The book of 1 John
You have an anointing
1 John 2:24-29 SCC 7/10/11
When a person decides to join a board which represents a group there is usually a statement of purpose or faith that one must agree to and adhere. This is so because you agree to work with the group to fulfill the purpose and superintend the statement that identifies this group. In a sense you are in fellowship with this group providing oversight with a unified commitment. John seems to say that his readers who have agreed with what was taught from the beginning and abide in this understanding are in fellowship not with each other but with the Father and the Son from whom the statement they heard from the beginning originated. One of the author’s primary purposes in writing 1 John is to protect his faithful followers from the false Christological teaching of the opponents—the antichrists who have refused to abide by the teaching heard from the beginning—that is the apostolic teaching. So how can we ensure that we do not stray from this teaching and find ourselves at odds with the Father and the Son?
STAY COMMITTED TO THE APOSTLES TEACHING ABOUT CHRIST 24
1. ‘Beginning’ Once again it is the apostolic eyewitness testimony these readers had heard from the beginning as in the first chapter 1:1-4. This is specifically that which the apostles testified about the earthly life and ministry of Jesus Christ. That beginning is the beginning of Jesus self-revelation to his disciples who then gave their eyewitness testimony in the form of the New Testament.
2. ‘Abide or remain’ Three times in this verse he encourages the readers to remain or abide first, in the message they had heard from the beginning. Do not fudge on that he says. Let it abide in you and do not deviate from it. This being the case then, second you will also abide in the Son and in the Father. Such faithfulness enables us to continue to abide in fellowship with God and His Son. So resisting deception and remaining in the teaching of the apostles is an essential component to stay in fellowship with God and Christ. This is the only way to ensure we are never at odds with the Father.
LESSON: We are obligated to learn and understand all that the apostles testified of concerning Christ. We cannot change it or modify it. We must receive all of it as it is and once the meaning is clear to put it to use in our lives. God has based our fellowship with him and His Son upon this. Take the responsibility to receive teaching that is consistent with the apostle’s testimony.
CONTINUE TO REST ON THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE 25
1. vs 25 The promise we have received from Jesus Christ by means of the testimony of the apostles consists of ‘eternal life’. Dozens of times in the New Testament we have this clear testimony set before us. The readers can be sure they possess this eternal life on the basis of God’s promise. The same God we can have fellowship with is first of all the same God we have an eternal relationship with. Because we have the promise of eternal life with God the Father and God the Son, we can have intimate fellowship as well. There is no need to question this promise since it too comes via the apostolic testimony of Jesus earthly life and teaching.
2. A possible reason for interjecting this teaching here is the denial that Jesus is the Christ by the antichrists vs 25 cp to v 22. Once again the emphasis is upon writing down this testimony to be read and examined to identify those attempting to deceive. Here is reference to purposeful undermining of the testimony about Jesus Christ and His teaching about eternal life and fellowship with He and the Father. The idea is to cause one to wander. This tells us that believers can be deceived. This is a very real possibility. Part of John’s strategy is to fortify these believers against the antichrists deception by insisting they stay in the truth written to them.
THE BASIS OF OVERCOMING DECEPTION IS THE ANOINTING WE HAVE RECEIVED 27
Here John addresses his readers directly as those who possess the indwelling Holy Spirit. Note ‘And as for you’. So while we already possess the promise of eternal life, we also presently have possession of the Holy Spirit who resides in us. This anointing abides in us right now. We received it the moment we were converted. So what does this mean at a practical level? We do not need teaching from the antichrists nor form anyone. The anointing we have received from God remains in us all of our days here and is a sufficient teacher—‘you have no need for anyone to teach you’.
The anointing ‘teaches you about all things’. Because of this it allows us to discern the difference between the truth and the lie. So let’s break this idea down a bit:
(1) This anointing is not temporary but remains in us. There is never a moment when we do not have the Holy Spirit in us. It is a permanent arrangement until the end of our lives.
(2) This anointing enables us to discern truth from lies. We need to Spirit’s help in this regard since the apostles testimony, ultimately by means of the Holy Spirit will be under constant attack. It is just the way it is in our age.
(3) This does not say we do not need human teachers. We need them to help us decipher and understand the information we have from the apostles and prophets, and teachers are a gift to the body of Christ (Eph 4). But teachers do not bring discernment. That comes from the anointing we have from the Holy Spirit. And besides, you can interpret the Bible for yourself as well.
(4) While we cannot lose this anointing of the Holy Spirit, as with most works of the Holy Spirit, it can be resisted. We can grieve (Eph 4:30) and quench (1 Thess 5:19) the Spirit. We can rule out the Spirit’s work in our lives. You can choose to not be discerning and you can choose to be deceived. Obviously there is a danger of these readers following the antichrists teaching or John would not be talking about it.
(5) We do nothing to get this anointing, it happens when we believe and it remains with us. But while the Spirit abides in us, we must also ‘abide in him’ end of vs 27. Our anointing is real not counterfeit. We need to remain in this anointing by relying fully on the instruction we receive from the scriptures. The Spirit uses the Word of God to give us help in this discernment which is why John emphasizes writing it down.
1. If we are going to avoid being deceived by lies and falsehoods we must be students of the teaching of the apostles and prophets. I am determined to know nothing more than the Bible knows. It is the Bible, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Do you even know where the order of the books of the Bible? These alone are the words of eternal life.
2. There is no reason for any believer to question the reality of eternal life. If you do that then you question the most basic tenet of the Christian faith. Rest in this promise. Share this promise with others. If this teaching can be compromised you can throw the entire Bible away.
3. Develop discernment—the ability to judge between truth and error—by using the Bible to direct your life. Put out the welcome mat to receive its truth and abide by that. So many times we set ourselves up for failure by unbelief. You must come to believe that following the Bible is always in your best interests.