Focal Passage: 1 John 2:18-27; 4:1-6
Our middle child is a boy of six named John Isaac. He is a precious little fellow, and I am not very biased, just a proud daddy. He has a smile that can warm any heart, and eyes that my sister says make it impossible to say, “No!” My response to her is a simple, “Let me show you how it is done.”
I love all three of our children, but I seem to end up with John Isaac quite a bit and he is a miniature image of me. Why do I say this you might ask? When I was a small lad I was quite inquisitive, and he has inherited my trait. If you spend time with him you had better be prepared to answer numerous questions in a broad range of categories. Right now I am fortunate, daddy is smart. I cannot wait for those teenage years!
As we walk along and he asks me questions I respond to him and he accepts my answers. He takes the words that I give him and he happily thinks that I have given him a gem of truth. I do my best to answer him with honesty and sometimes I might joke with him and we laugh together. But I always make sure that he knows the right answer and most importantly that I love him.
As we continue further into chapter two of 1 John we are warned about false teachings from “Antichrists” or what we could easily refer to as counter-Christs. These had appeared and taught in contrast to the teachings of Jesus.
Some had even been a part of the early church and left. John is pointing out that those true teachers had been filled, or touched, by the Spirit which can be referred to as an “anointing.”
For Christians there were, and are, those who would wish to lead you astray. John was warning them to remain faithful to what they had been taught to ground themselves in the truth they had been taught.
He also encouraged them to rely upon the Holy Spirit for understanding and continued growth in learning that which is right.
An ultimate danger for John is in the fourth chapter where he warns that those who claim to be prophets yet deny Jesus Christ are false teachers. He realized that many were searching for truth in their life and could be drawn in by persons claiming to have a message to deliver, but without Christ the message was void. Today there are countless messengers seeking to deliver false hope to fill the emptiness that many are feeling.
When encountering false teachings you can ask some questions:
What is the source of the movement’s authority for doctrine and practice?
How does the movement explain the way of salvation?
Do its leaders affirm salvation by grace through Christ alone, or is it by works, church membership, or obedience to the group’s leaders?
Must you be a member of their group to be assured of salvation?