This morning with three other men on a video call I spent an hour in 1 John 2. I have known two of these men for about 40 years. They are my age, roughly. The third is a former spec ops soldier who is the age of one of my kids, who I have known for about two years, only through this study.
I have a ThM, Masters in Theology, one of the other guys has had a significant exposure to Greek and Hebrew, the other has been training Christian staff in ministry and Bible study for 30+ years. We are more than twice the spec ops kid’s age.
The Spirit is not really all that impressed with degrees, knowledge of the languages, or time in grade. He pretty much applies Himself to His role of leading us into all truth, John 16:13, regardless.
So “the kid” made an observation in 1 John 2:1 that stopped me in my tracks and made me reassess John’s message and the way he presents it. He notice that in 1 John 2:1, John starts with first person singular addressing second person plural, and then move to first person plural, I, you, we.
The Importance of the Observation
This is significant for a number of reasons. First in the verse John states that one of the purposes of the letter is to keep the recipients from sinning, I, you. Then, stating that if we sin, “we” have an advocate… He places himself alongside his audience as one who needs that advocate.
That brings two major themes from 1 John 1 forward. First, that proclaiming the truth brings the ones who accept the proclaimed truth into the same level of fellowship that John has with the Father and the Son. Second, a tacit validation of the thrust of the five conditional statements in 1 John 1:6 – 10, that we are all sinners in need of Christ’s forgiveness and redemption.
The kid’s observation was spot on and uncovered for us the strong linkage in logic that the Holy Spirit through John had employed. Not to mention a literary device that is repeated throughout the letter.
If you know Christ, you have the same Spirit, and the same Book.