The "eav" clauses in 1 John reveals that 1 John 1:6–2:2 consists of six conditional "eav" clauses in a row which alternate between positive and negative “if” statements (1 John 1:6–7; 1:8–9; 1:10–2:2). Therefore, on three successive occasions a negative confession of sin is trumped each time by a positive affirmation of God’s loving character and a corresponding human righteousness.
Rather than claiming fellowship with God while we daily live a contrary lifestyle of deceit, we walk in the light and continually experience the cleansing of Christ (1:6–7).
Instead of boasting of a life without sin, we confess our shortcomings with integrity because we are convinced that God is faithful and just (John 1:8–9).
Finally, in the third pair (1John 1.10-1 John2.1) we no longer introspectively search for sinless perfection within ourselves, but instead focus on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If we analyze the pericope correctly, the positive character of Christ’s work shines through brightly (1John 2.2).[i]
Three pairs of “If’s
1. 1John1.6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
1John1.7 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.
2. 1John1.8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1John1.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. 1John1.10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1John2.1 if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1John2.2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
[i] Deppe, D. B. (2011). All Roads Lead to the Text: Eight Methods of Inquiry into the Bible (3). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Published on Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 5:51 AM CDT