Lucy and Linus were looking out the window at a steady downpour of rain. “Boy,” said Lucy, “Look at it rain, what if it floods the whole world?” “It will never do that,” Linus replied confidently. “In the ninth chapter of Genesis, God promised Noah that would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow.” “You've taken a great load off my mind,” said Lucy with a relieved smile. “Sound theology,” responded Linus, “has a way of doing that!”
Titus1:9, “Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”
Titus 2:1, “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.”
2 Timothy 4:3,4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
Since the days of the early church, Satan has actively opposed the truth of God’s Word, especially with regard to the gospel. He has raised up false teachers within the church in attempts to deceive God’s people. The apostle Paul warned the Ephesian elders that “from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). And so a major theme throughout the entire New Testament, including John’s epistles, is that God’s people need to develop discernment so that they can avoid spiritual deception.
Verse 24a: “Therefore let that abide in you…”
“So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father” (1 John 2:24 NLT).
John 8:31, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”
Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
“Abide” is one of John’s favorite words. The Greek word is menō. Its classical usage will throw light upon the way it is used in the New Testament. It meant ‘to stay, stand fast, abide, to stay at home, stay where one is, not stir, to remain as one was, to remain as before.’ Also, To sojourn, to tarry, to dwell at one’s own house, to tarry as a guest, to lodge, to maintain unbroken fellowship with one, to adhere to his party, to be constantly present to help one, to put forth constant influence upon one.” –Wuest
“To abide in Christ means to depend completely on Him for all that we need in order to live for Him and serve Him. It is a living relationship. As He lives out His life through us (Colossians 3:4) we are able to follow His example and walk as He walked.” –Wiersbe
Verse 24b: “which you heard from the beginning.”
Almost all conservative commentators agree that John is clearly making reference to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1). John is exhorting believers to remember the truth of the Gospel that they previously heard and by which they were born again.
What is the Gospel?
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
“In light of the danger of the spirit of antichrist, we protect ourselves against the spirit of antichrist by abiding in the original, core Christian message (‘that which you heard from the beginning’). As we walk in the simplicity and power of that message, we will not be led astray…Humans, by nature, are almost always attracted to something just because it is new. We almost always think of new as better. But when it comes to truth, new is not better. That which you heard from the beginning is better. The apostle Paul communicated the same idea where he warns against going after a new gospel, and emphasizes the importance of continuing on in the original gospel that Paul taught…” –Guzik
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:8-10).
However, one of the great problems in the Christian life is to forget what we should remember about God and His Word, especially when a trial or temptation suddenly confronts us or we have had a prolonged drought of preaching God’s Word.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
D.L. Moody said: “History proves that anointed preaching can result in spiritual revival is to build a fire in the pulpit." Yet many of those most resistant to true revival have been pastors who fear losing power, perks and position if they rock the boat.”
Today there are too many weak-kneed, Casper Milque Toast, pusillanimous, panty-waist, lace-on-their drawers preachers, who muddy and muddle the murky waters of a world gone crazy. If ever there was a day for fearless, anointed preaching it is today!
“There is a nauseating wave of pathetic preaching sweeping through the contemporary church! Fearless preaching is all the more necessary in dangerous times. When people will not tolerate the truth, that's when courageous, outspoken preachers are most desperately needed to speak it. Sound preaching confronts and rebukes sin, and people in love with sinful lifestyles will not tolerate such teaching. They want to have their ears tickled. Churches are so engrossed in trying to please non-Christians that they have forgotten their first duty is to please God.” –John MacArthur. “
The church is not a club or a social gathering, it is not a weekly pep rally, or a political organization. The church is a covenant band of saved sinners who have been supernaturally converted by the Gospel from unbelief to belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We are a people in whom the Spirit of the Living God mercifully dwells. The church’s number one responsibility is to…”preach the Word,” and “make disciples.”
Verse 24c: “If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father…”
“Abide” in Greek is meno, in simple terms meno means to remain in the same place or position over a period of time. It means to reside, stay, live, lodge, tarry or dwell. It describes something that remains where it is, continues in a fixed state, or endures.
Meno can mean, to take up permanent residence or to make yourself at home. Meno is the root of the Greek noun mone which means mansion or habitation. “In My Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2). “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).
“Our great safety is to stay close to the word of God. We should test everything by "What do the Scriptures say?" If a teaching does not agree with the Bible, then we should reject it also. As Dr. Ironside used to say, "If it's new, it's not true, and if it's true, it's not new.” –McDonald
“If the Word, if the truth of God has possessed you, then you will be possessed by the Son and by the Father, i.e., by the fullness of God which is in the Son and the Father. Notice, it is the same word he uses, ‘then you will abide in [be possessed by, gripped by] the Son and the Father.’ This is, of course, nothing more than what Jesus himself had said to his disciples in the Upper Room, as recorded in the 14th chapter of John.” –Stedman
John 8:31 NLT, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.”
Verse 25: “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.”
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.
1 John 5:13, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.”
Eternal life isn't just something that starts after you die, but it is every believer’s present possession. We have eternal life today. I am going to live as long as God lives! The very moment I received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, my eternal life began. It was as if I was already in heaven for ten million years. Eternal life also refers to the quality of this life Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). “Abundantly,” in Greek is, “extraordinarily, exceedingly, beyond expectation, further than the upper limit, going past what is anticipated. An ordinary life is routine and boring, Jesus gives us a new life that is extreme!
Abundant life is what we receive as a gift from God, then we live as stewards of the blessings of God. When we have enough of the blessings of God (mercy, peace, love, grace, wisdom, etc.) to share with our others, and then actually do it; that’s when we truly have abundant life.
Verse 26: “These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.”
“Deceive” in Greek is planaó, mislead, cause to stray, lead astray, lead aside from the right way, to go astray, wander, to roam about. “Deceive” is present tense indicating this is the continual goal of these men, and the active voice indicates they are consciously choosing to mislead believers.
2 Timothy 3:13, “Evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”
2 John 1:7, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
2 Peter 2:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the LORD who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”
“Scripture often exhorts the church to expose false teaching. That kind of confrontation is not popular today. Many churches, in the name of love, want to forget disagreements and avoid being critical at all costs. Nonetheless, there is a biblical mandate to deal with false teaching. The battle lines were drawn in Israel and in the early church, and they must be drawn today too. Like Timothy we must be warned and instructed to understand what is behind false teaching.” (Apostasy, John MacArthur).
Activity of deceivers:
Rejection of the Bible as the inspired Word of God and the authority for our lives. 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, [God breathed] and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Rejection of the Bible’s teaching that Jesus to be the only way of salvation. John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’”. Acts 4:12, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 1 John 5:11-12, “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Belief that salvation is earned by self effort, or good works. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast..” Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…”
Deceivers rely on Human philosophy as their belief system. Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
For the most part these deceivers have rejected the foundational beliefs of Christianity, the cardinal doctrines of the Word of God: The Trinity, The Incarnation, Resurrection of Christ, Christ’s atonement, Salvation by Grace, Biblical inspiration and inerrancy, Virgin birth, Second Coming of Jesus, Universal sin, Heaven and Hell.
If you are in a church that preaches and teaches anything but God’s Word as it is to people as they are, God’s Word tells you, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
Verse 27a: “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you…
The author now addresses his readers as those who possess the Holy Spirit, Who lives in every believer. The indwelling Spirit gives assurance to believers that Jesus lives in them. The Holy Spirit’s presence ever abides in the believer. He lives, remains and stays in every Christian. No sin will drive Him away. His abiding presence remains with each Christian.
John discussed “the anointing” in verse 20. The anointing refers to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to work in the life of the believer. In this case, the indwelling Holy Spirit helps ferret out false teachers and false teaching.
This anointing is necessary:
•To enlighten us. This oil gives light. What wondrous light it gave to St. Peter on the day of Pentecost.
•To emancipate us. Men want not only to know what to do, they want power to do it. They want not only a teacher, but a liberator.
•To establish us. It is, in fact, especially in this connection that the Apostle refers to it. False teachers and false doctrines had crept into the Church in his day, even as they have in our own, with the result that the most earnest Christians were most in danger of being led astray by them. But the Apostle had an unfailing resource. He appeals at once to the anointing as enough to safeguard his converts.
•To endear Christians to each other. It used to be said in the early days, ‘See how these Christians love one another.’ I fear it can hardly be said now. Alas, for ‘our unhappy divisions.’
•To encourage us. How much encouragement we want in this world of sadness and gloom, when sorrow and care seem ready to overwhelm us; ‘when we are in heaviness through manifold temptations.’” –James Nisbet, Church Pulpit Commentary
“The anointing abides in us; we do not need a teacher [for we have the Holy Spirit as our teacher, Jeremiah 31:34; John 6:45; John 16:13 ]; it teaches us the truth; in that teaching we will abide” –Bengel.
Verse 27b: “And you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”
1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
2 Timothy 1:14, “Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”
The Holy Spirit anoints believers with the Spirit, 1 John 2:20, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.”
John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
The Gnostics believed they had the highest illumination, but could bring no proof that they were divinely taught, nor had they anything in their teaching of any value to believers. Because each believer has an anointing that teaches them all things. No man, no matter how holy, wise, or pure, can ever be in such a state as to have no need of the Word of God. They who think so give the highest proof that they have never believed the Gospel or accepted Christ, so the Spirit does not live in him.
If you have accepted Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in you! Romans 8:9, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
Colossians 1:19: “It pleased the Father that in Him [Christ] should all the fullness dwell.”
Colossians 2:9: “In Him [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, bodily.”
Hebrews 1:3: “Who being the brightness (effulgence, shikinah glory) of His glory.”
1 John 1:5: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
Therefore, since Christ lives is believers, then all the fullness of the Godhead, the brightness, the shikinah glory, the radiance, and all the effulgence of God lives in every believer. It doesn't stop at conversion, knowing your sins are forgiven, and remaining content with that fact for the rest of your life. [Some people never get far beyond the altar where they were saved]. God desires for us “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29), by being continually “filled with the Holy Spirit” [Ephesians 5:18]. If we realize that Christ lives in us, then we cannot help but show the glory of Christ to everyone within our sphere of influence. This refers us to the New Testament doctrine of the union of the believer with Christ. 2:20: “Christ lives in me.” Ephesians 3:14-20: “Christ lives in your heart by faith.” Colossians 1:27: “Christ in you the hope glory.”
So if Christ lives in us, we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit, our teacher, “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” (1 Peter 1:3).
Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The New Century Version (NCV); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV); Common English bible (CEB); NET Bible (NET) and The Living Bible (TLB).
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