SUMMARY.--The Word of Life. Eternal Life Manifested. God Is Light. Those in Fellowship with Him Must Walk in the Light.
8-10. If we say that we have no sin. To say that we have reached a sinless state in which we no longer need the blood of Christ to cleanse us is a deception. This language is in square opposition to the claims of the "Perfectionists" of all ages. 9. If we confess our sins. Instead of affirming that we are sinless we should confess our sins. Faithful and just. If we confess our sins the Lord will be faithful to his promise of mercy, and just in requiring us to have the atonement of Christ, to forgive us our sins. 10. If we say that we have not sinned. God says we have sinned. He declares "There is none righteous; no, not one." Hence, if we affirm that we are sinless we make God a liar.
NOTE.--It must be noted that these words concerning sin, found in verses 8-10 , are not addressed to Gentile sinners, but a generation which had grown up in the church. Indeed, of all the epistles, this is the only one which can truly be said to have been addressed to a Christian generation. Hence, it would naturally emphasize, not the unconverted sinner's need of pardon, but of the Christian's constant need of a pardoning Savior. It is the Christian who cannot say that he has no sin, and who must find pardon by confessing his sins to Christ. Acts 2:38 shows how the alien sinner may obtain remission; 1 John 1:9 shows how the Christian, when he sins, may obtain remission.