Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth with our Trinitarian Commentary. We’re actually all the way up to 1 John now. It’s been a fun ride and an interesting one and let me assure readers that I have learned a lot from this and I hope you have as well. I do ask for your continued prayers as I am becoming the man I believe God needs me to be and growing more in Christlikeness. I also ask for prayers with my current situation involving finances. Finally, there is another event going on in my life and I would like prayer for that as well. For now, let’s go to the text. It’s 1 John 2:20-23.
20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
There’s a good deal in this text. Let’s start at the beginning. The Holy One I believe in this case is the Holy Spirit due to passages that indicate such later on in this same chapter. Notice the emphasis on knowing the truth. John is again countering gnostic tendencies that would say one needs a secret experience to know the truth of Christianity. John argues that all one needs is the Holy Spirit.
John also wants to emphasize that we do know that truth, which is why he writes. He wants the readers to know that they are not missing out on any secret information. The truth is in them due to their having the Holy Spirit and being in fellowship with the Father and the Son.
He now tells us who the antichrist is. It is the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ. I could go into some interesting tidbits here in eschatology, but as readers know, that is not the purpose of my blog. At Deeper Waters, we are interested only in what is essential to Christian doctrine and not getting into secondary issues.
However, we are interested in what it means to deny the Father and the Son. For John, you cannot deny one and affirm the other. It’s a package deal. If you deny the Father, then you deny the Son. Ultimately, this is done by denying that Jesus is the Christ. How so?
To deny Jesus is the Christ is to deny the vindication of God on him. By raising him from the dead, God proclaimed the Son to be the Christ. To deny that is to deny the very truth of the Father. It is to deny the identity of the Son. Christians must believe that Jesus is the messiah, the unique one sent from the Father.
On the other hand, if someone believes the Son, they believe in the Father. The relationship between the two is essential. Ultimately then, Arianism is not just a denial of the deity of the Son, but a denial of the nature of the Father as well. To say the Son is not the Son is to say the Father has not always been Father. That he has changed in time.
Trinitarianism affirms the deity of the Father and of the Son and that they are two separate persons. Fortunately, we also have the Holy Spirit in here making this yet another Trinitarian passage. It is a wonder some people can read Scripture and miss the Trinity everywhere.
We shall continue tomorrow.