Tuesday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time

1 John 2:21-23

Who Is an Antichrist?

Continuing our thought from yesterday, when someone we know and respect leaves the faith he once lived, preached, taught, shared, and encouraged others to embrace, it leaves question marks in the minds of fellow-believers.  John is aware of this and he very much wants to reassure his readers.  Thus, having explained that those who left us were “not of us,” implying that they were never with us or born again to begin with, he writes: “But you have been anointed by the Holy One and you all have knowledge.”  The Apostle is certain that these have been reborn and have received the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit is both the one who anoints and the anointing, just as Jesus was both he who offers the sacrifice and the one sacrificed.  This anointing provides the knowledge that believers need of their own salvation, for he is the Spirit who bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).  And he is the Holy Spirit who bears witness saying, “This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and will write them on their minds, ‘then he adds,’ I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more” (Hebrews 10:15-17).  So, the Spirit’s anointing is that assurance of salvation that believers have through the Spirit’s indwelling which is further confirmed by obedience and love for God’s way and will.  John is certain himself of their salvation as he plainly tells them implying that believers themselves bear witness to the salvation of their brothers and sisters in Christ.  Indeed, that is one of the purposes of the local church—to affirm, encourage, and hold accountable the saints of God.

Then John lays down some very simple instructions about how to tell an antichrist: “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ?  This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.  No one who denies the Son has the Father.  Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.”  Nothing could be plainer.  To speak colloquially, there is no daylight between the Father and the Son (nor the Holy Spirit).  Here, the doctrine of the divinity of Christ, and the Trinity by implication, is revealed.  No one comes to the Father except through the Son; indeed, Jesus could even say, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14: 6, 9).  He is the Son who reveals the Father, and he is the Son who takes us into the Father’s presence through the veil of his own flesh.  And he can do all of this because he is the co-equal Son of the Father, begotten of his Father before all worlds.  He who denies this has not God, however nice he may be.  We are not all God’s children.  Choose your friends well and know your antichrists.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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