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"Let the Truth Abide in You"
1 John 2:18-27

Wednesday AM Bible Study
October 12, 2005

The church is built on the primary confession about Jesus that Peter made in Matthew 16:16: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God". Jesus said that this confession is the true and correct one, given by the Father Himself (v. 17); and He declared that it was on this profession that He would build the church, "and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it".

The devil fights against this confession of Christ. If he cannot prevent it from being declared through persecuting the church from without, he will seek to pervert it by attacking the church from within - that is, through false teaching. This morning's passage was written to warn us of the devil's efforts; and to exhort us to stay true to the truth as it has been given to us.

This passage gives us the third of the three tests that John repeats in this letter. The first is the test of "obedience" (2:3-6). The second is the test of "love" (2:7-11; with a warning to be sure we do not love this world system [vv. 12-17]). This third test is the test of "belief". Do we believe what is true of Christ? If we pass these three tests, we are in fellowship with Christ.

A. Note to whom this is written - "little children". John had written to all stages of maturity in Christ (vv. 12-14); but here, he specifies those who are most vulnerable to deception. But we should remember that it's a word of exhortation to all of us.

B. Note the time to which it speaks - "the last hour". This doesn't mean John expected Christ's immediate return. Rather, he means that we live in the time of the last stages of God's redemptive plan. The Redeemer has come. Jesus' return is the next great event; and He promised that, at such a time, many false prophets and false "christs" would arise (Matthew 24:4-14).

C. Note the circumstance in which it was written - "even now many antichrists have come". The word "Antichrist" needs to be seen in three respects. First, it is a prevailing philosophy that is hostile to the gospel and seeks to deceive people from it (1 John 4:3). Second, it describes those who advance this philosophy (2 John 7). Third, it speaks of a man who will be satanically inspired; and who will embody the entire spirit of this evil philosophy and bring the whole world under its sway (1 John 2:18; see also 2 Thess. 2:3-4).

D. Note from where these "antichrists" come - "They went out from us, but they were not of us . . ." They began from within the church; but because they didn't continue in the truth, they reveal that they never were of Christ in the first place (see also Acts 20:28-30).


A. We have an anointing from the Father. This is the Holy Spirit. He guides us in all truth in the sense that He never leads us away from what is true (John 14:26-27; 16:12-14).

B. We also have "the truth" that we "know". This is the truths of the faith taught to us by the apostles and recorded for us in the Scriptures.

C. We need both. The Spirit never leads us contrary to His word; and the Scriptures can never be rightly understood apart from the Holy Spirit. We are protected in the truth when we heed both (Acts 17:11).


A. We must cling faithfully to the confession of faith which we have heard from the beginning.

B. Doing so will lead to eternal life (see 5:11-12).

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