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1 John 2:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Again, I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
Again, I am writing you a new commandment. ‘And yet, that which I write to you, and particularly enjoin on you, deserves in another sense to be called a new commandment, though it has been also inculcated from the beginning, for it was called new by the Savior himself.’ Or the meaning may be, ‘In addition to the general precepts which I have referred to, I do now call your attention to the new commandment of the Savior, that which he himself called new.’ There can be no doubt here that John refers to the commandment to ‘love one another,’ (see 1 John 2:9–11,) and that it is here called new, not in the sense that John inculcated it as a novel doctrine, but in the sense that the Savior called it such. For the reasons why it was so called by him,
See Notes, John 13:34.
Which is true in him. In the Lord Jesus. That is, which commandment or law of love was illustrated in him, or was manifested by him in his intercourse with his disciples. That which was most prominent in him was this very love which he enjoined on all his followers.
And in you. Among you. That is, you have manifested it in your intercourse with each other. It is not new in the sense that you have never heard of it, and have never evinced it, but in the sense only that he called it new.
Because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. The ancient systems of error, under which men hated each other, have passed away, and you are brought into the light of the true religion. Once you were in darkness, like others; now the light of the pure gospel shines around you, and that requires, as its distinguishing characteristic, love. Religion is often represented as light; and Christ spoke of himself, and was spoken of, as the light of the world. Comp. John 8:12; 12:35, 36, 46; Isa. 9:2.
See Notes, John 1:4-5
John 1:4 Notes: The life was the light of men – “Light” is that by which we see objects distinctly. The light of the sun enables us to discern the form, the distance, the magnitude, and the relation of objects and prevents the perplexities and dangers which result from a state of darkness. Light is in all languages, therefore, put for “knowledge” – for whatever enables us to discern our duty, and that saves us from the evils of ignorance and error. “Whatsoever doth make manifest is light,” Eph. 5:13. See Isa. 8:20; Isa. 9:2. The Messiah was predicted as the “light” of the world, Isa. 9:2, compared with Matt. 4:15-16; Isa. 60:1. See John 8:12; “I am the light of the world;” John 12:35-36, John 12:46; “I have come into the world as light.” The meaning is, that the λόγος Logos or Word of God is the “instructor or teacher” of mankind. This was done before his advent by his direct agency in giving man reason or understanding, and in giving his law, for the “law was ordained by angels ‘in the hand of a mediator” Gal. 3:19; after his advent by his personal ministry when on earth, by his Spirit John 14:16, John 14:26, and by his ministers since, Eph. 4:11; 1Cor. 12:28.
John 1:5 Notes: The light shines in darkness – Darkness, in the Bible, commonly denotes ignorance, guilt, or misery. See Isa. 9:1-2; Matt. 4:16; Acts 26:18; Eph. 5:8, Eph. 5:11; Rom. 13:12. It refers here to a wicked and ignorant people. When it is said that “the light shines in darkness,” it is meant that the Lord Jesus came to teach an ignorant, benighted, and wicked world. This has always been the case. It was so when he sent his prophets; so during his own ministry; and so in every age since. His efforts to enlighten and save men have been like light struggling to penetrate a thick, dense cloud; and though a few rays may pierce the gloom, yet the great mass is still an impenetrable shade.