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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

September 11, 2013

1 John 2:21-29

  1. Recap. The last time we met two weeks ago, we were focusing on verses 18-20, as the apostle spoke to the church about the many antichrists that would come to deceive the body of Christ. Theses antichrists were all false teachers who preached a gospel that diminishes the role of Christ and raises the importance of the flesh. For example instead of preaching a gospel that focuses on the redeeming work of Christ and our faith in Christ, these antichrist or false teachers preach a gospel that is centered on obtaining worldly wealth, no repentance, and personal works based salvation as opposed to a Christ-work based salvation. The apostle taught in those few verses that these antichrist would often come from within the fellowship, but their long term fruit was proof that they were never really part of the fellowship of true worshippers. Most of these antichrist or false teachers left the fellowship to start other fellowships that were man centered versus Christ centered. They usually convinced folks that they offered something deeper, when in reality they were offering something shallower. This was and is still accomplished by twisting the scriptures and hoping people did not study for themselves. (See 1st Kings 22:23, 2nd Chronicles 18:21-22, 2nd Thessalonians 2:9-12).

  2. Verses 21-23. The apostle tells the church that they as true believers have an anointing from God, or the Spirit that allows them to discern the truth from a lie. Beloved, understand that if you are really seeking God's will, and not just the hand of God’s favor, you will be able to see that something is not right with false teachers. At first you might not be able to tell, but after a while their fruit will show that they are not really of Christ. Either their actions or their words will betray them. They will not be able to do what they do or preach what they preach and stay in line with the truth. Because the false teachers have some sort of fleshly agenda, eventually they will have to deny the Father and the Son. To deny hints at replacing. The point of the antichrist is to replace the importance of the Father and Son with either some person or something. So the goal of the antichrist would be to get believers to pursue something other than a vibrant authentic relationship with Father through the Son. That might mean that someone teaches that Jesus did not come in the flesh or that he didn’t die on the cross and completely atoned or paid for your sins. They might also teach that a works based salvation see Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 2:16). Or the goal of your faith is to obtain some sort of earthly or worldly pleasure. See 1st John 2:15).

  3. Verses 24-25. The apostle continues to encourage the church that they have been given a gift in the Word that was taught to them. The church is to continue to remain in that teaching as opposed to adopting another teaching that diminishes Christ. If they remain in the teaching of the gospel it will be hard for them to be led astray. The real gospel will open your eyes and cause you to see, but if you are resistant to God’s will you might struggle to see clearly because you are still trying to hold unto the things of the flesh. If you want to follow Christ and see, you must deny yourself. If you do not deny yourself you are actually denying God. The good news is that denying ourselves and receiving Christ comes with a promise of eternal life.

  4. Verses 26-27. The apostle was sure that those he was writing had a real faith and were anchored in Christ. He was simply reminding them of the tricks that the enemy uses to lead people astray. Apparently some of the false teachers were still trying to convert members of the fellowship to join them in breaking away from the church. The apostle was confident that those in the fellowship were filled with the Spirit (anointing) so that they could be taught by and through the Spirit. He wasn’t saying that they did not need any teachers, he was countering the false teacher’s claim that they needed to step away from the doctrine they knew to another doctrine. The false teachers would often entice people by stating that they had a new revelation or something more than Jesus. The apostle reminds the church that they have been given the truth and that truth doesn’t need any additives or fillers. Adding things would only diminish the true gospel not complement it. We need teachers, but we need Spiritual discernment more because the Holy Spirit is the best teacher. See John 16:13, 1st Cor. 9-16).

  5. Verses 28-29. The apostle shares with the church that since Christ is coming back it would be shame for Christ to see that we were led astray by false doctrine. John gives a simple acid test. Righteous people do what is right. The antichrists had a tendency to teach a gospel that caused people to not see sin as something God hates. This in turn opened the doors for all sorts of sinful behavior within the ranks of the false teachers. The problem with this lax attitude toward sin is that it would be an embarrassment when Christ returned to see that He still hates sin. When Christ returns he should see a church repenting from sin and seeking after Christ.

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