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This summer Cornerstone is doing a series on 1 John. It’s been quite beneficial in getting into the meat of what John has said in his first epistle. Martin Luther had these words to say about 1 John:
‘I have never read a book written in simpler words than this one, and yet the words are inexpressible.’
This past Sunday, I specifically looked at 1 John 2:18-27. I addressed two specific points from the passage that I believe are not always correctly understood: 1) antichrist and 2) anointing.
There is way too much unhealthy teaching on both subjects. Many people’s thoughts on antichrist (at least in America) have been heavily influenced by the Left Behind books, which I do not believe are helpful accounts. Though the concept of antichrist only comes up four times in all of Scripture, all being found in John’s shorter letters (1 John 2:18; 1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7), there are too many people spending too much time and money on trying to figure out who this person is or will be. Not only that, but John has a much different focus on antichrist than what is usually offered up by the ‘end-times experts’.
With regards to the other point on anointing, though I consider myself charismatic, I recognise that many of my Pentecostal and charismatic friends have ruined this word. Many times, the word is used to describe some ethereal spooky force floating around in the air. But, the anointing is the Spirit of God, as we can clearly see elsewhere:
21And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 put his seal on us and who has also given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
Therefore, I would always encourage my Pentecostal and charismatic colleagues to make sure they realise that the anointing is in reference to a real person, one of the persons of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is someone with whom we have a relationship. And, specifically in regards to John’s words, the Holy Spirit is the one who comes and teaches us truth (see 1 John 2:20-21, 27). This all harkens back to John’s Gospel where he records Jesus’ teaching about the Paraclete (see John 16:13).
So, there is an introduction to my message from this past Sunday. If you are interested, you can listen to it below or you can download from our podcast.