“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed, we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming.” (v. 28)

1 John 2:22-28 Saturday 14 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 12


Jesus said, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (John14:9). In 1 John, we only have one side of the argument, but itwould appear that false teachers have made negative statementsabout Jesus as the Christ and thus in the letter writer'sestimation have earned the title of antichrist (verse 22). Theothers would not have agreed with his assertion, no doubt seeingthemselves as Christians, indeed better Christians than the writerwas. But the readers are recalled to the traditional teaching: "Letwhat you heard from the beginning abide in you" (v. 24). If theyhold on to that teaching, they will live in an intimaterelationship with both Father and Son, which will bless them withGod's promise of eternal life. These words are an echo from thebeginning of the letter (1 John1:2).

Trying to encourage their readers to remain steadfast and not bedeceived by those teachers who appear to be still among them, theauthor reminds them of their anointing (verse 27). This refers backto verse 20. But might this not lead to arrogance, and assumptionthat having been anointed, there is nothing to learn? If inreferring to anointing, the writer is asking them to think back totheir conversion and Baptism, which included anointing, and maywell be also reminding them of the teaching they received as newChristians. That would be something to hold on to and the means ofrefuting error. But also if there was more than a physicalanointing with oil at Baptism, but an anointing with the HolySpirit, then perhaps he is emphasising the Spirit's gift ofdiscernment. Put the two together, and they would have the means torefute the false teaching they had received.

Verse 28 rounds off the chapter and leads into the next, whichwill be about Christian lifestyle, returning to the importance ofthe forgiveness of sin and emphasising the importance of love. Onceagain we see the pastoral heart of the writer, addressing thereaders as "little children". But now having referred to theheretical teachers as the antichrists who will be part of the endtimes, he speaks of the coming of Christ. The author emphasises theimportance of being in a relationship with Christ, living with himeach day, so they will not be ashamed when he comes.

To Ponder

  • What is the most important piece of Christian teaching you havereceived? What was its source - eg a book, a sermon, aconversation?
  • How do you discern what is true or false in Christianity?
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