Sin Matters


John was writing to a culture that had different views about sin. Some thought that sin was no big deal. Others thought that Christians could be sinless, bordering on perfection. What John considered sinful, the culture denied as sin. Our culture isn’t so far off that. Because truth is considered relative these days, sin rests in the eye of the beholder who can choose to excuse or exclude it. But John wrote to let them know that sin is a big deal. It matters because it interrupts our fellowship with God. Whether one’s view of sin was too lenient or too harsh, John knew that sin must be dealt with and he knew the solution.

  • What is your view of sin? In what ways do you try and deal with your sin?


2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. List all the things that are true about Jesus in this passage. Which one is the most meaningful to you?
  2. If we know Jesus, what should be true about our lives?
  3. What happens when we keep his word?
  4. What evidence is there in your life that you know Jesus?
  5. What difference would it make to you, your family, your co-workers, or your friends if you truly abided in Jesus?


We have a tendency to sin. Though the power and penalty of sin have been taken care of by Jesus, sin’s presence still lurks. In God’s goodness, he gave us Jesus as our advocate, one who comes alongside us and pleads our case for forgiveness before the Father. Sin doesn’t change our relationship with God—that is secure—but it does interrupt our fellowship with him. When we continue in sin and disobedience, we don’t look like followers of Christ. In fact, John calls us a liar. But when we come to God and confess, he is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us, setting us free to once again walk in the light. Our Advocate graciously stands ready to ask the Father’s forgiveness so that our fellowship might be restored.

  • Pray that you might run without fear to Jesus, our advocate, for confession and that you would live in obedience to the one who has forgiven you.
  • Pray that as you abide in Jesus your life would impact others with his love.