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January 23, 2017, 4:27 PM

The Beauty of Scripture



“My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things:
That I am a great sinner
and that Christ is a great Savior.”
~John Newton (1725-1807)

I have been messing around with the text from our next sermon in 1 John. Cool stuff, really. When I am trying to get a grip on what God's Word is trying to say, I'll often throw it on paper, and then work with it to see what it looks like. And with 1:5-2:2, this is what it looks like broken out. (See below.) A beautiful chiastic structure!

A chisastic structure (which just means that it looks like the shape of the Greek letter chi) just unpacks what the author is trying to paint.

Note the center of the chiasm: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

But! The big news is in the bookends.
"God is light[!]" and "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. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."

This is none other than an accent, a royally BIG one, that although the world (and we as well) is fallen and dead in sin, the Good News still overcomes it all. We are not to sin. We are to mortify sin, inthe words of Puirtan John Owen; and yet, we know that we will still sin because we still have indwelling sin. But, we do have an "Advocate" in Jesus at the right hand of God.

This passage is a sermon already. Really needs no further explication. It is laid out well! 

(1 Jn. 1:5-2:2 ESV)
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light,
and in him is no darkness at all.

 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness,
we lie and do not practice the truth.

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 10 If we say we have not sinned,
we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

 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.

 


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