Summary of passage: We are in Christ if we walk as Jesus did. If we obey him, we will know him and have God’s complete love. You must love your brother to be in the light; otherwise, you are not. If you love the world, then you are not in God. If you do the will of God, you will live forever. Antichrists will come in the last hour. They will deny the Father and the Son. Being anointed with the Holy Spirit, it will teach you. If you remain in the Father and the Son, then you will have eternal life. Those who do what is right has been born of Jesus.
6) If you obey His word, God’s love is complete in you. As long as you remain in the Father and the Son, you will have eternal life. If you love your brother and shun the world, then you are in Christ. If you obey God, walk with Jesus, and be righteous, you are in Jesus.
7) The cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does. All of these are negative. A sinful man craves sinful things: sex outside of marriage, affairs, covets other people’s things, steals, cheats, lies, etc. He boasts of his material possessions instead of his spiritual spirit. The positive twist would be to strive for God’s will in your life, for God’s goodness in others’ lives, and to use your gifts and senses to do so.
8 ) Personal Question. My answer: False teachers are those who deny Christ is the Son of God. They could be those in the Christian community but do not abide in Jesus. If you have the Holy Spirit, then you will know the truth when spoken and the lies when spoken. Abiding in Christ protects us as well as the anointing. If whoever is speaking says things directly against the Bible and God’s teachings, then they are false. Period. Pray. God will tell you. He will not let you be blinded.
Conclusions: We talked a ton about the Antichrist and false teachers last year in Revelation. It was more prevalent in ancient society and with so many different religions floating around it would be hard to know what to believe in–especially as a new convert to Christ. Still, we must be aware of cults and society’s tendency to follow charismatic leaders and smooth talkers. The Antichrist could come at any time and the little antichrists preceding him as well.
End Notes: Following God’s commandments is evidence of knowing God. There is a difference between knowing about someone and knowing them. God and you know which is truth. God’s love is perfect or mature in those who obey and by this we know we are in Jesus. We will walk at Jesus did.
What does that mean? Walk as Jesus did? It means that sin is distasteful to us and every day we lead more of a righteous life of obedience to God.
Loving one another is not new. What’s new is the depth of love that Jesus spoke of in John 13:34. Jesus’ love is what we are to grasp–loving everyone. Our relationship with God can be measured by our love for other Christians.
We have to keep His commandments, walk as Jesus did, and love other Christians. If one is missing, then we fail. You can do all the right things, believe all the right truths, but if you do not love other Christians, then all is lost.
Hatred and love in the bible are more than emotions; they are attitudes expressed in actions.
Stages in Spiritual Life: We all begin as little children in our spiritual walk with God. It is enough to know God forgives our sins. Fathers are people who have known God for years and are mature in their spiritual walk with God. Young men are those in the middle of their spiritual walk who have fought with Satan.
The repetition is intentional. The key is knowing God. God’s word is our source of spiritual strength, which is tested in the youth phase, and which lives in our hearts.
The world here is sin, the world’s system, it’s way of doing things, and material objects. It’s controlled by Satan and organized against God and righteousness. It’s easy to fall in love with the things of this world that make us better off but not better. The world and what we gain in the world or strive for pass away when we do. Heaven and God are eternal. We are to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-18). Monks took this to the extreme in the Middle Ages.
This goes all the way back to Eve who looked upon the fruit, thought how it would satisfy her and how it would make her appear before Adam. Our thinking is usually of the world. You must arrest your thoughts, capture them, and then work to change them towards God. Lot is another example who was of the world.
In this world, we have three eternal things: the Holy Spirit, the people around you, and God’s word. Time, attention, and expense put into these three things pay eternal rewards.
The last hour is Jesus’ return. John considered the last days to be everything after Christ. The Antichrist is instead of Jesus. He will appear and do wonderful things to appeal to us. There will be only one “Antichrist” at the End Times. However, there will be smaller versions preceding him. The antichrists in John’s day were the Gnostics. “Anti” means against in Latin.
John assumes his readers will know someone will oppose God before the Second Coming. Also known as the man of lawlessness or the beast from Revelation.
Fun Fact: The word ‘antichrist’ occurs in the Bible only in the letters of John and only five times in four verses (1 John 2:18, 22, 4:3; 2 John 7).
Essentially, the Antichrist is a world dictator who leads humanity in what seems to be a golden age, until he shows his true colors – and the judgment of God is poured out on him and his empire immediately before the return of Jesus. This could happen at any time. Think of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao. Many of these antichrists will identify as Christians but never were since they left.
Other characteristics of the antichrists John lists: 1) They deny the incarnation 2) They deny Jesus is divine. 3) They deny the Father 4) They don’t have the Father 5) They are liars and deceivers 6) there are many.
Anointing has the idea of being filled with and blessed by the Holy Spirit, enabling discernment and knowing the Truth.
This idea of anointing – literally, to be blessed with oil – was said to be the reason behind one of the punishments given to John in persecution. The Roman emperor Domitian cast John in a boiling vat of oil, as if to say, “Here is a real anointing.” John emerged from the vat of boiling oil unharmed, because he had a different anointing.
In verse 20, John used a different word for know than he mostly used before. Previously John used the word meaning knowledge by experience; here he used the word meaning knowledge by intuition. We know some things intuitively by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
We must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, as the Bible defines Christ – the Messiah, who is fully God and fully man; who perfectly revealed the Father to us. We don’t worship the same God unless your God is the God who was revealed in Jesus Christ. If not, then your God is not the God of the Bible. If you reject Jesus, you reject God.
Fun Fact: John uses the word “love” 35 times in this letter alone.
What you have heard from the beginning is the message of the apostles (the New Testament). We must abide or live in Jesus Christ. We do this by knowing His word and living in His word.
Fun Fact: John uses “abide” 6 times in these few verses and idea is strewn about the New Testament.
When God lives in us, we have eternal life in heaven. This anointing of the Holy Spirit allows us to know the Truth and discern the falsehoods and guide us closer to Jesus. Because you are abiding in Jesus, when he comes again you won’t be ashamed or fearful. We’ve seen this before (John 14:23). We practice righteousness since we are born of God who is righteous.
Summary of 1 John 2: Christians: 1) know Him (1 John 2:4), 2) abide in Him (1 John 2:6), and 3) are in the light (1 John 2:9). If this is true for you, it will show in the life you lead and the love you hold for fellow Christians.