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Geneva Study Notes
1 John Chapter 2

1 John 2:1
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
     his Father.
    (a) In that be names Christ, he eliminates all others.

1 John 2:2
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  1 John 2:7 but also to other
        nations.

1 John 2:3
2:3 {2} 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
     gospel.
    (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.

1 John 2:4
2:4 {3} 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.

1 John 2:5
2:5 {4} But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the {f}
    love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in {g}
    him.

 (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.

1 John 2:6
2:6 {5} 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.

1 John 2:7
2:7 {6} 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
    beginning.

 (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.

1 John 2:8
2:8 {7} 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.

1 John 2:9
2:9 {8} 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
     hell.

1 John 2:12
2:12 {i} 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.

1 John 2:13
2:13 {10} 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
     Father.

 (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.

1 John 2:14
2:14 {13} 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.

1 John 2:15
2:15 {14} 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,  John 3:16 that is to say,
         those whom he chose out of the world.
     (m) Wherewith the Father is loved.

1 John 2:17
2:17 {15} 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
      unlike event.

1 John 2:18
2:18 {16} {n} 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
     last time.

 (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
         sweet words.
 (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.

1 John 2:19
2:19 {19} 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.

1 John 2:20
2:20 {21} 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.

1 John 2:21
2:21 {22} I have not written unto you because ye know not the
     truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the
     truth.

 (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.

1 John 2:22
2:22 {23} Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the
     {r} Christ?  He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and
     the Son.

 (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.

1 John 2:23
2:23 {s} Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the
     Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the
     Father also].

     (s) They deceive themselves, and also deceive others, who
         say that the Moslems and other infidels worship the same
         God that we do.

1 John 2:24
2:24 {24} 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.

1 John 2:26
2:26 {25} 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.

1 John 2:27
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.

1 John 2:28
2:28 {26} 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.

1 John 2:29
2:29 {27} 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
      Father.



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