1 John 2:26-27
This passage teaches us three things: 1) That there are false teachers who attempt to deceive us; 2) that we have an anointing (our regeneration in the Holy Spirit and his presence within us) who speaks to us through the word that we may know the truth; and, 3) that we must abide in him that we may abide in the truth.
First, there have always been false teachers among us; there always will be. Those of John’s day were teaching that Jesus was not the Christ (2:21-23). Soon, he will tell us that the false teachers also deny that Jesus Christ came in the flesh (4:2-3). As I spoke elsewhere, these were among the first heresies the Church encountered in her infancy as “Gnostics” taught that God could not come in the flesh but only seemed to walk among us in the person of Jesus. Believers knew that our very salvation depends on our Lord’s becoming man, living a sinless life, paying our penalty, and rising from the dead. False teachers now teach much of the same thing as Jesus is considered to be human just like us minus his divinity—something of a long-haired hippy strumming kumbaya at campfires or more recently destroying cities in the name of “social justice.” We must hold to the biblical Jesus.
Second, believers are those born again of the Spirit (the anointing), John says, and so have no need that anyone teach them. We must weigh this with other passages of Scripture which tell us that God indeed equips some believers to be teachers in the Church (Ephesians 4:11-16). So what is it about which believers have no need of teachers? I cannot say for sure, but my best guess is those matters necessary for salvation, a few of which I mentioned just above, and which are contained in the basic creeds—Apostles’ and Nicene. All things necessary for salvation are plainly written for anyone to understand—even a pagan. The question is will he understand them savingly; that is, such that he professes Christ as Savior and Lord.
Finally, the believer abides in Christ; indeed, he must if he will abide in the truth. He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5). To the extent we abide in him and in his word, to that extent do we abide in the truth and stare down deceivers and false teachers. We shall always need teachers to explain to us the deeper matters of the word for there is always more light to break forth from it. But believers have been given of His Spirit so that they may know the truth revealed in Scripture and have the assurance of salvation. Bless the Lord for both His Spirit and for godly teachers.