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1 John 2:18-27



But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist – denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.


As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us – eternal life.

(verses 20-25)

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When Jesus asked his disciples point-blank, “Who do you say I am?”, without hesitation, Simon Peter responded, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15-16). It was a clear insight given directly by the Father – Peter received it, owned it, and declared it.


he Apostle John is now writing to believers who find themselves surrounded by false teaching that undermines this crucial truth. An early form of Gnosticism denied that the human Jesus was in fact the divine Son of God – this antichrist-perspective had been embraced by some of the teachers who had previously been part of the Christian fellowship (verses 18-19). Their current teaching was lethal for true faith. It effectively denied Jesus’ power, authority, and ability to save.


The Apostle John – who was there when Peter made his declaration and who was himself an eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection – pushes back hard, seeking to anchor these believers afresh in the truth that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God. As he affirms Jesus’ divinity, he ends up affirming, also, the ongoing presence and activity of each member of the Triune God in the lives of these early believers. What was true for them is also true for us.


Firstly, the Spirit leads them into truth. John says, “You have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” This “anointing” is the Spirit himself, the promise of the Father, who was likewise promised by Jesus on the night before he went to the cross: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth … You know him for he lives with you and will be in you … When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 14:16-17, 16:13). As the Spirit is poured out into our lives, he guards the truth and leads us into it. Right at the centre is the reality of Jesus himself. “He will bring glory to me,” Jesus said, “by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:14). His anointing presence declares again and again, “Jesus is the Christ.”


Secondly, embracing this truth draws us fully into relationship with Father and Son. If we had denied it, we would have ended up “denying the Father and the Son.” But instead – wonderfully – “whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” Further, if we hold to this truth, we “also will remain in the Son and in the Father.” I can’t imagine John writing these things without thinking back to Jesus’ teaching in the Upper Room on the night of his betrayal. Using the same root word as “remain,” Jesus had said he and the Father would “make our home” with all who obey his teaching. What privilege. What intimate connection.


The Spirit comes to live within us, guiding us into truth. Father and Son make their home with us, abiding. All of it resulting from embracing Jesus himself, keeping his teaching, and owning him as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”


Don’t ever lose hold of this truth.

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Dear Lord Jesus, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I affirm it gladly.


Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that you have made your home with me. Strengthen me to walk in your truth. I choose to walk in the light.

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Reflect:

“Jesus is the Christ.” Consider everything this simple phrase means for you. Dwell on each one. Embrace each afresh. Give thanks.

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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