Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Jesus Christ our Atoning Sacrifice: 1 John 1:8-2:2

1 John 1:8-2:2
Everyone has sinned (1:8)
Clearly taught in Scripture.
1 Kings 8:46; Psalm 14:2-3; Proverbs 20:9; 30:12; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 2:35; Hosea 8:2; Romans 3:23-24

Confession brings cleansing (1:9)
A Worm in an Apple: How does a worm get inside an apple? Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside. No, scientists have discovered that the worm comes from the inside. But, how does he get in there? Simple. An insect lays an egg in the apple blossom. Sometime later the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eats his way out. Sin, like the worm, begins in the heart and works out through the person's thoughts, word and actions. For this reason, David once wrote, "Create in me a clean heart, O God."

The cleansing is based on His faithfulness, His justice, His forgiveness, not my own character.
He is the cleanser.

Word of God is the standard (1:10)
We live in a world without standards. Like the first century when this was written, the standard today is public opinion and not a code of conduct.
[1] But still an awareness of sin. Watch the news everyday. You will see how even the most pagan have an awareness of sin.

We have an Advocate (2:1)
Intercessor, Defending attorney
Jesus Christ the Righteous: His name Jesus identifies him as a human being, a man like us. His title Christ refers to his anointing as the Messiah and acceptable to God as the Advocate. The Righteous means that he has no need of an advocate for himself and is therefore able to represent someone else.

If sin is the problem, He is the solution. No other religious system offers such sure hope, such clear and present assurance.

Shortly after John’s death, Ignatius of Antioch wrote a series of short, poignant letters on his way to martyrdom in Rome. To the church at Smyrna he wrote, “Let no man be misled. Even the heavenly beings and the glory of the angels and the rulers, both visible and invisible, are also subject to judgment, if they do not believe in the blood of Christ.”[3]

Jesus is the Atoning Sacrifice (2:2)
The hilasmos (also 4:10) and kapher (Hebrew) (112x in OT), in some contexts mean “to remove or wipe away.” But it can also refer to the death of one victim to satisfy the guilt before God of another victim.

Thus a hilasmos is a replacement or propitiation. Christ bore God’s wrath toward sin so that the sinner can escape. The KJV, NASB uses propitiation, meaning atonement, that Jesus appeases God’s wrath, alluding to the OT sacrifices (Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement). The RSV uses expiation meaning he removes our sin. The NIV uses atoning sacrifice to allow for both ideas.[4]
2 Corinthians 5:21: 21; Romans 3:25-26

We’re not all going up the same mountain. In every other religious path, people do things to make themselves acceptable to God. John teaches us that Jesus Death is the basis for forgiveness and salvation, not human merit.

Jesus’ death is for the whole world (Missions) (2:2)
John plainly teaches that not everyone will go to heaven, but Christ’s saving death has opened the blessing of eternal life to all persons. Most religions are woven into the people group they come from (ie., Islam and Arabic/Arab culture). The Jews had the Day of Atonement just for Jews, but John says that this atonement is for the whole world.

Christ’s gospel is for every culture. Its message can work in every tribe, tongue, language, and people. We are called to take that message to the ends of the earth.

We need to confess our sin (e.g., Bertha Smith).
We need to give Christ our life.
We need to take the message of His sacrifice from here in this community to the ends of the earth.

[1] Clinton Arnold, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, vol. 4, 185.
[2] Samuel N. Ngewa, Africa Bible Commentary, 1530.
[3] Ignatius, “To the Church at Smyrna,” quoted in Arnold, 186.
[4] ABC, 1530.

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