We now move to the last part of Apostle John’s words on the self-test of WALKING IN TRUTH 2:18-27 Truth. In this section John has developed the teaching by breaking apart these verses three ways:
- Vs.18-21 Where we noted the contrast between what is false and what is true.
- Vs. 22-23 Second in these verse John outlined the aim of the lies of false teachers, (denying the necessity of the person and work of Jesus).
- Vs. 24-27 Finally this morning we will look at his encouragement for followers of Jesus to defend the truth against the lie.
As noted in verses 20-21 walking in the truth has four specific characteristics that are naturally produced in the believer:
- Vs. 20 REALITY or AUTHENTICITY “You have the anointing”: True believers don’t seek emotionalism as a sign of an encounter with God they seek TRUTH!
- Vs. 20 HUMILITY “From the Holy One”: Any true anointing will always be done in humility and brokenness and never in arrogance.
- Vs. 20 CONFIDENCE “You know all things”: Because the Holy Spirit possesses the heart and mind of the believer we have complete confidence in the truth of the word of God and are not looking for outside thing to validate Gods Word instead we use the word of God to validate our experiences.
- Vs. 21 ASSURANCES: “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” Finally, the believer has great assurance as God’s truth constantly moves us towards Jesus. The Christian continues in the Word of God by the Spirit of God!
We also noted in verses 22-23 three things those false teachers attack in the person of Christ:
- Vs. 22 “He who denies that Jesus is the Christ”: The first lie is that of denying the WORK of Jesus.
- Vs. 22b-23a “who denies the Father and the Son”: The second lie is to deny the PERSON of Jesus and in so doing they denied His divinity.
- Vs. 23b “denies the Son does not have the Father either”: The final lie to deny the association between the Person and Work of Christ with the plan of the Father.
Now John in this section addresses what the believer can do to guard ourselves against the lies of false teaching and teachers. His answer is that God has given every believer two defensive weapons:
- Vs. 24-25 The Word of God
- Vs. 26-27 The Spirit of God
Vs. 24-25 The Word of God
Vs. 24-25 The first weapon at the disposal of the believer is the “Word of God”. Notice that John lists three important aspects of this weapon:
- Its power: Vs 24a “Therefore, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning”: There are two things that I notice as I read this verse. First the word “therefore” is a connective word linking what John has just written to what he is about to write. What he just wrote was that with regards to maintaining fellowship with God it was essential that the believer stand upon the truth of the person and work of Jesus in verse 23. Second, is the word “that” which again is a reference to the present “abiding of what these believers had heard from the beginning”. In this we learn from John that the weapon of the Word of God is NOT NEW TECHNOLOGY! The Word of God is tried and true in defeating any and every lie that false teachers or false teaching has put out. Furthermore, the Christian know just where to find TRUTH and we ought not be easily moved to follow after the bright shiny lies that regularly come into the world. Paul admonished Timothy in 2 Tim 3:14-17 saying to him, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, 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.” The key for the believer is to recognize that location of the weapon of the Word of God is where it has always been since we first meet Jesus at the “beginning” and that it still has the same power as it always has in which when we heard the word of God in faith it has resurrection power to transform us who trust in it from death to life!
- Its usefulness: Vs 24b “If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.” The key to the use of this weapon is to “KEEP IT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES” John uses the word “abide” which means to “remain with” and suggests that this weapon does us no good if we are not connected to it! The Word of God needs to be planted in our hearts and not kept on a bookshelf! Furthermore, John links “remaining near to the Word of God” with the continence of remaining with God the Son and God the Father! Satan is the father of lies but he is not an originator and instead is a counterfeiter. He sows tares in the field where Jesus sows seed. The two growing together look similar during growth, but you can always tell the difference when its harvest time!
- Its endurance: Vs. 25 “And this is the promise that He has promised us—-eternal life.” Abiding in the Word of God not only guarantees our fellowship with God it assures that God’s promises towards us will be realized. Eternal life is the final outcome of fellowship with God brought about by trusting in God’s word that we heard from the beginning. Those that remain in the Word of God are those that remain in fellowship with God, and they are those that will enjoy that fellowship that will never come to an end! John’s words are meant to encourage the believer NOT TO DEPART from the truth of the Word of God that they trusted in the beginning!
Vs. 26-27 The Spirit of God
Vs. 26-27 The second weapon is far more powerful as it is Living, and what impowers the first weapon. John sets this up by reminding the believer the reason he is writing this to them in verse 26 saying, “These things I have written to you concerning those that TRY to deceive you.”
Perhaps you have noticed that false teachers and teaching is most frequently delivered to those who have “good food” and NOT to those of the world! False teachers and teaching is aimed primarily at “Seducing the faithful” away from the truth of the Word of God. The Word of God is not enough to protect Christians as it good as the truth of God’s Word is it needs the Spirit of God for it to come alive and protect us from the lies of the World. There are many false teachers who use emotionalism in an attempt to make up what is absent in the Holy Spirit! So, John tells them that they already have the Holy Spirit and ought not look at the counterfeit fake emotionalism! In verse 27 John authenticates the work of the Spirit of God in the Word of God by noting 7 specifics of the Spirit of God at work in the Word of God.
- “Powerful gift”: “The anointing which you received”. The Work of the Spirit of God through the Word of God will always lead the hearer closer and more dependent upon Jesus. False teachers and teaching leads the person AWAY and ASTRAY from truth. Just as when we first heard and truth the truth empowered by the Holy Spirit brought us closer to God so too now! False teaching is always trying to lead us away from the simplicity and dependency of just trusting God and into what we are doing!
- “Permanent gift”: “Abides”. The work of the Spirit of God through the Word of God is designed to be permanent and not temporary! The work of the Spirit of God through the Word of God LASTS and is never ought dated. God’s truth through the Word of God is just as fresh and contemporary as it was when you first received it!
- “Relational gift”: “In you”. The work of the Spirit of God through the Word of God is relational and not religious as it is from the inside that God effects the outside! The Spirit empowered Word is not a mere outward accompaniment it is designed to be an inward appendage!
- “Sufficient gift”: “And you do not need that anyone teach you”. The word of God by the Spirit of God is all “sufficient gift”! We have all the spiritual resources necessary in the presence because we have the power of the Holy Spirit and have no need of outside resources!
- “Complete Gift” :“But as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things”. We have a “Complete Gift” as there is NOTHING outside of the Spirit empowered Word of God that is necessary for life and godliness!
- “Reliable gift”: “And is true and is not a lie”. John reminds the believer of the complete reliability of the Spirit empowered Word as it has never failed them in times past and won’t do so in the future. We have no need to ever pursue false teaching when we have the certainty of the Sprit empowered Word of God.
- “Abundant gift”: “Just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him”. There is never a “limited supply” of the Spirit empowered Word of God that we might be tempted to try some “new so-called truth”. Even though things are different from when the Spirit empowered word was first written the Holy Spirit who knows the end from the beginning has given the believer the Truth that never runs out and is never ought of style!