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1 John 2:1-3

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 1 This chapter of 1 John and the next three chapters have several references to three different groups of believers all translated in English to be "little children." John defines the three groups in this chapter's verses 12,13, and 14; so, based on examining the Greek word in each verse that references little children, we identify and state in the commentary which group John was addressing. The three groups are: 1) disciples that still sin without salvation, 2) sons of God that know the Father, and 3) sons of God that have overcome the devil and have grown strong with the Word of God (Jesus) living in them.

 1 My little children, I write these things to you, so that you may not sin. But if any man does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. [The Greek in this verse for little children is an affectionate term of address for disciples, teknia <5040>; these little children are disciples yet to be freed from sin and without salvation.]

 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world. [Notice! John has said Christ is the atoning sacrifice not only for ours, (the early Christians), but he is the atoning sacrifice for the whole world. From the Word of the Lord within: "If one man's sin can curse the whole human race, then how much more just is it for one man's righteousness to pay for the sins of the whole world?" Sounds logical doesn't it? HE IS LOGICAL.]

 3 And by this we know that we know him: if we keep [obey] his commands. [The commands we hear as He speaks to us from within our heart; that is the word of faith that the Apostles preached.]

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