In 1 John 2:20-23, the Apostle John addresses the believers, emphasizing the importance of the anointing they have received from the Holy One. These verses offer profound insights into the believers' identity, knowledge, and assurance in their relationship with God.
Verse 20 states, "You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge." The term "anointing" refers to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within believers. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, signifying our identification as God's children and our anointing for service in His kingdom. This anointing is not reserved for a select few but is available to all who believe in Jesus Christ.
The anointing of the Holy Spirit carries with it the gift of knowledge. It is not merely worldly knowledge but spiritual discernment and understanding of God's truth. The Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13) and empowers us to comprehend the mysteries of God's Word and His purposes. Through the Holy Spirit, we gain insight into God's character, His will, and His ways.
Applying this verse to our lives, we find great assurance in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit dwells within us. This divine presence empowers us to live a life that is pleasing to God and to walk in His truth. As believers, we are not left to navigate life's challenges in our strength alone. The Holy Spirit is our Helper, Comforter, and Guide, leading us into a deeper understanding of God's Word and empowering us to live in obedience to His commands.
Verse 21 continues, "I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth." John affirms that he is writing to believers who already possess knowledge of the truth. He acknowledges their understanding of the foundational teachings of the Gospel and their awareness of God's truth revealed through Jesus Christ.
In writing to these believers, John seeks to reinforce their knowledge of the truth and to protect them from the deception of false teachings. He wants to encourage them to remain steadfast in the truth and to discern between the genuine message of the Gospel and the lies propagated by false teachers.
Applying this verse to our lives, we are reminded of the importance of standing firm in the truth of God's Word. As believers, we have been entrusted with the knowledge of the Gospel and the teachings of Christ. It is our responsibility to hold fast to this truth and to guard against the infiltration of false doctrines and worldly ideologies.
Throughout history, the church has faced various challenges from false teachings that distort or deny the fundamental truths of Christianity. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul exhorts his protégé to "rightly handle the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15) and to avoid "irreverent babble" that leads to the spread of ungodliness (2 Timothy 2:16). Similarly, we must be vigilant in discerning the veracity of teachings and ensuring that they align with God's revealed truth in Scripture.
Verse 22 is about recognizing the Liar: "Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?" This statement highlights a pivotal truth—denying Jesus as the Christ is tantamount to embracing falsehood. John identifies such a denial as the work of the "Antichrist." In this context, "Antichrist" refers to anything that opposes or substitutes Christ's identity and message. It's a stark reminder of the gravity of misrepresenting the essence of Jesus' divinity and mission.
Denying the Father and the Son: "This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son." The essence of recognizing Jesus as the Christ is tightly intertwined with acknowledging the relationship between the Father and the Son within the Triune God. Denying this relationship is a direct assault on the foundational tenets of Christianity. The Father-Son bond is central to understanding God's redemptive plan and love for humanity.
In verse 23, John emphasizes the intimate and inseparable connection between the acknowledgment of the Son and the presence of the Father. Let's explore the rich meaning and significance of this verse, uncovering the timeless lessons it holds.
Denying the Son and the Father: "Whoever denies the Son, the same doesn’t have the Father." This straightforward statement highlights the theological and relational implications of rejecting or denying the Son, Jesus Christ. The rejection of Jesus, as the incarnate Son of God and the embodiment of His redemptive plan, leads to a spiritual void—separation from the Father.
Confessing the Son and the Father: "He who confesses the Son has the Father also." Conversely, the confession of Jesus as the Son of God aligns one's heart and soul with the Father. This acknowledgment of the Son's divinity serves as a bridge connecting believers to the fullness of the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Unity of Belief and Relationship: This verse underscores the essential unity between belief and relationship. It's not merely about intellectual assent to theological concepts but about the transformative power of faith that draws us into a dynamic and life-giving relationship with God. Embracing Jesus as the Son means embracing the Father as well, and vice versa.
In conclusion, 1 John 2:20-23 highlights the significance of the anointing we have received from the Holy One and the knowledge of the truth imparted to us through the Holy Spirit. This anointing enables us to comprehend God's Word, empowers us to live in obedience to His commands, and serves as a seal of our identity as God's children. As believers, we are called to guard against false teachings and to stand firm in the truth of the Gospel. May we continually seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in understanding God's Word and living out His truth in our daily lives. Let us be rooted in the truth, discerning against the lies of the enemy, and faithfully proclaiming the transformative power of the Gospel to a world in need of God's grace and love.
1 John 2:20-23. You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son, the same doesn’t have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.