Focal passage: 1 John 2:18-29
My husband, a pastor, loves the New Testament epistles. I’m drawn to the narratives of early history in the Old Testament, while Will is drawn to the life of the early church in the New.
In our passage this week, John is writing to his beloved little children in a confusing, emotional moment every church has experienced: people have left. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the language and theology and forget just how human the early church was, how like us. It would have been gut-wrenching to see people leave, just as it is today. While the Spirit was moving in a unique way – revealing God’s Word in these letters – He was also moving in ways we, too, experience.
People had left the church and the Holy Spirit, speaking through John, is here comforting, guarding, revealing – joining together and separating. People have left the church, and John says it was because they were not of the church. They spread lies about Christ because they did not know Christ. And according to this letter, the church was deeply affected. John says he’s writing because he wants those of Christ to know the truth: many antichrists have come, they left because they were not one of us, they are lying about Jesus, and they are actively trying to deceive you. But you know the Truth – that which is real. Jesus is who He said He is – the Christ, fully God and fully man. What you heard “from the beginning” is true – let it abide in you. If so, then you will abide in the Son and the Father.
There’s a beautiful connection here between the truth and genuine community. Believing the truth about who Christ is, and by extension who we are before Him and in Him, joins our hearts to God and lives to one another in a way nothing else can, in a way that is real. The “my truth” movement today claims to promote authentic selves, lives, and relationships. Scripture says otherwise.