“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” 1John 2:1-2
LIGHT FOR NOW: Being able to read or quote the bible is not equivalent to rightly interpreting the bible.
Having established a key fact that in John’s first epistles, he uses special terminologies in reference to believers which are: little children, young and men. Notice in verse one of the above text, John calls Jesus the advocate for our sins. And in verse 2, he further explains that Jesus who is the advocate for our sins is our propitiation, “…we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins…” Notice while referring to Jesus advocacy and propitiation, the writer identifies with his audience, hence he uses the pronouns:
“We” (we have an advocate with the father).
“Our” (he is the propitiation for our sins).
The writer uses those pronouns “we” and “our” because he is in the category of those who have believed, hence he identifies with his audience. So Jesus’ advocacy and propitiation is effective only in or for those who have believed. But John later says in the next line of verse 2 that Jesus is not just the propitiation for our sins but for the sins of the whole world. Does this not contradict what we established earlier that Jesus’ advocacy and propitiation is only effective in or for those who have believed, that is, if Jesus’ propitiation and advocacy is only effective for those who have believed, how come the writer says that Jesus is the propitiation of the sins of the whole world? Does this not make the advocacy automatic upon all? These thoughts flowing through the minds of many will be clarified as the study advances.
Truth is, the bible never contradicts itself; where there is a seeming contradiction in the bible, the contradiction is not in the bible itself but in the mind of the reader reading that bible. This is why the bible must be explained. And being able to read or quote the bible is not equivalent to rightly interpreting the bible even though a person that can rightly interpret the bible must be able to quote the bible. If the fact that Jesus is the propitiation or the advocacy for the sins of the whole world means the propitiation is automatic upon all, then there will be no need to believe in him or in the gospel, and it will also imply that salvation is automatic upon all. Hallelujah!
PRAYER: As I think through God’s word intelligently, understanding emerges, in Jesus Name, Amen.
QUOTE: One litmus test to rightly interpret bible texts is critical investigation and excavation of details.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 1JOHN CHAPTER 2; EVENING: 1JOHN CHAPTER 4