Monday Musings for August 20, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

Did the Apostle John tell us not to pursue any education beyond what we received through the anointing of Christ? I hope not… because I spend a lot of time doing just that! So, what’s up in this passage?

“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you….” (1 John 2:27a, NIV)

Whatever else John did in his letters, he always showed an interest in genuine articles. For instance, he differentiated between real believers and “believers” who were fooling themselves… but he did it in a way that might make the more rigid evangelicals amongst us a little nervous. If taken out of context, it can sound like John is preaching lordship salvation.

“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:3–6, NIV, emphasis mine)

But note the highlighted section above. It’s all about congruency with John… not about the maintenance of salvation through works. If you say you’re a Christian, says John, please make an effort to look like Jesus (James 2:26). But John also uses this as a test of legitimacy.

“This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” (1 John 3:10, NIV)

Now, I will remind the reader that this is a broad statement, not an absolute one. John was saying these are the characteristics we will find in God’s children, not that every Christian will act this way in every instance. We know that believers are eternally secure, and we know that the spiritual walks of believers are highly variable — some to the point of being nonexistent. So the word “anyone” cannot be absolutely inclusive in such passages.

That being said, John’s statement is still true in the main. If a person does not love the things Jesus loves or does not act out God’s commandments, we have the right to assume that he is not really saved… whether or not this is true of him.

The same thing is going on when John said that we don’t need anyone to teach us. This is not an absolute statement about how our education should work. It’s a description of who we are… and that total picture is multifaceted.

You see, we have a genuine anointing by the Holy One of God… and we don’t need anyone to teach us this. But people who are saved should know they are saved… especially because this knowledge acts like an antiviral when it comes to antichrists — false teachers in this context. Why be robbed of the peace that comes with knowing you are saved?

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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