1 John 2:12-27

Observation Questions, “What does the passage say?” Days 1 & 2

  1. Who does John say he is writing to in vs. 12, 13, 14?
  2. What does he write to them about (12-14; 21, 26)?
  3. What are we told about the “evil one”?
  4. What is said about the world, the love of the world?
  5. What are we told about antichrist/antichrists?
  6. What are we told about denying and confessing the Son?
  7. What promise is made to us?
  8. What are we told about anointing?
  9. What are we told about abiding?
  10. What other observations did you make?

Interpretation: “What does this passage mean?” Days 3 & 4

  1. Who are the “little children”, “fathers”, “young men”?
  2. Who is the evil one?  How is he overcome?
  3. Define world (v. 15-17)?  What does it mean to love the world?  What does he mean that the “world is passing away”?
  4. What is the “last hour”?  What time frame does John place the last hour?
  5. Who is the antichrist, antichrists?  Place a time frame upon their appearance.
  6. Who is the “they” in verse 19?
  7. What is the anointing from the Holy One (vs. 20 & 27)?
  8. If verse 27 is true, why do we still teach?  What is verse 27 saying?

Application: “What does the passage mean to me?” Days 5 & 6

  1. Would you categorize yourself as a child, young man or father in John’s paradigm?  Why?
  2. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the boastful pride of life:  Which best describes you?
  3. What is God’s will for you?
  4. Tell the group about your “anointing”?

4 Responses

  1. 1 John 2:27 I have read many times and have thaught over and over in my mind many times and in all honesty I have strugle with this passage of scripture for many years, does this mean that I am not trusting God or not praying and seeking God enough and waiting on him for the answer or do I need to fast and pray and I will get the answer from God? Many times I have wondered when praying and seeking God for the answer and waiting for the answer my mind seems to come to a full stop, what I have come to understand is that the believer having recieved the Spirit of Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost in their lives that they have the witness and the seal of God in their lives that they have been made a new creation in Christ and their lives have now been transformed by the power of God and that experience cannot be taught by man but it is an experience in the heart of the believer by the Holy Ghost and as the believer has recieved this experience they understand that their sins have been forgiven and covered by the righteous blood of Jesus Christ which he shed on the cross and that they now have eternal life and having this unction they are taught to abide in Christ.Please help me to understand this passage of scripture that I have pondered over for many years.

  2. Tyrone,
    Thanks for reading and asking a good question.

    Here is the verse.
    27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything—and is true and is no lie, just as it has taught you—abide in him.

    The anointing is the promise of the Holy Spirit given to the believer (baptism in the Spirit), resulting in the abiding presence of the Spirit in the believer.

    The teaching contextually is the truth about Christ, the anointing of the Spirit teaches us everything we need to know about Jesus.

    The problem is that we try to expand this teaching beyond the limits given to us in the context.

    We never read a verse alone, that is apart from its context. The context of 1 John is Johns argument against a group of people called the gnostics. The gnostics believed that the spirit was good and the flesh was bad, therefore Jesus could not have come in the flesh, as it was inherently evil (a very simplistic definition of gnosticism, but it will do for now). John therefore is testifying that Jesus has in fact come in the flesh.

    John also repeats themes that come from his accounts of the words of Jesus in the gospel of John. So here there are reference to the anointing (the Holy Spirit) and His ministry of guiding the believer into all truth. So applied here John is saying that the truth of his claims about Christ will be affirmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer who is abiding in Christ (we do that by walking with the Spirit).

    The truth that is specifically in mind has to do with Christ, both the context in the gospel and here in 1 John is clear. The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ.

    John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

    The truth that the Spirit guides us into is specifically the truth about Christ. That doesn’t mean he can’t help us in other areas, but it is not necessarily included in this promise. For instance, we wouldn’t say that the truth that the Holy Spirit promises to us includes Algebra.

    I would say your anxiety comes from expecting that you would never have to use discernment “on your own” meaning simply the application of wisdom to everyday life that includes truth but does not include some mystical experience. I would still say that this is a HS assisted activity.

    Let me put it another way: There are some things in life I don’t need to pray about. If my son comes and asks me if he can spend the night at his girlfriend’s house, I don’t need any “special” leading of the HS to tell him no. There are many issues in life that fall into this category of discernment. Now certainly you can pray and fast about anything, there are no restrictions. The trick is finding the balance.

  3. Thanks Steve for being such a blessing to me in helping me to understand that portion of scripture, 1 John 2:12-27 I am now sharing this with my wife during our study time and to better equip ourselves with the Word of God. God bless you Steve. I will leave something with you, during our Sunday School there was a scripture a brother shared with the class that caused a stir, his point was not accepted but he held very strong to his point, he brought this same point up again during another Sunday School session, his point was still not accepted, a study time was called by the Pastor to give our brother the opportunity to prove his case but he did not show up for the study, we love our brother but believe that he is wrong in this matter and would like to help him. Steve, I will leave the scripture text with you that uor brother was trying to make his point on and I will wait on your comment. Revelation 3:14″And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen. the faithful and true witness the begining of the creation of God.”

  4. Tyrone,

    I am going to assume that the brother in your Sunday School class was trying to make the point about the phrase: “beginning of the creation of God.” I am also going to assume that the stir he created was saying that Jesus was a created being as opposed to eternal God without beginning or end. My comments will reflect that assumption.

    The word in Revelation 3:14 translated “beginning” is the Greek word “arche”, which means:

    beginning, first; origin, first cause; ruling power, authority, ruler (whether earthly or spiritual); what is elementary, elementary principle; corner (of a cloth) (UBS Lexicon).

    All words have what we call a “range” of meaning. They have different nuance or emphasis depending on the context. The context determines which of those nuances was intended. So it is in this case. Does “arche” mean “first created”, or “ruler”, or “origin”, or the “corner of a cloth” as it does in Acts 10:11 & 11:5?

    What makes the question your brother raises compelling is that the translation beginning = “first created” is linguistically possible, which means that is a possible understanding of that Greek combination of words, but linguistic considerations are not the only considerations. As I mentioned before, we never read a Bible verse alone, out of its context. And contextual issues are the issues that determine how we understand the words in question, and which of the many different nuances of meaning we choose in translating a particular word. In the book of Revelation, we have one of the most compelling presentations of the divinity of Christ. And so in translating the Greek word “arche” here we must take that context into account. So if the context clearly teaches that Jesus is eternal God, then we must opt for a linguistic interpretation of “arche” that does not contradict the context. That is how we make sense of words and language.

    Is it the intention of this text to teach us that Jesus had a point in time beginning? or is there another sense in which that word can legitimately be translated that fits the context? Since we can legitimately translate “arche” to mean “first cause” or as the NIV translates it “ruler” we are not restricted with a problematic translation, and the rules of language permit (and sometimes demand, as in this case) us to translate it with the correct nuance attached.

    Revelation 1:8 & 21:6 say that the Lord God is Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end). Does this mean that he has a “beginning”, meaning he was created? Obviously not. Then in Revelation 22:12 this phrase is used to describe Christ. Clearly this means that Christ shares the divine nature, he has no starting point in time, but he can be considered the beginning, that is, the source and origin of all things. Since this meaning can explain all the texts of concern and not destroy the integrity of the testimony of the Bible, and since it is within the range of meaning allowed by the language (words, phrases, sentences) then we are compelled to understand it as “origin” or “ruler” and not as “created being”

    This is the same challenge that is regularly raised in Colossians 1:15 where Jesus is called the “firstborn of all creation”. In that passage “firstborn” again can mean both first in order of birth, or the emphasis can be on the position of priority that attaches itself to being the firstborn. Since the very next verse (Colossians 1:16) says:

    “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

    we can rightly reject the translation of the term firstborn as meaning first created – since He is responsible for creating all things. The same is true in Revelation.