Chapter 2

2.1 advocate. An advocate is an attorney who represents a client in a court of law. This is the ministry of Christ today. He speaks in behalf of his children when they sin. It is natural for a parent to defend their children. Here Christ uses His blood and righteousness to defend the believer’s failures and sins. The goal of a believer should be to overcome, not simply confess. We are admonished to sin not. The Greek word for advocate has a twofold meaning. It means intercession and consoles. While Christ intercedes to the Father, He simultaneously consoles the child of God. This word also holds a connotation of comforter. Christ comforts a believer who has failed. His advocacy is directed to the Father and also to the believer.

2.2 propitiation. This means to expiate or atone. Expiate is to extinguish the guilt incurred by the sin. It also means to put an end to. This ministry of Christ is exemplary in that He removes all guilt to sins we commit and then puts an end to it. Christ is the advocate and the propitiation for our sins. 

2.3 obedience. John says we can and should “know” Christ. This Greek word ginosko, is a prolonged form of a verb and is used in a variety of applications. If a believer truly knows Christ, the believer will be obedient. This is the signature mark of truly knowing Christ.

2.4 liar. John boldly declares anyone who claims to know Christ and is disobedient is living a falsehood. Light and darkness cannot coexist, neither can truth and error. One of these will ultimately drive out the other.

2.5 perfection. One of the major teachings of Jesus was obedience. The end of obedience is perfection. The believer cannot reach perfection on their own, but the act of simple obedience brings perfection. Perfection in this context means accomplish or consummate or finish. 

2.6 walk. To abide or stay in Christ requires that the believer walks as Christ walked. The basic call of Christianity was simply to take up the cross and follow me. To follow Christ and walk and abide in Him requires to walk as he walked. This does not bring perfection, it is the result of obedience.

2.7-11 love and hate. John illuminates the issue of love verses hate. He does so by using the powerful image of light and darkness. This is not a new commandment. This was introduced as a new commandment by Jesus in the upper room on the night of the last supper, Jn 13.34. John returns to this commandment now. John calls this an old commandment. One definition of old here is worn out. No doubt over the last sixty years since Jesus introduced it, this commandment had been worn out in keeping peace in the body of Christ. Love and light are interlinked. Hate and darkness are bound together. To hate is to be in darkness, and walk in darkness. Hate (miseo), is to detest or to love less. The warning here is that when in this state of darkness, a believer cannot see where he is walking. Hate blinds a believer to walk in the light. The effort to walk and follow Christ becomes obscure.

2.12-14 age groups. John addresses different age groups to reassure them of their security in the faith. This distinction of various age groups may be literal age or it may refer to levels of spiritual maturity. New Christians may be referred to as children.

2.15-17 love not the world. Light and darkness cannot coexist, love and hate are opposites. A believer cannot love God and love the world at the same time. World here does not denote last humanity, for we should love sinners and unsaved people. The connotation here is to not love the world system that will pass away. The lust of the eye, the pride of life, and especially the lust of the flesh will all pass away. These are the gateways into our spiritual man and can eventually cause us to be lost if we do not hate them. Idolatry can take many forms in different ages and societies. This overarching principal is universal and must be applied to each locality and worldly temptations. Each person is tempted in different ways according to their individual weaknesses. Temptations do follow a general pattern for all believers. The temptation will use one of these three gateways to tempt believers to sin. Our key weapon against these temptations is the word of God. This is the weapon Jesus used in His hour of supreme temptation. Modern day temptations of Hollywood movies (lust of the eye), professional sports venues (lust of the flesh), and fellowship with unbelievers (pride of life), are examples of temptations from this world that must be hated and not loved. Early Christians did not attend the Roman games and gladiator contests. The early church was aware they were citizens of another country, and they were just passing through this world on their destination of a heavenly city. This mind set must be formed in a child of God to insure the believer does not love the world, neither the things that are in the world. To love the world is to have the love of the father absent in our spiritual temples. The lusts and temptations of this world are passing away, and this leads to the conclusion that it is the last time and antichrist is appearing soon.

2.18 antichrist. Antichrist appears only here and in verse 22, 4.3, and 2 Jn 7. Antichrist is the ultimate opponent of God, God’s plans and God’s people. The prevalence and abundance of false teaching causes John to remind believers they are in the last days and the spirit of antichrist is among the true believers. These are former believers who were once part of the assembly. Their leaving and refuting their faith proves they were never truly part of the true church. Their fruits prove what tree they are of.

2.19 true believers. Some had gone out of the assembly of true believers and departed. This holds true today in Christianity. Many appear to be religious, but are not true believers. Jesus proclaimed in Matt 7.15-21 that there would be people who claimed to be His followers and would claim to have done many mighty works in His name. Jesus proclaims He never knew these that claimed to be His followers. Outwardly they appeared to be Christ’s, but they were imposters. Christ sends them away. John is here reminding the true church there will always be the spirit of antichrist in the world.

2.20 unction. Unction means anointing or unguent, or smearing. A true believer has this unction. They are covered or smeared with the Holy Ghost, and this comforter, the Holy Ghost teaches a believer all things, Jn 14.26.

2.21-22 liar. The liar here is the deceiver who claims to represent Christianity, but actually opposes it by their false doctrine. This is probably directed at the Gnostics of John’s day. These teachers denied Jesus His full deity and thus took away His full due as savior and as God manifest in a human body. This eternal truth and warning is relevant today. Anyone who denies Christ is less than divine and not God manifest in the flesh is a liar. This is the key identifying trait of antichrist, the opponent of the messiah. This title antichrist is only used by John. Some apply this term to the man of sin mentioned in Paul’s writing and the evil leader who arises in the last days described in the book of revelation. 

2.23 son. God has chosen to reveal Himself through Christ. It is impossible to know God without acknowledging Jesus Christ in the fullness of His power and purpose. To deny the son, is to deny the father.

2.24-25 abide. This powerful word speaks of a continuing life in Christianity. Believers are exhorted to stay, to continue, to endure, and to remain. The charge is to persevere in the face of false teaching. This is in contrast to those who had departed and fallen from grace. The reward for all who abide is eternal life. 

2.26 seduce. John boldly proclaims he writes because of error and false teachers invading the church.

2.27-29 anointing, abide. John provides the method for believers to abide. It is the anointing that provides the ability to discern false teaching. This anointing reveals false teaching. John is not saying a believer never needs teaching. John is affirming the anointing, which is the Spirit of God, will teach you all things about, and when, deception rises and tries to invade the church. False teaching does not agree with the true spirit of God the believer has abiding in their heart. The anointing will teach you when false teaching tries to gain a foothold in the assembly. This anointing will in turn cause the believer to abide until the coming of Jesus Christ. A true believer will meet Jesus Christ at Christ’s return with confidence and joy.

Thanks for reading today….