CHRIST PROPITIATES THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD
First John 1:1 to 2:3
"If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ the righteous. And He is the Propitiation for our sins — and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole World."5498
In this wonderful Epistle, John the Apostle wrote to Christians about the glory of the Lord Jesus. That is to be seen in the great scope and results of His atonement on the cross.
The date of this writing, is uncertain. It was probably inscripturated around or after A.D. 66.
First. John draws attention to the essential divinity of the Saviour. The Lord, he maintained, was "from the beginning"5499 — yes, even "in the beginning" (as the Apostle had written also in his Gospel).5500 Therefore, He Himself was, and is, and ever shall be — even from before the beginning.
Christ the Lord was, is, and always shall be also "the Word of Life."5501 He was "with God" — the living God — from all eternity.5602 Consequently, the Lord or Word Himself was; is; and ever shall be — even very God of very God. For "the Word was God."5503
He Who always was "with the Father"5504 — namely He Who was and is and always shall be the Father's co-eternal "Son"5505 — was and is and always shall be able to bring 'human everlasting life' down to Earth and give it to His image man. He is able to do so, precisely because He Himself had always been The Life — from all eternity5506 — and always shall be.
As Calvin comments: "He speaks of the eternal deity of Christ; and also of the imcomparable grace which He brought with Him when He was revealed to the World; and of all His benefits in general." Thus The Theme in his commentary titled The First Epistle of John.
On the very first verse of that epistle, Calvin further comments: "What we proclaim to you about the Word of Life, has been from the beginning — and was openly shown to us…. The words 'that which was from the beginning' -undoubtedly refer to Christ's divinity.
"For God was not manifested in the flesh from the beginning. But He Who always was Life and the eternal Word of God, appeared [later] in the fullness of time as man….
"He Who truly proved Himself to be the Son of God in the flesh, and was acknowledged to be the Son of God, was always God's invisible Word…. He does not refer here to the beginning of the World but goes much further back."
Second. John insists that the Lord had manifested Himself to humans as that eternal Life — precisely so that those humans could in turn tell others about Him. "For The Life was manifested; and we have seen Him; and we bear witness and show to you that eternal Life Who was with the Father and Who was manifested to us."5507
Third. John insisted that the Lord had manifested Himself to the Apostles precisely in the man Christ Jesus. For "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father — full of grace and truth."5508
Consequently, John hastened to draw his addressees' attention to the essential humanity of the Saviour as well. "He Who was from the beginning; Whom we have heard; Whom we have seen with our eyes; Whom we have looked upon, and our hands have handled — concerning the Word of Life — Him Whom we have seen and heard, we declare to you."5509