1 John 2:1-11

Talks for Growing Christians

Christ As Our Advocate, and Two Tests of Christian Fellowship

1 John 2:1-11

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Lesson Number 3

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Obedience to Christ’s commands is a test of Christian fellowship.
  2. Love for fellow believers is a test of Christian fellowhip.

Practical Application

  1. Remember the illustration of the GI bill.


  1. What is the theme of the first epistle of John? What is the result of this theme?
  2. What are the two requirements of Christian fellowship as seen in 1 John 1?
  3. What is God’s standard of perfection? (See 1 John 2:1-2)
  4. What happens when believers sin?
  5. What does it mean that Christ is the propitiation for our sin?


  1. The theme is Christian fellowship, with Christ alone as the basis of Christian fellowship. The result is joy.
  2. We must walk in the light and we must confess our sins.
  3. God’s standard of perfection is that believers may not sin.
  4. Confess and turn to our Advocate (defense lawyer) with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. See 1 John 2:2.
  5. When Christ died on the cross He satisfied the wrath of a Holy God directed against sin, the sins of the whole world. The work of Christ on the cross is sufficient to save everyone in the world, but effective only for those who believe, not for those who reject.


  1. People who say they are in fellowship with the Lord but are not willing to obey Him are liars. See 1 John 2:3-6. A lifestyle of disobedience puts a big question mark on our salvation. If, on the other hand, we are wanting and trying to be obedient, then we know that we are abiding in God and the love of God is in us and we are in fellowship with Him. Is the desire of your heart to keep His commandments by knowing and obeying them?
  2. The true Christian does not live a life of hating a fellow believer without getting differences straightened out. If there is continual hatred, then that person is blinded and still in darkness. See 1 John 2:9-11. Could this be true of you? Or are you practicing and showing love to your fellow believers. Be careful that you do not stumble someone because you refuse to be reconciled with a fellow believer.


  1. The benefits under the GI bill are a good illustration of the unlimited and limited aspects of Christ’s atoning work on the cross of Calvary. Payment made by the U.S. government for the educational benefits under the GI bill was unlimited in provision, but only those who chose to receive a college education at government expense benefited. It was limited in effectiveness to those who accepted. So it is with Christ’s atoning work on the cross. It is unlimited in provision, but limited in saving results to those who accept and receive it.

Key Verses

  • “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1
  • “He Himself (Jesus Christ) is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 2:2
  • “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments…Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of god is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as he walked.” 1 John 2:3, 5-6
  • “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness…and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 1 John 2:9-11

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