Listening to the right people makes all the difference in what we believe. Listening to the Spirit is what 1 John 2:18-27 is about!
23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,
but in their hearts they harbor deceit.
25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,
for seven abominations fill their hearts.
26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,
but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
These verses are scary. They reveal to us that people deliberately try to deceive us and trick us and lead us astray. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). There were people like that in the churches of John’s day, and there are people like that in our churches, too! We recognize them by this statement, “I don’t see why…” Many a deception is both exposed and given beginning with those words. They don’t see because they have no spiritual discernment.
Tests #5 and #6 are in our text for today. #5 is found in 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”
#5 Is the Gospel (following Jesus) permanent in your life?
In the parable of the Sower and the Seed, the second seed heard the Gospel and responded to it with great joy, but when they were faced with either persecution or “change” in general, they forsook the Gospel and went back to their old life (Mark 4:17). Did they ever know the LORD? Were they ever filled with His Spirit? According to John, they didn’t and weren’t. The way I see it, when a person throws open the door of his heart and invites Jesus inside, He stands at the threshold with His hand out waiting for two things: the deed to his house and the master key to every room. Until Jesus receives those two things, He is at the door, but not in the heart. True salvation comes ONLY when the person is willing to give Jesus those two things. It’s positional. Once we have done that, Christ comes in and our salvation becomes relational. We daily renew our commitment to Him and He daily fills us with His Spirit.
Test #6 has to do with those who would mislead the brethren, “I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
#6 Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ?
All Jews knew what “Christ” meant. The Gentiles may or may not have. It means, “Anointed One.” It refers to the Messiah of the Jews. We know that God always intended to extend His salvation to all people through the Messiah (Genesis 12:3). Salvation comes through no other name than Jesus (Acts 4:12).
How do we know that we are saved? The Holy Spirit confirms it in our hearts (Romans 8:16). In fact, you don’t need me to teach you anything, for the Spirit will lead you into all truth and remind you of everything that Jesus has said (John 14:26). His anointing talked about in verses 26 and 27 IS THE HOLY SPIRIT. Let us “remain in Him.”
NOTE: For a full exposition on the word, “remain/abide,” go to The Spirit Within, chapter 7.
Abba, I ask that You fill my readers with Your presence, thus confirming their salvation. I ask that You call them to participate in what You are doing in the world around them. May they “see” you at work and join You in it. Bless them greatly, O LORD, as they walk with You and commune with You. I will do the same. Amen.