises their faith, and the diligence
of those who taught them, yet so, that he takes nothing
from the honour due to the Holy Spirit.
2:2826 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he
shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed
before him at his coming.
(26) The conclusion both of the whole exhortation, and also of
the former treatise.
2:2927 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every
one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
(27) A passing over to the treatise following, which tends to
the same purpose, but yet is more ample, and handles the
same matter in another way, for before he taught us to go
from the effects to the cause, and in this that follows,
he goes from the causes to the effects. This is the sum
of the argument, God is the fountain of all righteousness,
and therefore they that give themselves to righteousness,
are known to be born of him, because they resemble God the