I Jn. 2:1-29
John, as an aged man addressed his readers lovingly as his little children. As a father would warn his children to behave properly, he admonished them to not sin. He gave them (and us) assurance that if they continued in obedience to God’s word, Christ would intercede to God for them when they did fall to sin. Even today, His blood continues to cleanse all throughout the whole world who faithfully obey.
The apostle gave the identifying marks of a faithful Christian. If one knows Christ, keeps His commandments and walks just as He walked, the love of God is completed in him.
John, the apostle of love turned his attention to the various aspects of a Christian’s love. The command to love was not a new command. God had expected His children to love Him from the beginning of time. However, they were to give a new degree of love. Jesus had taught His disciples to “love one another as I have loved you.” His love led Him to give His life for the sins of the world.
One cannot walk in the truth of God’s light while hating his brother. His eyes are blinded by the darkness of that grave sin. However, one who loves his brother has full vision because of the light in which he is walking. Hatred in the heart, like a strong acid that consumes its container, will consume one’s soul.
The church consists of various levels of Christian maturity. In order to get the attention of the different stages, John addressed new Christians as little children, mature believers as young men and those who had been Christians longest as fathers. Even though those classes of believers had progressed well in their spiritual maturity, John admonished them to grow to higher levels of spiritual growth.
As John urged his readers to love, he pointed out a love that Christians are not to have. They are not to love the world, including the things in the world. There is not room in the heart for competing loves. The lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life are the temptations that lead one to sin by following worldly things instead of the will of God. Things of the world are only temporary, but God is forever.
Peter and Paul had reminded their readers in previous letters that they were living in the last days. John referred to the time as the last hour which also indicated the Christian Age. He stated that during that time the Antichrist was coming.
Paul described the son of perdition in his second letter to Thessalonica. Regarding the second coming of Christ, he wrote, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Some scholars teach that since he places himself as the Lord’s representative on earth; claims to forgive sins and alleges to sit on Christ’s seat on earth, the pope of the Roman Catholic Church fits the description of the Antichrist. If that is true, God is his judge.
There had already been many antichrists who had appeared and others would come in the future. Some had once been a part of the church. They were liars in that they denied that Christ was coming, even denying the existence of God or the Son. A person who denies the Son does not have the Father; however, one who accepts the Son also has the Father.
John reminded his readers that they must reject the false teachers and obey the original commands of Christ given by the Holy Spirit. If they would continue to place obedient trust in God, the Father and Christ, the Son, they would receive the promised eternal life.