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Featured 1 John 2:1-2

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Nov 14, 2022.

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  1. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    1 John 2:1-2. 'My 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.
    And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours
    only but also for the whole world.'
    I promised on another thread to post something on these verses, so here goes!

    The first thing to note is that there is not much 'iffy' about 'if anyone sins.' In 1:10, John has told us that if we say we have not sinned we make God out to be a liar. He has told us elsehere that 'all [Jew and Gentile alike] have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. John's purpose in these early verses is to tell us that we should aim high - to seek to live a life that is worthy of such a gracious God and such a wonderful Saviour. But when we fall short, as we will, we should not despair, for we have an advocate in heaven, who intercedes with the Father on our behalf (Isaiah 53:12; Hebrews 7:25).

    So what does the Lord Jesus plead on our behalf before the Father? Does He say, "Father, these men are innocent!" Hardly! Does He excuse our sin and plead extenuating circumstances? Does He plead our ignorance of the God's holiness or claim that we did not know what we were doing? No, we all have a conscience and know quite well when we do wrong.

    So does He plead for those who have believed on Him? Yes, but that is not what is being said here. Remarkably, the word 'believe' does not occur in 1 John until 3:23, and 'faith' not until 5:4. If we want to know what our Lord pleads before the Father, we must look at verse 2. He is the propitiation for our sins. What is a propitiation? It is a sacrifice that turns away wrath. We read in Psalms 7:11 that God is angry with sinners every day. His wrath is not an emotional thing, it is the just reaction of a righteous and holy God to trespasses and sin. And if that wrath is not propitiated somehow, judgment must fall.

    But in His mercy, God has found a way to marry His righteousness to His mercy (Psalms 85:10). On the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ became our surety or guarantor; He paid the penalty of the sins of a vast crowd of sinners, so many that no man can count them (Revelation 7:9-10), and turned away God's righteous anger from them. It is this that He pleads before the Father, saying perhaps, something like this: "Father, I have paid the price of these people's sin. The marks on my hands, feet and side testify that I have suffered in full the wrath and judgment that their sin deserved." Whether He uses such words as these, I have no idea, but there is no question of our Lord's intercession being unsuccessful. It was the Father who gave these people to the Son to redeem (John 6:39; 10:29 etc.) and in the light of His suffering, He will deny His beloved Son nothing which He asks for (Psalms 2:8; John 17:24).

    So who or what is the 'whole world' in verse 2? It cannot be every single person in the world, because if Christ has propitiated the Father towards every single person and is interceding for them, then they will all be saved, which we know is not the case. Most Reformed commentaries see it as the elect, believers from every nation, tribe, people and tongue (Revelation 7:9 again). There is nothing wrong with this, but I have another theory, which I offer tentatively, that 'world' means Planet Earth.

    In Genesis 3:17, God places a curse upon the 'ground' [Heb. 'adamah; also 'earth' or 'land') because of Man's sin. The curse appears again in Genesis 5:29, but chiefly in Romans 18-23. Here we learn that the creation was made subject to 'futility,' bondage and corruption by God, but that it will be delivered from these things at the end of time. In Revelation 22:3, we learn that in the new heaven and new earth there will be 'no more curse.' Why not? Because the blood of Christ, dropping from His tortured body, fell upon the earth and expiated the curse. So at the same time as our bodies are changed from corruption to incorrumption, so the world we shall live in shall also be changed, so that the perfected children of God may inhabit a perfect environment.

    'Payment God will not twice demand;
    Once at my bleeding Surety's hand,
    And then again from me.' [Augustus Toplady]
     
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  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    This should, of course, read Romans 8:18-23. For some reason I was not able to edit my post
     
  3. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    Martin I understand that you really do not want to accept that Christ actually covered the sins of all mankind by His death on the cross as that is the position your theology has taken. But you really have to show how the earth sinned against God so as to require the Son to be the propitiation for it's sins.
     
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  4. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    Here is an article for you to read. If you are going to maintain that whole world does not mean all people then it is you that has to provide the rational reasons from within the context as to why you think that way.

    Let’s do this, let’s look at John’s use of “world” in 1 John to see how John would use the term. For this study, I will be using Dr. Robert Picirilli’s book, Grace, Faith, FreeWill. The Greek word is “kosmos” G2889 and it occurs 23 times in 1 John. Dr. Robert Picirilli notes the use of kosmos in 1 John as follows:
    1Jn_2:2
    1Jn_2:15-17 (6 times)
    1Jn_3:1
    1Jn_3:13
    1Jn_3:17
    1Jn_4:1-5 (6 times)
    1Jn_4:9
    1Jn_4:14
    1Jn_4:17
    1Jn_5:4-5 (3 times)
    1Jn_5:19

    Picirilli notes that the use of “the world” can be used personally by John (1Jn_3:1, 1Jn_3:13) or impersonally (1Jn_2:15). The use of “world” in 1Jn_2:2 is personal.

    John consistently uses “the world” against the Church. Only four times in 1 John does he use “the world” to not be negative: 1Jn_3:17 and 1Jn_4:17; 1Jn_4:9; and 1Jn_4:14 which is the same meaning as in 1Jn_2:2. The Church is not to love “the world” (1Jn_2:15-17), does not recognize Jesus nor His disciples (1Jn_3:1), hates disciples (1Jn_3:13), has the spirit of the antichrist (1Jn_4:3-4), is overcome by disciples (1Jn_5:4-5), and is in the grip of the evil one (1Jn_5:18-19).

    What does John mean by “world”? He uses this word 23 times in this short letter, consistently indicating the very opposite of the people of God. The people of God and “the world” are two different peoples, hostile to each other. Surely John uses “world” in 1Jn_2:2 in the same way, and not as a reference to the rest of the elect in the world.

    All of us who handle God's Word do well to remember that we do not honor Him with our interpretive ingenuity but with submission to what He says. To say, even to show, that a given statement can be interpreted in a certain way does us no credit at all. The question is always not what the words can mean but what they do mean, here. In 1Jn_2:2 and in 1Ti_2:1-6, the most obvious meaning of "world" and "all men" is universalistic. In these cases, careful exegesis supports the obvious meaning. Dr. Picirilli
     
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  5. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    :Rolleyes I know you want the text to say that Christ propitiated God towards everyone, but I'm afraid it doesn't. Nor does it say that the earth sinned. The Bible does say that God placed a curse upon the earth because of sin. I am suggesting that Christ removed that curse.
     
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  6. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I'm not sure what point you are trying to make. I have given reasons why I believe that kosmos in 1 John 2:2 does not mean 'all the people in the world.' If you don't believe they are rational, you need to show why.
    Mr Picirilli shows that kosmos has a variety of meanings in 1 John. In the Bible as a whole there is a greater range. Very often, as he seems to suggest, it means the world as it lies under Satan (eg. 1 John 2:15ff). In both 1 John 3:17 & 4:17, it seems to mean the physical earth, which is what I'm suggesting it means in 1 John 2:2.

    But I'm amused that you are quoting from a human author. When other people do that, you proudly proclaim that you 'just believe the Bible. I'm not criticizing; I just find it droll.
     
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  7. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    The text does say that Christ was the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. Do you have a different meaning for the word ALSO
    1Jn 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

    Martin you are ignoring what the text says and just reading into it what you need to find. You are struggling way to hard to avoid the truth of the text.
     
    #7 Silverhair, Nov 14, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2022
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  8. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    I have shown way your view is untenable but you seem to ignore it. Has the earth sinned, I don't see that in the bible. Christ came to be the propitiation for sins so that would exclude the earth. Or are you saying that earth has a free will? That would be a novel idea but not much different than what you are trying to put forward. You are the one that is trying to bring wild ideas into the text so it is up to you to prove that they are actually reasonable.

    I could have shown you the same thing the Dr. Picirilli did if that would have made you feel better. And did you not notice that he just used the text of the bible. You have build up this wall of resistance against anything not calvinist, show me where what Dr. Picirilli said is wrong. You have to ignore context in order to try and fit your theory in.

    Did Christ come to save the planet or the people? By your logic He came to save the planet 1Jn 4:14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. And it would seem that the reason we have floods and storms is because the planet is under the control of the evil one 1Jn 5:19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

    Christ came to save people not the planet and the context of 1 John shows this.
     
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  9. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I pointed out in the previous thread that there is no ancient manuscript that contains the words 'those of' or 'the sins of.' English translations have tended to add them. The correct rendering is found in the NKJV as I posted at the start of the O.P. In fact, because the phrase 'not for ours only' has a definite article, that seems to separate our sins from 'the whole world.' So a reasonable translation might be, 'and not for our sins only, but for the whole world.'
    But again, for the umpteenth time, what the verse cannot mean is that the Lord Jesus provided propitiation for every person in the world, since it is clear that God's wrath remains upon unbelievers (John 3:36). You may argue that 'world' here means the world of believers, and as I wrote, that is the iew of most Reformed commentators, but it does not really fit the context, since believing is not mentioned in 1 John until 3:23 and faith until 5:4..
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    You have shown nothing of the sort.
    Christ did not come to be the propitiation for all the people on the earth.
    1 John 4:10. 'In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.' Not for everyone's sins, but for ours.
    Of course the earth has not sinned. What a stupid idea! But there is a curse upon the earth because of human sin and Christ has expiated that curse as I showed in the O.P.

    I am always cautious about proposing my own understanding of Scripture if it is not supported by other writers (Proverbs 15:22; 24:6) and I am open to correction by other wise brothers here, but I have seen nothing in your posts to make me change my mind.
     
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  11. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Propitiation provides the means of salvation. It does not mean in its biblical usage the act of being propitiated.
    1John 2:2 (NASB)
    and He Himself is the [fn] propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    Footnote: I.e., means of reconciliation with God by atoning for sins; or sin-offering

    If we a present a more literal translation, it would read:
    and He is the means of reconciliation concerning the sins of us, yet not only concerning ours but also concerning the whole of humanity.
     
    #11 Van, Nov 15, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  12. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    @Martin Marprelate
    You quoted:
    1 John 2:1-2. 'My 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.
    And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours
    only but also for the whole world.'

    Questions & Answers:

    1) "My Little Children" - Who is John's little children?
    - John's " children" are those who are already redeemed.

    2) "These things I write to you" - What has John already written to which he is connecting this comment?
    - 1 John 1 is written to the children. You can note a "these things" is written multiple times in chapter 1. You also observe the constant use of the word "we" which connects John's children to himself and the Apostles.

    3) "so that you may not sin" - What has John written previously that would spur us to not sin?

    - The message of chapter 1 is that we might know who God is and know that the children of God can confess their sin and be forgiven. It also points us to obedience of this God in whom there is no darkness.

    4) "If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." - How does Jesus advocate?

    - Hebrews 7:25 gives us the answer. Jesus is our High Priest who advocates for us.
    Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

    5) "He himself is the propitiation for our sins" - What does propitiation mean?

    - Propitiation means “averting the wrath of God by the offering of a gift.” It refers to the turning away of the wrath of God as the just judgment of our sin by God's own provision of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
    ~ Propitiation - The Gospel Coalition

    6) "not for ours only but also for the whole world." - What does "ours" connect to?

    - "ours" is referring to the sin that Jesus took upon himself so that God's wrath would be averted from the "children" and placed upon Jesus our sacrificial high priest.

    In Hebrews 9 we see Jesus work for God's children whose names are written into God's will, which was enacted upon Jesus death.
    *Hebrews 9:11-12,15-17*
    But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

    Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.


    - what does "whole world" refer to?

    The context points to the children of God throughout the whole world.
    I disagree with your idea that it means the physical earth.
    While the earth is under the curse of man's sin, the earth has not, itself, sinned. Therefore the earth needs no propitiation. But, the children of God throughout the whole world did need Jesus propitiation.
    I hold to the consensus Reformed view of "the whole world" since the context of John 1 points toward that interpretation.

    I do not think your interpretation is correct as it falls outside of the context.

    Peace
     
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  13. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    The idea that there is something wrong with the earth and with creation itself and that it is due to man's sin is solid. I think it will be set right someday. The idea of Jesus blood doing that at Calvary, though beautiful and poetic, is not supported. At least I don't think so. I think that 1 John 2:1-2 doesn't really try to make a case for the extent of the atonement, rather it is giving comfort to those who were directly recipients of the letter and sending us a message who read it years later, in a different country and culture, that it applies to us too.
     
  14. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    Martin lets see what the Greek says
    1Jn 2:2 καὶ G2532 αὐτὸς G846 ἱλασμός G2434 ἐστιν G1510 περὶ G4012 τῶν G3588 ἁμαρτιῶν G266 ἡμῶν· G1473 οὐ G3756 περὶ G4012 τῶν G3588 ἡμετέρων G2251 δὲ G1161 μόνον, G3440 ἀλλὰ G235 καὶ G2532 περὶ G4012 ὅλου G3650 του G3588 κοσμου. G2889 Alford, Henry - The Greek Testament + Strong's

    1Jn 2:2 And G2532 he G1473 is atonement G2434 G1510.2.3 for G4012 G3588 our sins; G266 G1473 [2 not G3756 4 for G4012 G3588 5 ours G2251 1 but G1161 3 only], G3440 but G235 also G2532 for G4012 the whole G3650 G3588 world. G2889 Apostolic Bible Polyglot w/ Strong's Numbers

    1Jn 2:2 καὶ And G2532 CONJ αὐτὸς He G846 P-NSM ἱλασμός The Propitiation G2434 N-NSM ἐστιν Is G2076 V-PXI-3S περὶ For G4012 PREP τῶν G3588 T-GPF ἁμαρτιῶν G266 N-GPF ἡμῶν Our Sins; G2257 P-1GP οὐ Not G3756 PRT-N περὶ For G4012 PREP τῶν G3588 T-GPF ἡμετέρων Ours G2251 S-1GPF δὲ But G1161 CONJ μόνον Only, G3440 ADV ἀλλὰ But G235 CONJ καὶ Also G2532 CONJ περὶ For G4012 PREP ὅλου Whole G3650 A-GSM τοῦ The G3588 T-GSM κόσμου World. G2889 N-GSM Stephanus Textus Receptus with accents, interlinear, Strong's numbers and parsing info

    1Jn 2:2 And G2532 He Himself G846 is G2076 (G5748) the propitiation G2434 for G4012 our G2257 sins G266, and G1161 not G3756 for G4012 ours G2251 only G3440 but G235 also G2532 for G4012 the whole G3650 world G2889. NKJV with Strong''''s Numbers + TVM

    You seem to be swimming against the tide here Martin even the NKJV has the word ALSO in the text. That is inclusive language. 1Jn 2:2 is speaking about who Christ was the propitiation for, which as the text shows is for the whole world, it is not addressing who of those would believe.
     
  15. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    Martin you continue to show that you will ignore scripture or just twist it in the attempt it to make it fit your philosophy. Did only a select group of people sin or do all people sin?
    As to the earth sinning that was you idea and as you say it is a stupid one so why would you put that idea forward. I just pointed out how illogical your idea was.

    You use 1 Jn 4:10 as an escape text but what you fail to realize is that while it says He died for our sins it does not exclude Him dying for everyone's sin as we see in 1Jn 2:2. We see the same words "whole world" used again by John in 1Jn 5:19 so using your logic it must only be those "elect" that are under the sway of Satan.

    When we look at the text of scripture do we find evidence that the atonement was made for all? Actually we do.
    Heb 2:9 but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

    What clearer words could have been used to show that the atonement was meant for all? "for everyone" expresses it exactly - without need of modification or explanation.

    2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for G5228 all, then all died;
    2Co 5:15 and He died for G5228 all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for G5228 them and rose again.


    G5228 The word “for” (ὑπὲρ huper) means in behalf of, for the sake of. Thayer's Greek - English Lexicon
    What do these two verses tell us? Christ died to sin in the place of all and because He did so those that will trust in Him can live again. The extent of the atonement is expressed in the words "died for all", "for everyone", "for the whole world". When someone has to modify or limit these words to explain their view then they are denying clear scripture.
     
    #15 Silverhair, Nov 15, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
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  16. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Picirilli
     
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  17. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for your thoughtful and constructive post. Thanks also to @DaveXR650 for his contributiion. I will give them both some thought.
    My thinking is that though, of course, the world, being impersonal, cannot sin, it is nevertheless subject to God's curse.and 'subjected to futility' (Romans 8:20). But the following verse tells us that it will be 'delivered from the bondage of corruption,' for which it needs a deliverer.
    But perhaps I am over-thinking things, and simply to see 'world' as the worldwide children of God works perfectly well. Thanks again for your helpful comments.
     
  18. Silverhair

    Silverhair Well-Known Member

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    Dave how do you not see the language of 1Jn 2:2 as inclusive?
    1Jn 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

    The atonement was made for the ones that John was writing to "propitiation for our sins"

    Then he tells them but the atonement was not limited to just them "and not for ours only"

    Then he tells them who else were to be included "but also for the whole world"

    That does not leave any wiggle room as to what John was saying. How can you conclude that John was not making a case for the extent of the atonement? What more should he have said?
     
  19. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Has the whole world's sin been paid for and ransomed?

    Is that what John is saying?
    If so, why does John spend so much time talking about sin when the whole world has already had its sin fully paid off and ransomed?
     
  20. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Active Member

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    Because he wasn't. He is clearly talking to "my little children" about what to do if they sin. I just don't think he was teaching about the extent of the atonement in that lesson. I personally don't get the consternation on either side about this.
     
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