The following is from OBC’s daily devotional for today:
True Christians are described as those who “know him,” having the “truth in him,” having “the love of God perfected in him,” being “in him,” “abiding in him,” and being “in the light” (vv. 3-11). The test John gives here by which one can know if he is a Christian is obedience to Christ’s commands. He also says that Christians are known by who and what they love (vv. 9-11) and do not love (vv. 15-17).
John teaches the readers about false teachers that troubled them (vv. 18-27). During the future seven-year Tribulation Satan will empower a man called the Antichrist who will deceive the world and demand that everyone worship him. Today’s false teachers are also directed and controlled by Satan (“spirit of Antichrist”). These deny Christian truth and are a great danger to Christians.
The Holy Spirit enables Christians to correctly believe, grasp, and apply Christian truth (“anointing,” v. 27) and thus see false teachers for who they really are. Christians thus must persevere in Christian truth.
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Christ’s commands that genuine Christians obey are given in the NT. Not just the very words of Christ that he said while on earth, but also all the truth he gave through his ambassadors, the apostles (2 Cor 5:20). Jesus told the apostles that he would give them more truth through the Holy Spirit after he ascended to heaven (John 14:26; 16:13-16).
- Christians can identify and spot false teachers by the following tests: such depart from true churches (v. 19); the Holy Spirit enables true Christians to discern them (v. 20); knowledge of the truth enables the ability to perceive denials of Christian truth (vv. 20-23); and continuing to persevere in the Christian faith instead of leaving it (vv. 24-26).
- The Holy Spirit enables Christians to believe, grasp, and correctly apply Scriptural truth to their lives. This doctrine is called illumination (John describes it here as “anointing”). The Holy Spirit illumines the believer, giving him light to see God’s truth for what it really is. The Holy Spirit works in believers’ lives through the Word, so the more you learn and obey Christian truth, the better the Spirit will illumine you to see the significance of God’s truth for your life.