Who is on the Lord’s Side?
September 12, 2021
Who is on the Lord’s Side?
1 John 2:18-27
-John warns of a danger that is like a deadly disease that can creep into a body of believers and that should be vigilantly watched out for and eradicated.
-In 2:14, John points out the battle we are in—spiritual battle—need for strength, the weaponry of the Word of God, and the recognition that, in Christ, we have overcome the “wicked one.”
-Hymn (Frances Havergal) Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King? Who will be His helpers, Other lives to bring? Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe? Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go? Refrain: By Thy grand redemption, By Thy grace divine, We are on the Lord’s side; Savior, we are Thine.
-God warns the church here about actual antichrists and the spirit and sentiment of ways of thinking that are anti-Christ.
-2 parts of this warning that, in the end, are really comforting for all those who are actually believers in and followers of Christ:
I. Wake Up and Smell the Antichrists! (1 John 2:18-19, 22-23a, 26)
A. Reality of Decline (18) Little children, it is the last time…whereby we know that it is the last time.
-“little children” = term of endearment; John cares so much for the believers he’s writing to and he’s passing along some fatherly wisdom
-“last time” = ref. to the whole time between the 1st coming of Jesus (birth) and his 2nd coming (future)….lit. the final time period on God’s earthly calendar
-Hebrews 1:1-22 God…Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds
– 1 Timothy 4:1 1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
-James 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
-2 Peter 3:3 3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts
*What John is saying (and is still true today) is that we’re in the final part of God’s calendar for man (awaiting the return of Jesus) and these times are not getting any better!
-We are living in a period of moral decline—that’s reality!
B. Complexity of Opposition (18) and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists
-This term “antichrist” is only used by John in all of Scripture, but the figure/person it describes is spoken of in many passages (Daniel, Matt., 2 Thess.)—he’s a figure who will come onto the scene during these “final days” who will try to take the place of Christ and oppose Jesus and true Christianity.
-John: “Yes, we all know a main “antichrist” is coming, but something just as bad (maybe worse) is happening–there are already “many antichrists” trying to cause damage to the Body of Christ.
-There are many people out there who are flat-out against Jesus!
C. Evidence of Falsehood (19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
-One of the proofs that false teachers/antichrists are such is that they do not continue with God’s people–eventually, they leave.
-They can rise up from within the Body of Christ physically-speaking, but eventually, their true colors appear and the natural result is they have to leave.
-Antichrists cannot remain among God’s people—they are not part of the fellowship—they never were!
-Those who are truly believers will continue in the faith because their salvation is genuine. Those who were never truly saved, cannot continue in something they were never a part of in the first place.
D. Content of Character (22, 26) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son…These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
-Antichrists carry 2 main characteristics: 1. They deny Jesus is the Son of God, 2. They try to seduce others to go along with them
-The most pivotal doctrine of true Christianity is whether Jesus is God Who came to earth in the form of man — Deity of Christ
-Col. 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
-(J.O.Sanders) The deity of Christ is the key doctrine of the scriptures. Reject it, and the Bible becomes a jumble of words without any unifying theme. Accept it, and the Bible becomes an intelligible and ordered revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
-Antichrists also are not happy to simply deny Christ, but have an agenda to pull others over to their side. (“seduce” = to lead away from the truth) – 1 Tim. 4 “seducing spirits”
-In his fatherly way, John is cautioning believers to avoid these kinds of people—at least in the context of the church.
-To point them to Jesus in evangelism is one thing, but embracing them in the church is not God’s plan!
E. Consequence of Choices (23a) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father
-The consequence of denying the “Godness” of Jesus is that you don’t get God at all!
-It’s a package deal…to accept Christ is to obtain fellowship with God, the Father and likewise, to deny Christ is to be left without God!
-Antichrists are a detriment to their own eternal destiny—they deny Christ and thus deny themselves of an eternal relationship with God, Himself.
-1 John 4:3, And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
*There’s a lot to “wake up” and “smell” (realize) in life and John points out here that we need to wake up and realize the intentional effort by antichrists to distract and pull people away from the truth. We need to be on guard, but the best way to guard against false teaching is also found in this passage & it’s our other main point…
II. Stop and Realize Your Identity (! John 2:20-21, 23b-25, 27)
7 things that are true for true believers in Christ:
1. Supernatural Help (20a) But ye have an unction from the Holy One
-“unction” = lit. ointment – the picture is of a ceremonial anointing for a specific position or recognition.
-If you are in Christ you are supernaturally anointed by God with the Holy Spirit…The Holy Spirit takes residence in your life.
-Before Jesus ascended back to heaven, He promised to send His Holy Spirit to comfort, guide, instruct, convict, and many other helpful actions to give us spiritual success in life.
2. Special Understanding (20b) and ye know all things.
“know” = get knowledge of, understand
-This is a special understanding of truth given to us through the power and working of the Holy Spirit – ILLUMINATION
-1 Cor. 2:14, Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
-When we accept Christ, we receive the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and one of the things He does supernaturally is to give us a special understanding of His truth (Bible).
3. Specific Stewardship (21) I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
-John is reminding these believers that they’ve been given the gift of knowing God’s truth.
-Believers don’t have to fall for the seducing efforts of antichrists because they already know the truth that sets them free.
-They have a filter already in place so that if lies come to them from others, they can immediately detect and reject those lies. (i.e. sink strainer)
4. Sacred Relationship (23b) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
-This is a statement of contrast…the 1st part of v. 23 says that Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father and the 2nd half of the verse says in contrast: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
-Remember in 1:3, …our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
-When we accept Christ, we get a sacred relationship with the Father…that’s the point of the Gospel—to restore that broken fellowship with our Creator!
-You and I can go directly to God right now (if we have accepted Christ) and we have access to Him in prayer and communion.
5. Supportive Foundation (24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
-The truth of God that conveys the Gospel of Christ is absolutely foundational to our continued spiritual success in both this temporal life and for all of eternity to come.
-A foundation is what gives longevity and ability to continue to remain to the structure of a building.
-The Gospel is what gives our soul foundational longevity and support.
-Don’t add anything to the simple truth of Jesus.
-How important it is to remain in the truth of the Gospel vs. the lies of the antichrists!
6. Secure Result (25) And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
-Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD.
-The promise is simple and secure: Accept Jesus for Who He says He is and eternal life is the result.
-John 3:36, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
7. Sufficient Provision (27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
-Sufficient is the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life.
-Sufficient is the Word of God to speak truth into our life.
-Sufficient is the Word of God to help us to continue to live the way God has designed—even in the face of great distraction and temptation.
-God is enough and what He has provided is enough…we don’t need the message of any false teachers…no matter how enticing they may be!
2 Timothy 3:13-15 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
1. Realize that antichrists are real and need to be avoided!
2. Recognize that God equips you to bypass the dangers of antichrists by providing Jesus, His Holy Spirit, and His sufficient Word.