Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
1 John 2:1-2 (NIV)
2 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
These two verses immediately follow yesterday’s sermon on confessing our sins, from 1 John 1:5-10. Here John adds an important clarification, expanding what he taught in verse 1:7. God’s forgiveness isn’t a “get out of jail free” card that allows us to commit intentional sins without fear of judgment. If we say “I can have a wild night on Saturday, because I know the pastor will forgive me on Sunday,” we are fooling ourselves. When we think like that, we no longer actually know God. When we truly know and love God, his forgiveness of our sin makes us hate our sin (because it cost Christ his blood), and desire to live a better life. It’s like if your spouse forgives you for something terrible you did. Her love doesn’t make you want to sin against her more – no, out of remorse for hurting her, and out of gratitude for another chance, you want to please her more! Compare this to Romans 6:1-2.