John’s first epistle was written to a broad audience of believers that needed to understand the basics of what it meant to be a Christian. He explained, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2, NKJV). The Greek word translated advocate, parakletos (par-ak’-lay-tos) refers to “Christ in his exaltation at God’s right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins” (G3875). Parakletos not only refers to Jesus’ exalted position in heaven, but also refers to the Holy Spirit’s role in leading believers to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth.
John warned his audience about their attraction to the world getting in the way of their relationship with Christ. He said, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” ( John 2:15-16, NKJV). The Greek word translated world, kosmos (kos’-mos) means an orderly arrangement, but it is primarily concerned with unbelievers and their way of life (G2889). Kosmos specifically relates to the realm of sin which is controlled by Satan and organized against God and righteousness (note on 1 John 2:15). John used the Greek word agapao when he said, “do not love the world or the things in the world,” suggesting that the world was not to be substituted for or to take the place of a relationship with God and his gift of eternal life.
John encouraged his audience by stating, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5, NKJV). John indicated that faith in Jesus was the means of success in one’s spiritual life (G3529). It was the only way to overcome the world or you might say, keep Satan out of our business. John went on to say, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15, NKJV). In other words, the victory believers have in Christ is the assurance of answered prayer. When we put our faith in Christ, Jesus listens to us when we pray and intercedes on our behalf with his Father so that God will do what we ask him to, as long as it is consistent with what is written in the Bible.