As we begin looking at the second chapter of this book, I want to start by noting that this is one of those places where the chapter division is probably much more confusing than helpful. Look at the last two verses of chapter one and the first two verses of chapter two taken together:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 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. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (NIV)
Perhap you can immediately see that there is no break in thought here. So try to make it a point to understand these verses in light of the end of chapter one as you study them.
v1. John refers to this church affectionately as his “little children,” reminding them both of their need for his guidance as well as his love for them. He then reminds them that he writes “this . . . so that you will not sin.” The “this” refers to the previous few verses. In telling the church that Jesus had paid the price for their sins, far from giving them a license to do whatever they want, he tells them that this should encourage them not to sin! But how could that be? If we follow the logic of the apostle so far, the answer is fairly straightforward. If we walk in sin, then we are liars. We are deceived. We are living in darkness. Therefore, we have no fellowship with God or with one another. In other words, sin has serious consequences!