In chapter 1, some important topics discussed were walking in the light and forgiveness. Walking in the light involves forgiveness and walking in the truth. The forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ is available to those who confess their sins.
In the present chapter,[ 1 ] John warns his readers not to sin (1Jo 2:1). Yet, with the realization that they (we) would be weak on this very point, he immediately gives assurance that Christ is the Advocate with the Father and the expiation (propitiation or atoning sacrifice) for sins (1Jo 2:1, 2). He encourages Christians to keep the commandments (1Jo 2:4) and walk as Jesus walked (1Jo 2:6). Of great comfort is the reassurance that sins are forgiven (1Jo 2:12).
ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER
2:1, 2 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. But if someone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. 2 And He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.
- My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin (1Jo 2:1).
- I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven (1Jo 2:12).
- And now, little children, remain in Him (1Jo 2:28).
- Little children, let no one deceive you (1Jo 3:7).
- Little children, let us love, not in word or with the tongue, but in action and truth (1Jo 3:18).
- You are from God, little children, and have overcome them (1Jo 4:4).
- Little children, guard yourselves from idols (1Jo 5:21).
My little children [my children].[ 2 ] Notice the NIV rendering: "My dear children." This is not a problem although the Greek is "My little children." The term undoubtedly was intended to convey affection (see also verses 12, 28). Note the different Greek word for God's children (1Jo 3:1; compare 2:12; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21).[ 3 ]
When Jesus was about thirty years of terrestrial age, He used the term "little children" affectionately to refer to grown men. He explained to the apostles, "Little children, yet a little while I am with you" (Joh 13:33; compare 21:5). Some of them were, no doubt, as old or older than He was.
John tenderly addresses his "little children." Who were they? Certainly not babies or infant members of the church, in the denominational sense.[ 4 ] Neither were they preschoolers. They were surely old enough to understand what John wrote to them. They were old enough to be in danger of being deceived into committing sin. As a matter of fact, they had already committed sins for which they had been forgiven. They had overcome but still had something to do. They were exhorted to abide in Christ and guard themselves from idols (see chart LITTLE CHILDREN). Since others are addressed as "young men" and "fathers," "little children" is likely an affectionate term for Christians newly converted or those still immature in the faith.
I am writing these things to you [these things write I unto you, I write to you, I am writing this to you].[ 5 ] In chapter 1, John pointed out that sin was a problem to all Christians but there was hope. Forgiveness was available, provided sins were forsaken and confessed (see note on 1Jo 1:9). The purpose of the present discussion of sin is not to excuse but to warn Christians not to commit even one sin!
THAT YOU MAY NOT SIN
That you may not sin [that ye sin not, that ye may not sin, in order that, so that, ye, you, may not sin].[ 6 ] Since everybody has sin (1Jo 1:8) and has sinned (1Jo 1:10), an immature thinker might ask, "Why not just relax and not worry about it?" A foolish question! John is writing "that you may not sin" at all!
But if someone sins [and if any man, any one, sin, but if any one does sin].[ 7 ] In other verses, John uses the present continuous tense for sinning but such is not the case here. In this verse, the Greek aorist tense points to a specific act or acts of sin. He realized that, through weakness and because of desires of the flesh, most Christians will occasionally sin. In fact, he suggests the possibility that a Christian may commit a sin.
Many today take sin far too lightly. They seem to think that since we live in a "permissive" age that God too is permissive and will overlook sin (but see Ac 17:30, 31). There must be no compromise with sin! Nevertheless, the good news is that there is pardon available through Christ!
We have an Advocate [a patron].[ 8 ] Satan is the accuser (Re 12:10). Christ is the Advocate. He pleads in heaven on behalf of penitent Christians. "Have" is in the present continuous tense in Greek and means "keep on having." Christ continues to serve as our Advocate. John does not say "You" but "We have an Advocate." By the use of the first person pronoun "we" the beloved apostle implies that he himself was a sinner and in need of Christ as his own Advocate. There is no Christian without a need for the Lord's help in this way.
With the Father.[ 9 ] Jesus is our Advocate with the Father. He is our "counsel for the defense." He is the intercessor who pleads for us with a merciful God. The remarkable assistance He gives to Christians neutralizes the harm done by the accuser Satan.
Jesus Christ the Righteous One [Jesus Christ the righteous].[ 10 ] Jesus needed to be righteous in order to be the Savior. "Wherefore also He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them. For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" (Heb 7:25, 26). A synonym for "righteous" is "just." "Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God" (1Pe 3:18). The KJV reads, "the just for the unjust" (see note on 1Jo 2:29; chart JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS).
JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS
- But you denied the Holy and Righteous One (Ac 3:14).
- And they killed those who had showed before of the coming of the Righteous One (Ac 7:52).
- The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from His mouth (Ac 22:14).
- But if someone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One (1Jo 2:1).
- The one practicing righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous (1Jo 3:7).
And He.[ 11 ] The position of the personal pronoun "He" in the Greek sentence makes it emphatic. "He Himself" would appropriately express the thought.
Is the expiation [propitiation].[ 12 ] The Greek present tense implies that Jesus continues to be the expiation or propitiation. This point is very important. Since the sinless Jesus continues to be the atoning sacrifice[ 13 ] (expiation or propitiation) for Christians. He is perpetually able to cause the Father to be approving of Christians after they have sinned as they are forgiven. The Father loves His children just as much as the Son. However, His character is so pure and His attitude toward sin so terrible that He cannot overlook it (Hab 1:13). The process of expiation does not change His attitude toward sin but toward the sinner.[ 14 ] It alters the condition of the sinner to make him or her acceptable in God's sight. This is not an action of the Holy Spirit upon the sinner's heart but one that takes place in the mind of God. Propitiation or expiation makes forgiveness a reality on the part of the God who "is faithful and righteous to forgive" (1Jo 1:9). Only by the forgiveness through Christ can He receive a sinner back into His sweet arms of fellowship.[ 15 ]
CHRIST, OUR PROPITIATION
- He is the HILASMOS expiation for our sins [causing the Father to extend fellowship toward us] (1Jo 2:2).
- Through Him we receive the KATALLAGEEN reconciliation [peace with God] (Ro 5:11; 2Co 5:18, 19).
- He paid the debt as ANTILUTPON a ransom, setting us free from sin's bondage (compare 1Ti 2:6).
For our sins.[ 16 ] It is the blood of Jesus that cleanses from sin (see 1Jo 1:7).
And not for ours only [but not for ours alone].[ 17 ]
FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD
But also for the whole world [but also for the sins of the whole world].[ 18 ] "For God so loved the world" (Joh 3:16). He loves all people. Christ, "the Savior of the world" (1Jo 4:14), is Himself the propitiation for the sins "for the whole world." His atoning sacrifice was sufficient, not only for the elect but for all who respond to the gospel in faith and obedience. The "Limited Atonement" or "Particular Atonement" of Calvinism is in error on this point.[ 19 ]
John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Lamb of God "who takes away the sin of the world!" (Joh 1:29). The Samaritans told the woman at the well, "Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Savior of the world" (Joh 4:42). The universality of the mission of Christ was affirmed when He foretold His own crucifixion, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (Joh 12:32). John the apostle fully understood that He was to be Savior of all. "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world" (1Jo 4:14). Fanny J. Crosby understood the sacrifice of Christ was for the whole world when she wrote the song, "There is a Gate."
That gate ajar stands free for all
Who seek thro' it salvation,
The rich and poor, the great and small,
Of every tribe and nation.
- Walked in darkness (suggested by 1Jo 1:6).
- Taught that keeping commandments is not essential (implied in 1Jo 2:3).
- Denied that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God (1Jo 2:22; 4:2, 3).
- Denied importance of brotherly love (implied by 1Jo 3:11; 4:7).
- Professed to be "spirits" [prophets] (1Jo 4:1, 2).
- Denied Christ came in the flesh (1Jo 4:2; 2Jo 7).
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE RIGHTEOUS
- Walking in the light (1Jo 1:7).
- Forgiven and cleansed (1Jo 1:9).
- Keeping His commandments (1Jo 2:3, 4).
- Keeping His word (1Jo 2:4).
- Walking as He walked (1Jo 2:6).
- Practicing righteousness (1Jo 2:29; 3:7).
- Remaining in Christ (1Jo 3:6, 9; 5:18).
KNOWING CHRIST IMPLIES KEEPING COMMANDMENTS
2:3 And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
And by this [and hereby].[ 20 ] When looking toward John's next thought, namely, "If we keep His commandments," one needs to keep in mind what he previously wrote concerning fellowship with God and walking in the light (see 1Jo 1:3, 7). The implication of "And by this" is "And by keeping His commandments." Thus the one who has come to know Him is he who is both walking in the light and keeping His commandments.
We know [we do know, we may be sure].[ 21 ] "Knowing" was the trademark of the false Gnostic teachers but they did not have a corner on it. They did not associate knowing with keeping God's commandments. Some modern religious people claim to know Christ because of a dream or some kind of mystical experience. NT Christians understood that knowing Him implied keeping His commandments. The Greek present tense indicates that John and his readers knew, perceived and continued to grow in awareness of the advantages of their position in Christ and their relationship to Him. However, they never progressed beyond the necessity to obey Him.
KNOWING THE FATHER
- Obeying Him (1Jo 2:3-5).
- Being like Christ (1Jo 2:6).
- Loving (1Jo 2:7-11).
- Not loving the world (1Jo 2:15-17).
- Letting the truth remain within (1Jo 2:24).
- Remaining in Christ (1Jo 2:24, 27, 28).
- Practicing righteousness (1Jo 2:29).
That we know Him.[ 22 ] The Greek perfect tense denotes the present state of knowledge resultant upon having come to know Christ in the past. In this phrase, knowing Him means believing and obeying Him, becoming genuine Christians. To claim to know God or Christ without obedience is empty and vain. Jesus Himself said, "But I know Him, and keep His word" (Joh 8:55).
If we keep His commandments.[ 23 ] Christianity involves the entire heart and life. It is idealistic and intellectual but it is much more.[ 24 ] It is practical and life-changing. The daily keeping of the commandments of Christ is a big part of it. In this instance, the scholarly I. Howard Marshall partially misunderstood the text when he wrote, "This fact removes any suggestion that keeping the commandments is a condition of salvation or a means of securing the favor of God by our own efforts."[ 25 ] Only the first part of the quotation from Marshall is questionable as shown by John in verses 4-6.
WALK AS HE WALKED
2:4-6 He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he remains in Him ought himself also to walk as He walked.
He who says [he that saith, says].[ 26 ] John refers to the false teachers to whom he alluded in chapter 1. Religious claims are a dime a dozen. Without a life to back them up they are as ephemeral as cotton candy (see chart SIX FALSE CLAIMS at 1Jo 1:6).
I know him.[ 27 ] Verbal testimony by itself is often weak as water. Churches who are taking up the old Calvinistic "testimonials" in worship are, in this respect, without power. Testimonials provide opportunities for exaggeration if not for outright lies. As far as validity is concerned, some of the "testifiers" may as well be telling stories about Big Foot or the Loch Ness monster. The profession of hypocrites is only a weak effort to cover up a sinful life. An example of a deceitful testimony is when someone in a denomination makes a haughty claim of knowing the Lord and yet has not even obeyed the simple command to be immersed for the remission of sins (see Ac 2:38)! What about the great claims of a member of the Lord's church whose attendance is spotty, whose morals are unpredictable and whose integrity easily challenged? John states that "He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments is a liar!" (1Jo 2:4).
KEEPING THE WILL OF CHRIST
- If anyone keeps My word he shall never see death (Joh 8:51).
- If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (Joh 14:15).
- He who has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves Me (Joh 14:21).
- If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word (Joh 14:23).
- If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love (Joh 15:10).
- And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments (1Jo 2:3).
- Whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected (1Jo 2:5).
And does not keep His commandments [and keepeth not, but disobeys, his commandments].[ 28 ] By using the Greek present tense, John emphasizes the necessity of continuing to keep NT commandments. Remember, "He who does the will of God continues forever" (1Jo 2:17; see chart KEEPING THE WILL OF CHRIST).
Is a liar.[ 29 ] John wrote in chapter 1, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in the darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth" (1Jo 1:6). If possible, John now makes the charge even stronger.
And the truth is not in him.[ 30 ] "The truth" is the word of God (see note below). However, in order for it to be in one, he must first be true to himself. The attitude, "I'm okay, you're okay" is totally out of line with John's teaching. "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1Jo 1:8). Without the forgiveness of Christ no accountable adult is okay.
But whoever keeps His word [but whoso keepeth his word].[ 31 ] The word of Christ contains numerous commands to be kept. Jesus obeyed the Father's will. He acknowledged, "But I know Him, and keep His word" (Joh 8:55). He recognized the obedience of the apostles. "And Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word" (Joh 17:6). Christians are not exempt from commandment keeping. "And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments" (2Jo 6). The word of Christ contains facts and approved examples. It includes implications from which correct inferences and right conclusions may be made. Are there any other kind (see chart KEEPING THE WILL OF CHRIST)?
In him the love of God has truly been perfected [in him verily is the love of God perfected, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected, in him verily the love of God is perfected, in him truly love for God is perfected].[ 32 ] The Greek perfect tense denotes the present state of the love of God resultant upon a past action.[ 33 ] It is important that God's love be made complete and that it accomplish in (and for) man the obedience, salvation, fellowship and joy intended. "No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us" (1Jo 4:12). It all comes about through obedience. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1Jo 5:3). The love from God is not perfected or made complete until one believes and obeys His word (see 1Jo 4:9). It is only by obedience that a Christian shows his love for Him. Within the heart of a person who keeps the word of God the love of God has been perfected and remains so. That is, love has accomplished what was intended (see charts LOVE FOR GOD; PERFECTED LOVE).
LOVE FOR GOD
- If any one loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1Jo 2:15).
- We love, because He first loved us (1Jo 4:19).
- For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments (1Jo 5:3).
- Whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected (1Jo 2:5).
- If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us (1Jo 4:12).
- This is how love has been perfected among us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world (1Jo 4:17).
- There is no fear in love; but perfect love expels fear, because fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears has not been perfected in love (1Jo 4:18).
KNOWING ONE IS SAVED
- And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments (1Jo 2:3).
- But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him (1Jo 2:5).
- And he who keeps His commandments remains in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He remains in us, by the Spirit whom He gave us (1Jo 3:24).
GOD'S LOVE FOR MAN
- See what manner of love the Father has extended to us, that we should be called children of God; and we are! (1Jo 3:1).
- We know love because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1Jo 3:16).
- By this the love of God has been made known among us, that God has sent His one-and-only Son into the world so that we might live through Him (1Jo 4:9).
- This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins (1Jo 4:10).
- And we have known and have believed the love which God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1Jo 4:16).
By this we know [hereby know we, we know, we may be sure].[ 34 ] I have been unable to determine whether "by this" points backward to keeping God's word or forward to walking as Jesus walked. Either way, the interpretation is almost the same. The very mention of a test to make sure one is "in Him" implies that at least some Christians entertain doubts about whether they are in Christ (see chart KNOWING ONE IS SAVED).
That we are in Him.[ 35 ] Once again, John uses the beautiful phrase "in Him." To be "in Him"[ 36 ] is to be in Christ. The concept that all spiritual blessings are to be enjoyed in Christ is profound beyond words.[ 37 ]
IN THE FATHER AND THE SON (A)
- He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him (Joh 6:56).
- Abide in Me, and I in you (Joh 15:4).
- If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father (1Jo 2:24).
- His anointment teaches you about all things, and is true and is no lie, just as He taught you, remain in Him (1Jo 2:27).
- And now, little children, remain in Him, so when He is revealed, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (1Jo 2:28).
IN THE FATHER AND THE SON (B)
- Everyone who remains in Him does not keep on sinning. Everyone who keeps on sinning, has neither seen Him nor known Him (1Jo 3:6).
- And he who keeps His commandments remains in Him, and He in him (1Jo 3:24).
- If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us (1Jo 4:12).
- By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us a portion of His Spirit (1Jo 4:13).
- Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God (1Jo 4:15).
He who says he remains in Him [he that saith, that says, who says, he abideth, he abides, in him].[ 38 ] When one makes the claim that he abides in Christ, he obligates himself to live right. "Everyone who remains in Him does not keep on sinning. Everyone who keeps on sinning, has neither seen Him nor known Him" (1Jo 3:6). What does it mean to remain in Him? First of all it means to be a believer but belief alone does not put one into Christ. It only gives one "the right to become" a child of God (see Joh 1:12). The believer is permitted to be baptized into Him (see Ro 6:3; Ga 3:27). To abide in Christ means keeping His NT commandments and maintaining an unbroken fellowship (1Jo 1:7). It implies continual cleansing from sin (1Jo 1:9; see charts IN THE FATHER AND THE SON A and B).
WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO
- We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which it was our duty to do (Lu 17:10).
- If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet (Joh 13:14).
- He who says he remains in Him ought himself to walk as He walked (1Jo 2:6).
- We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1Jo 3:16).
- We also ought to love one another (1Jo 4:11).
- We ought to be hospitable to such men, that we may be fellow-workers for the truth (3Jo 8).
Ought himself also to walk [ought to walk, also so to walk, to walk in the same way].[ 39 ] With one exception, Christians are not to become obligated to others. That exception is the unpayable debt of love. "Owe nothing to anyone, save to love one another" (Ro 13:8). Christians owe obedience to Christ. They ought, they are obligated, they owe it to Him, to walk[ 40 ] as He walked (see chart WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO).
WALKING AS JESUS WALKED
- He who follows me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life (Joh 8:12).
- If any one would come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me (Mt 16:24).
- For I gave you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you (Joh 13:15).
- Wherefore, receive one another, even as Christ also received you, to the glory of God (Ro 15:7).
- Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Php 2:5).
- Just as the Lord forgave you, you do the same (Col 3:13).
- Looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2).
- For hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow His steps (1Pe 2:21).
EVEN AS HE WALKED
- Meek and lowly in heart (Mt 11:29).
- Love one another, even as I have loved you (Joh 15:12).
- Went about doing good (Ac 10:38).
- Pleased not Himself (Ro 15:2).
- Meekness and gentleness (2Co 10:1).
- Emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant (Php 2:7).
- Suffered for you . . . did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth (1Pe 2:21, 22).
As He walked [even as, in which, he walked].[ 41 ] To walk as "that One"[ 42 ] (Jesus) walked, is to walk in the light (see note on 1Jo 1:7; charts WALKING AS JESUS WALKED and EVEN AS HE WALKED).
WALKING IN LIGHT TESTED BY LOVE
- By love of one's brother (1Jo 2:7-11).
[Parenthetic address to readers (1Jo 2:12-14).]
- By not loving the world (1Jo 2:15-17).
(Adapted from Law)
THE OLD COMMANDMENT IS
THE WORD WHICH YOU HAVE HEARD
2:7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard.
Beloved [brethren].[ 43 ] Although by again addressing his readers as "beloved" (see 1Jo 3:1), John does not appear to be starting a new division in his letter at this point. A close study reveals that what he now writes relates to what he has just written (compare also 1Jo 1:5-10).
I am not writing a new commandment to you [I write, I am writing, no new commandment unto you, to you, no new commandment write I unto you].[ 44 ] "Writing" is present tense in Greek. It says that John was writing at the time. The fundamental command to love one another embraces all other NT commandments, especially those mentioned in verse 3. The love commandment was not new in the absolute sense but it was recent because of its expanded meaning and application as Christ taught and exemplified it (see note on verse 8).
But an old.[ 45 ] Love was an old commandment because it was given in the OT (see chart LOVE TO GOD [OT]). There are many OT examples of godly men and women showing love for Him. Some representative passages are in the Psalms: "I love The, O Lord, my strength" (Ps 18:1). "As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after Thee, O God" (Ps 42:1; see also 73:25; 84:2; 116:1). Love for neighbor was also enjoined in the OT (see chart LOVE TO OTHERS [OT]; compare 1Sa 18:3). The Jews were even commanded to love aliens (De 10:19). Enemies too were to be treated with compassion (see Ex 23:4; Pr 24:17; 25:21, 22).
The commandment to love was old in years because it was "the word" John's readers had heard from the beginning.[ 46 ] Nonetheless, it was not old-fashioned or time-worn. Christ gave it a new significance.
LOVE TO GOD (OT)
- And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might (De 6:5).
- And now, Israel, what does the Lord require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul (De 10:12).
- Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and keep His charge (De 11:1).
- Only take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all His ways, and keep to His commandments (Jos 22:5).
- O love the Lord, all you His saints! (Ps 31:23).
LOVE FOR MAN (OT)
- You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord (Le 19:18).
- Therefore love the sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt (De 10:19).
- Hatred stirs up strifes, but love covers all transgressions (Pr 10:12).
- If your enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink (Pr 25:21).
Commandment.[ 47 ] Before Calvary, Jesus said to the apostles, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (Joh 13:34). In the present context, John teaches Christians to walk as Christ walked (verse 6). Love is active good will. Inactive good will is not love. When, with a good motive, one walks as Jesus walked, his love becomes active (see verses 9-11). Active love is being obedient to NT commands. It follows the divine example in all respects. "Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell" (Eph 5:1, 2). It is strange indeed that some brethren are denying there are commandments in the NT. Some have said the NT is not a constitution or a book of rules. Anyone who reads intelligently has to admit there are hundreds of commands in it. And yes, the sacred NT is more binding than any national constitution or book of human rules could ever be!
Which you have had from the beginning [which ye, you, had, have had, from the beginning].[ 48 ] "For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another" (1Jo 3:11). The commandment to love was given "from the beginning" but the new commandment to love [as Christ loved] was initially given to John's readers in the beginning when they heard and obeyed the gospel.
The old commandment.[ 49 ] The old commandment to love may have been given to Adam. It was recorded in the Mosaic Law (see Le 19:18; charts LOVE TO GOD [OT]; LOVE TO OTHERS [OT]).
Is the word which you heard [is the word which ye heard, have heard].[ 50 ] When the gospel was preached, the command to love was presented as a fundamental part of it. It should be so taught today (compare 1Pe 1:22).
[From the beginning.] These bracketed words are carried in the KJV, NKJV, NEB and some other versions but do not appear in all Greek manuscripts (see note above on Which you have had from the beginning.
THE TRUE LIGHT ALREADY SHINING
2:8 On the other hand, I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
On the other hand [again, yet].[ 51 ] In one sense, the command to love must be older than Moses. John calls upon his readers to behold a new aspect of it.
THE NEW LOVE COMMANDMENT
- A new commandment give I to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another (Joh 13:34).
- This is My commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.
- Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (Joh 15:12, 13).
- And this is His commandment, that we should believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, according to the commandment He gave us (1Jo 3:23).
- Not as though I were writing a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning, that we should love one another (2Jo 5).
I am writing you a new commandment [a new commandment write I, I write, unto you, a new commandment to you].[ 52 ] The commandment of love is both old and new. It is old in that Christians have had it from the beginning. It is new in its depth and freshness as taught and exemplified by Christ. It is new because He who gave it exemplified a Divine love that was new in the eyes of the world. It is new in that it belongs to the "new" church age. Its newness is seen as unfolding beauty in the obedient lives of Christians. It makes possible a new kind of life and love that most people never thought possible (see note on 1Jo 3:16; chart THE NEW LOVE COMMANDMENT).
Which is true [which thing is true].[ 53 ] Does it strike you as unusual to say a commandment is true? The fact is, John did not say that exactly. "Which is true" has special reference to verse 7, not just to the commandment (see footnote). In this instance, the NIV is weak with, "Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you" because it refers "its truth" to the command alone. The NKJV attempts to make the original thought somewhat clearer with, "which thing is true."
In Him and in you.[ 54 ] That which was "in Him" [Christ] was the magnificent love command He demonstrated. It is "in you" [in Christians] when the gospel obeyed and the example of Christ followed. His example is especially evident in that He said laid down His life "for the sheep" (Joh 10:15). He implied that His apostles should do the same (Joh 15:12, 13). By the time John wrote this letter, several of the apostles had already given their lives. The same ultimate sacrifice would, no doubt, be accomplished by many of John's readers (see 1Jo 3:16).
Because.[ 55 ]
The darkness.[ 56 ] (see notes and charts on 1Jo 1:5: IMPLICATIONS OF DARKNESS; DARKNESS OF SIN A, B, C; DELIVERANCE FROM DARKNESS).
Is passing away [is past, is passing].[ 57 ] John did not say the darkness had completely passed away at the point of conversion. Apparently, the passing away of the darkness means more than forgiveness of sins. John's readers had believed and been baptized for the remission of sins but he tells them that darkness is continuing to pass away (Greek present tense).[ 58 ]
And the true light.[ 59 ] The Greek article TO the is specific. This is the one and only true light. Gnostics and atheistic philosophers do not have it. The true light comes only from a Divine Source. "God is light" (1Jo 1:5). "There was the true light, even the light, that lights every man, coming into the world" (Joh 1:9). The true light is the revelation of God in His Son Jesus Christ. It shines upon (and in) men through the glorious gospel (see 2Co 4:4). In the sense John uses the term here, the true light of Christ shines in a Christian's heart when he begins to walk [in love] like Jesus walked (see verse 6; charts THE TRUE LIGHT A, B).
THE TRUE LIGHT (A)
- In Him was life; and the life was the light of men (Joh 1:4).
- And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil (Joh 3:19).
- When I am in the world, I am the light of the world (Joh 9:5).
- Yet a little while is the light among you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness overtake you not; and he who walks in the darkness knows not where he goes (Joh 12:35).
- While you have the light, believe on the light, that you may become sons of light (Joh 12:36).
- I have come light into the world, that whoever believes on Me may not abide in the darkness (Joh 12:46).
THE TRUE LIGHT (B)
- And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts (2Pe 1:19).
- The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining (1Jo 2:8).
- And His face was as the sun shining in its strength (Re 1:16).
- And the city has no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb (Re 21:23).
Is already shining [now, already, shines].[ 60 ] Solomon expressed a parallel thought: "But the path of the righteous is like the dawning light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day" (Pr 4:18; see note on 2Pe 1:19).
OUT LOVE'S BACK DOOR TOWARD HATE
2:9 He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is still in the darkness even now.
He who says he is in the light [he that saith he is in the light][ 61 ] (see chart SIX FALSE CLAIMS at 1Jo 1:6).
And hates [and hateth].[ 62 ] Translators of the NASB wisely added "yet" to express the Greek present participle that implies a continual hatred.
TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE
- Those not in fellowship with God.
a. Walk in darkness.
b. Walk in hatred.
- Those in fellowship with God.
a. Walk in light.
b. Walk in love.
- For everyone who does evil hates the light, and comes not to the light, lest his works should be reproved (Joh 3:20).
- The world cannot hate you; but Me it hates, because I testify of it, that its works are evil (Joh 7:7).
- If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you (Joh 15:18).
- I have given them Thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world (Joh 17:14).
John lays before his readers two classes of people -- lovers and haters. Jesus put it this way: "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who gathers not with Me, scatters" (Lu 11:23; see chart TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE). If one does not love his brother, he hates him. Neutral feelings are not love. In order to better understand this, let us first consider two Greek words. First, there is PHILEOO the love of natural affection. Hate is the opposite of that. As such, it quells a feeling of friendship and replaces it with indifference or enmity. Another word for love is AGAPAN the love of good will founded on a just estimate.[ 63 ] Hate is the opposite of that too (see Mt 5:43; 6:24; Eph 5:28, 29; 1Jo 3:14, 15; 4:20). Since the latter variety of love is an act of will, its opposite (hate) may also arise from a resolve or determination (see chart HATE). To love, one must be willing to help, even to the point of sacrifice (see 1Jo 3:16).
His brother.[ 64 ] A believer must not hate a fellow-Christian, nor an enemy (Mt 5:43, 44). Love for a brother implies compassion. "Now whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart against him, how can God's love be abiding in him?" (1Jo 3:17).
Is still in the darkness [is in darkness, is in the darkness].[ 65 ] One may claim to be in the light but actually be in darkness (see note on 1Jo 1:6).
WHO ARE CHRISTIANS?
- Brother(s) (1Jo 2:9, 10, 11; 3:10, 15, 17; 4:20, 21; 5:16).
- Brethren (Joh 21:23; Ac 9:30; 10:23; 11:29; 1Th 4:10; 5:26; 1Jo 3:14; 3Jo 5, 10).
- The brotherhood (1Pe 2:17; 5:9).
- Believers (Ac 10:45; 1Ti 4:12).
- Those who believe (Eph 1:19; 1Th 1:7; 1Pe 2:7).
- Those who believed (Ac 2:44; 4:32; Heb 4:3).
- Disciples (Ac 6:1; 11:26, 29; 13:52).
- Saints (Ac 9:13, 32, 41; 26:10; 1Co 6:1; 14:33; Eph 1:1, 15; Heb 6:10; 13:24; Jude 3).
- Christians (Ac 11:26; 26:28; 1Pe 4:16).
Even now [even until now, until now, still].[ 66 ] Time is called a healer but it can never expel the darkness of sin. Repentance, confession and prayer are necessary but cleansing is only by the blood of Christ (see note on 1Jo 1:9).
HE WHO LOVES HIS BROTHER ABIDES IN THE LIGHT
2:10 He who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing causing offence in him.
He who loves his brother [he that loveth his brother].[ 67 ] "Love is that which seeks the highest good in the one loved; and since the highest good is the will of God, to love is to do the will of God."[ 68 ] Can one love his brother in the sense John contemplates if, at the same time, he neglects or rejects the will of God in anything? I ask this question because love in deed and truth involves doing the will of God (1Jo 3:18). No one can love without obeying God's will. Neither can one love his brother or sister without doing positive acts of righteousness toward him (see Ga 5:6).
Remains in the light [abideth in the light, abides in light, the light].[ 69 ] The Greek present tense indicates perseverance and faithfulness (see note on 1Jo 1:7).
And there is nothing causing offence in him [and there is no, none, occasion of stumbling in him, and in it there is no cause for stumbling].[ 70 ] Recall the comments of Christ about walking in the light and not stumbling: "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If a man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him" (Joh 11:9, 10). Paul approached the subject in a different way. He explained the connection between abounding in love for others and the heart being established. "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another, and toward all men, even as we also do toward you; to the end that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints" (1Th 3:12, 13). Although I am unable to pin down if the Greek indicates whether one does not personally stumble or does not cause another to do so, failure to love one's brother is a cause of stumbling. Even if the verse primarily refers to others, one cannot cause some one else to stumble without the root cause being one's own stumbling (see Joh 11:9, 10).[ 71 ]
Stinginess is most unlike our giving God. Have you ever noticed the connection between deeds of kindness or generosity and salvation? For instance, Jesus said to the rich young ruler, "One thing you lack: go, sell whatever you have, and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me" (Mk 10:21; Mt 19:21). He told a crowd of people, "Sell that which you have, and give alms; make for yourselves purses which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief draws near, neither moth destroys" (Lu 12:33). He startled the Pharisees by saying, "But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, all things are clean unto you" (Lu 11:41). Paul urged Timothy to instruct the rich to prepare for the future "life indeed" by telling them to "Do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to share; laying up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the life which is life indeed" (1Ti 6:18, 19).
HE WHO HATES HIS BROTHER IS IN DARKNESS
2:11 But he who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
But he who hates his brother [but he that, the one who, hateth].[ 72 ] Just as in verse 9, the Greek present participle here denotes continuous hating. It indicates a persistent, vicious and unjustifiable ill-feeling toward a brother or sister in Christ (see chart HATE at verse 9).
- Is in the darkness [undesirable situation].
- Walks in the darkness [disastrous proceeding].
- Does not know where he is going [confused state].
- The darkness has blinded his eyes [persistent condition].
Is in the darkness [is in darkness].[ 73 ] Darkness is the deplorable environment that the hater brings upon himself and in which he dwells (see chart HE WHO IS IN DARKNESS).
And walks in the darkness [and walketh in darkness, the darkness].[ 74 ] The Greek present participle suggests the walk in darkness is continuous and probably tragic. Have you ever been on a mountain, in a cave or even in a strange house and tried to climb or walk around in absolute darkness?[ 75 ] The risk in such a predicament is pictured by Jesus. "Walk while you have the light, that darkness overtake you not; and he who walks in the darkness knows not where he goes" (Joh 12:35).
And does not know where he is going [and knoweth not whither he goeth, and knows not where he goes].[ 76 ] The verb OIDEN know is perfect tense, indicating the past state of not knowing that is so remaining. The present tense of "going" indicates the poor fellow who hates his brother is continuing in that bad attitude. He really does not know how to solve his attitude problem.
Because the darkness has blinded his eyes [because that darkness, the darkness, hath blinded his eyes].[ 77 ] The darkness of sin and hate blinds spiritual eyes. The Greek aorist tense suggests a definite decision in past time to close the spiritual eyes, whether consciously or unconsciously. When the Jews did not lovingly receive Jesus, He said of them, "Their eyes they have closed" (Mt 13:15; compare Isa 6:10). Self-chosen darkness and self-imposed blindness effectively neutralize the sweet influences of the light of Christ. Those who choose darkness may find difficulty in opening their eyes to the sunlight of Christ. "And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not" (Joh 1:5). Lack of love (hate, or even attempted neutrality) is the root cause of many other problems (see notes on 1Co 13).
2:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His name's sake.
I am writing to you [I write unto you, to you].[ 78 ] The Greek continuous present tense says John was writing (compare present tenses "I am writing" in verses 1, 7, 8, 13 (twice).
Little children [children, my little children].[ 79 ] Immediately following this, in verses 13 and 14, John proceeds to write to fathers and young men. By the expression "little children" he probably does not include every Christian. My view is that he affectionately addresses babes in Christ or recent converts (see notes on Joh 1:12; 1Jo 2:1; chart LITTLE CHILDREN at 1Jo 2:1).
Because your sins are forgiven [because your sins are forgiven you].[ 80 ] The "little children" to whom John wrote were forgiven sinners. Thus they had reached the age of accountability (see note on Ro 7:9). They had been baptized "unto the remission" of sins (Ac 2:38). If, after baptism, they had sinned, they confessed their sins and received forgiveness according to 1 John 1:9. However, this truth is not just for babes in Christ. Any Christian who enjoys forgiveness of sins, no matter how old, should be eternally grateful for it (see chart ATTAINMENTS OF CHRISTIANS).
ATTAINMENTS OF CHRISTIANS
- Sins forgiven (1Jo 2:12).
- Knowing Him who has been from the beginning (1Jo 2:13, 14).
- Having overcome the evil one (1Jo 2:13, 14).
- Knowing the Father (1Jo 2:13).
- Are strong (1Jo 2:14).
- Word of God abiding within (1Jo 2:14).
For His name's sake [for his sake].[ 81 ] "His name" denotes everything Christ is and stands for. "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name" (Joh 1:12). When Jesus was in Jerusalem during the feast, "many believed in His name" (Joh 2:23). That is, they believed His teaching which was in accordance with, and because of, His name.
BECAUSE YOU HAVE KNOWN HIM
2:13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, little children, because you know the Father.
I am writing to you [I write unto you, to you].[ 82 ] The present tense is "I am writing."
Fathers.[ 83 ] John has just addressed "little children," or recent converts whose sins were forgiven, he now addresses as "fathers" those more discerning and mature in the faith.[ 84 ]
Because you know Him [because ye know, have known, him].[ 85 ] Knowing Christ, in this verse, is more than knowing of or about Him. Unexpectedly, it is also more than receiving salvation at baptism.[ 86 ] The "little children" with sins forgiven knew Him in that sense. The "fathers" knew Him in a way that came with a maturing of spiritual understanding (compare 1Co 14:20). They were approaching the "measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:13). Because of experience and practice they had "their senses exercised to discern good and evil" (Heb 5:14). They knew they had come to know Him because they kept His commandments (see 1Jo 2:3).
Who is from the beginning [that is from the beginning].[ 87 ] Christ, the Word, was in the beginning. He was in the beginning with God (see notes on Joh 1:1, 2).
I am writing to you [I write to, unto, you].[ 88 ] The Greek present continuous tense says, "I am writing."
Young men.[ 89 ] Many strong Christians have progressed beyond the infant stage of life in Christ. They have developed some strength but are not completely mature in experience and knowledge. These are "young men."
Because you have overcome [because ye have overcome].[ 90 ] The Greek perfect tense verb indicates the young men had overcome the evil one and he remained subdued. Is not this victory over Satan given to everyone washed, sanctified and justified by the blood of Christ at baptism? Yes, without a doubt (see Ac 22:16; 1Co 6:11). However, at the point of baptism, one has not yet developed the strength that comes with maturity in Christ. Christians at Corinth, for example, had many problems. They were warned, "Wherefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1Co 10:12). The baptized Philippians still needed to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Php 2:12; see charts OVERCOMING A, B). So do we.
The evil one [the wicked one].[ 91 ] The Greek is simply "the evil." The argument about whether this is evil or the evil one is academic. If a person overcomes evil, he overcomes the devil. If one has overcome the devil he has overcome evil.
- I have overcome the world (Joh 16:33).
- You are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one (1Jo 2:14).
- You are of God, little children, and have overcome them (1Jo 4:4).
- For whatever is born of God overcomes the world (1Jo 5:4).
- And who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1Jo 5:5).
[BOOK OF REVELATION]
- To him who overcomes, I will give to eat of the tree of life (Re 2:7).
- He who overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death (Re 2:11).
- To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna (Re 2:17).
- He who overcomes . . . I will give authority over the nations (Re 2:26).
- He who overcomes shall thus be arrayed in white garments (Re 3:5).
- He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God (Re 3:12).
- He who overcomes, I will give to sit down with Me in My throne (Re 3:21).
[BOOK OF REVELATION]
- And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony (Re 12:11).
- He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he shall be My son (Re 21:7).
I have written to you [I write, I have written, unto, to, you].[ 92 ] The Greek aorist tense alludes to what John wrote in the past. It possibly refers to verse 12. Some think it is the "epistolary aorist" and alludes to the entire letter of 1 John.
Little children [children].[ 93 ] The Greek for "little children" in verse 12 is TEKNIA, a word that, according to some scholars, emphasizes relationship. In the present verse, the word is PAIDIA little children. Its significance may imply subordination and obedience to the Heavenly Father (see also verse 18). It is possible that the different Greek words are merely used interchangeably.
Because you know [because ye have known, ye know].[ 94 ] The Greek perfect tense denotes present knowledge of God resultant upon coming to know Him in the past. In other words, John's "little children" were not forgetful hearers (see Jas 1:25). They were commandment-keepers. "He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1Jo 2:4).
The Father.[ 95 ] God, the Father of all, maintains an authoritative, dependable, trustworthy and loving relationship with His obedient "little children."
THE WORD OF GOD ABIDES IN YOU
2:14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
I have written to you [I write to you, unto you].[ 96 ] The Greek aorist tense refers to something written in past time. The phrase is used twice in this verse (see also note on verse 13).
Fathers[ 97 ] (see note on verse 13).
Because you know Him who is from the beginning [because ye have known him that is from the beginning, because ye know him who is from the beginning].[ 98 ] John speaks here of the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (compare Greek perfect tenses for know in 1Jo 2:13; 3:6).
I have written to you [I write, unto you, to you][ 99 ] (see notes on verse 13 and 14 above).
Young men[ 100 ] (see note on verse 13).
Because you are strong [because ye are strong].[ 101 ] The young men were strong spiritually because of growth due to their faithful application of the revealed word of God (see following note).
THE WORD WITHIN
- And these words, which I am commanding you this day, shall be upon your heart (De 6:6).
- Therefore shall you lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul (De 11:18).
- But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it (De 30:14; compare Ro 10:8).
- Thy word I have laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee (Ps 119:11).
- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Col 3:16).
And the word of God abides in you [abideth in you].[ 102 ] In his second letter, John speaks of "the truth abiding in us." Not only that, but "With us it will be forever" (2Jo 2). When obeyed, the word remaining within enables one to overcome the devil (see chart THE WORD WITHIN).
And you have overcome the evil one [and ye have overcome the wicked one][ 103 ] (see note on verse 13).
DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD
2:15 Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Do not love [love not].[ 104 ] Love, as used here, implies a longing for the pleasures, practices or possessions of the world (see Joh 3:19; 12:43; 2Ti 4:10). The Greek present imperative is "Do not keep on loving the world" or "Stop loving the world." Most versions make an appropriate paragraph break after verse 14 in order to indicate that the command not to love the world applies to all, not just to the young men.
The world.[ 105 ] God loves the world and desires that none should perish (Joh 3:16; 2Pe 3:9). His goodness freely goes out to everyone who will believe and be converted. God's children love what He loves. They love the world in the same sense that He does. They are not to love the world's sins (verse 2) or its godless opposition to what is true and right. They are not to love its riches. They are not to love the unlawful desires and propensities of the flesh. "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?" (Jas 4:4).
REASONS NOT TO LOVE THE WORLD
- If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1Jo 2:15).
- For all that is in the world . . . is not of the Father, but is of the world (1Jo 2:16).
- He who does the will of God continues forever (1Jo 2:17).
Nor the things that are in the world [neither, or, nor the things in, that are in, the world].[ 106 ] The "things" in the world include "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life" (see note on verse 16). Worldly companions, entertainment and other activities can spot and stain careless saints. James implies some effort must be exerted to prevent this. "Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted by the world" (Jas 1:27). A term related to "the world" is "the deeds of the flesh." Those who engage in sins of the flesh are friends of the world (see Ga 5:19-21). Friendship with the world places one in opposition to God. "You adulteresses, know you not that friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore would be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (Jas 4:4).
If any one loves the world [if any man love the world].[ 107 ] Some people love the darkness of the world but Christians keep seeking things above (Col 3:1). They avoid loving that which is transient and fleeting (see Joh 3:19). "The fashion of this world passes away" (1Co 7:31; see charts on verse 17: THE WORLD IS PASSING AWAY OT, NT).
The love of the Father [love for the Father].[ 108 ] No one can love the world and love the Father at the same time. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon!" (Mt 6:24; compare 1Jo 2:5; 3:1).
Is not in him.[ 109 ] The love for the Father is the motivating principle in the life of Christians. When a child of God becomes enamored with the world his affections are not just divided, he loses his love for the Father. When that happens his influence for good drops to zero.
LUST AND PRIDE
2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
For all [because all].[ 110 ]
That is in the world [that is in the world].[ 111 ] In addition to what John mentions here, Mark relates words from Christ Himself that the world includes "the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts after other things" (Mk 4:19).
The lust.[ 112 ] In itself, "lust" or desire is morally neutral[ 113 ] Desires may be good (see Mt 13:17; Php 1:23; 1Th 2:17). They may be evil (see Mk 4:19; Ro 1:26; Ga 5:16). John uses the word in the evil sense (see chart EVIL LUSTS).
- Lusts of our flesh (Eph 2:3; 1Jo 2:16).
- Desires of the flesh and of the mind (Eph 2:3).
- Evil desire (Col 3:5).
- Foolish and harmful desires (1Ti 6:9).
- Youthful lusts (2Ti 2:22).
- Worldly lusts (Tit 2:12).
- Fleshly lusts (1Pe 2:11).
- Corrupt desires (2Pe 2:10).
- Ungodly lusts (Jude 18).
- Lust of the eyes (1Jo 2:16).
Of the flesh.[ 114 ] The "lust of the flesh" is the desire resident in the flesh, not particularly the desire for the flesh.[ 115 ] Like the word lust, the flesh itself is not necessarily evil. However, without a knowledge of God's will, many people are selfish in the fulfillment of their desires. They have little reason to avoid fulfillment of unlawful desires of the flesh. The human body desires food, drink, activity, rest, sleep, a comfortable temperature, protection from danger, sexual fulfillment[ 116 ] and a reasonable degree of cleanliness. It is not necessarily wrong to gratify these desires. It is when fleshly gratification is not according to the will of God that it becomes sinful. For example, the desire for food is right but gluttony is sinful. The desire for sexual relations within marriage is right but fornication is wrong.
Intemperance in almost anything is wrong. Even too much sleep may be sinful (see Pr 6:4, 9, 10; 10:5; 20:13; 23:21). Peter spoke of false religious teachers who "entice in the lusts of the flesh" (2Pe 2:18).
And the lust of the eyes.[ 117 ] Some people find sinful pleasure in merely looking and/or fantasizing. Pornography or worldly splendor come to mind. Immodestly dressed females provide an occasion for men to lust. Job said, "I made a covenant with my eyes; how then should I look upon a virgin?" (Job 31:1). Watching violence is a problem to others. Isaiah described the righteous person "who stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil" (Isa 33:15; compare Ps 119:37). When a Christian follows the principles suggested here, he or she will avoid many movies, soap operas and other programs.
And the vain glory of life [and the pride of life].[ 118 ] The word for "vain glory" or "pride" is ALAZONEIA vauntings.[ 119 ] Of the 303 Greek words in 1, 2 and 3 John, this ranks among the longest. It sometimes translated "boastful pride" or "arrogance." A person whose goal is prestige, glamour, money or the things money can buy and whose trust is in them is totally out of harmony with the will of God.
There is a temptation to boastfully exaggerate one's own accomplishments and possessions. This too is vain glory. Boastful pride may employ "let's pretend" in order to impress others but it overlooks the hollow and transitory nature of the things of the world. When the last dollar is earned and spent, when the last grand impression is made on others, what then?
As I write these words in the King's Park Hotel in Glasgow, Scotland, I am thinking of the ostentatious cathedrals and pretentious castles in many places in Europe. These grand edifices are now little more than empty tourist attractions. In my opinion, they were built for the most part to show power in order to compete with castles of rulers. Several of the cathedrals and castles are now in ruins. Others are empty
Is not of the Father.[ 120 ] God created the physical universe and it was good. He created man in a righteous condition. It was man, not the material creation, that became evil. "God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions" (Ec 7:29). Lusts and pride arose from what people saw and their greedy thoughts. Lust and pride do not have their source in the Father. Careful thinkers understand this to imply the free moral agency of man.
But is of the world.[ 121 ] For emphasis, John repeats the thought that the "things" he describes are of (or from) the world. Satan began his career of tempting humans in the garden of Eden by presenting the forbidden fruit as good for food, a delight to the eyes and desirable to make one wise (Ge 3:6). The "all-points" temptations of Christ were similar (see Mt 4:3, 6, 9; Heb 2:18; 4:15).
In an ancient Assyrian war, one of the "sons of the prophets" waited for the king by the way. He disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes. "And as the king passed by, he cried to the king and said, Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man to me, and said, Keep this man; if by any means he is missing, then shall your life be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver. And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone" (1Ki 20:39, 40). Sometimes people become busied with activities "here and there" not wrong in themselves. They are so occupied that they do not notice that he [that is, God] is gone (compare Jg 16:20)
HE WHO DOES GOD'S WILL ABIDES FOREVER
2:17 And the world is passing away, its lust also. But he who does the will of God continues for ever.
And the world is passing away [and the world passeth away, passes away].[ 122 ] John uses the present participle. The world is continuing to pass away. In 1 John 2:8, "The darkness is passing away," the verb is present tense also. The world that appeals to so many is transitory and temporary. Many people do not recognize this fact. Jesus pointed out the worldly, non-spiritual outlook of the multitudes. "You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the heaven, but how is it that you do not know how to interpret this time?" (Lu 12:56).
THE WORLD IS PASSING AWAY (OT)
- They shall perish, but Thou shall endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shall Thou change them, and they shall be changed (Ps 102:26).
- The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away (Isa 24:4).
- And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all their host shall fade away as the leaf fades from off the vine, and as a fading leaf from the fig tree (Isa 34:4).
- For the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment (Isa 51:6).
THE WORLD IS PASSING AWAY (NT)
- For the fashion of this world passes away (1Co 7:31).
- For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2Co 4:18).
- The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2Pe 3:10).
- And the world is passing away, its lusts also (1Jo 2:17).
- The first heaven and the first earth are passed away, and the sea is no more (Re 21:1).
In the present context, "the world" is not God's created universe that declares His glory (Ps 8:3; 19:1). It is that which alienates from God's will and purpose. Nevertheless, there is a parallel between the entropy[ 123 ] of the material universe and its "things" in which people trust (see charts THE WORLD IS PASSING AWAY OT and NT).
Its lust also [and the lust thereof, of it, and its lust].[ 124 ] Certain desires are of, and are aroused by, the world. The world and its lusts are in the process of decay. When it comes time to die, sensuality and greed will not mean much. At "omega time," one will not regret that he failed to indulge the flesh or did not watch more soap operas. He may deeply regret, however, not having done the will of God.
THE WILL OF GOD
- Prospered by the will of God to come to you (Ro 1:10).
- Called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God (1Co 1:1; 2Co 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1; 2Ti 1:1).
- They first gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God (2Co 8:5).
- Lo, I am come (in the roll of the book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God (Heb 10:7; compare verse 9).
- If we ask something according to His will, He hears us (1Jo 5:14).
But he who does the will of God [but he that doeth, does, the will of God].[ 125 ] Note the Greek present tense: continuing to do the will of God. The world and its "things" arouse in men and women various desires contrary to those of the Heavenly Father (see chart EVIL LUSTS at verse 16). Note the contrast between "all that is in the world" and "the will of God."
There are three aspects of the will of God. First, His righteous will has to do with His purpose of grace. Paul wrote, "Having foreordained us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will" (Eph 1:5). He continued, "Having been foreordained according to purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His will" (Eph 1:11).
Secondly, God's will is whatever He desires. Jesus described His will as "the things that are pleasing to Him" (Joh 8:29). Thirdly, according to the present verse, the will of God is particularly that revelation which may be done. "For you have need of patience, that, having done the will of God, you may receive the promise" (Heb 10:36; compare 6:38; 7:17). To put it in simple terms, when one obeys the teachings of the NT he does God's will (see chart THE WILL OF GOD).
Continues for ever [abides, abideth, for ever, for eternity].[ 126 ] Eternal life is dependant upon, and follows, doing the will of God. Jesus taught that he who obeys the Lord's will builds his spiritual house upon a rock. He will withstand the storms of life and enter heaven (see Mt 7:21, 24-27).
WALKING IN THE LIGHT TESTED BY BELIEF
- Rise of antichrists (1Jo 2:18).
- Not true Christians (1Jo 2:19).
- Truth and error made known by the anointing (1Jo 2:20, 21).
- Antichrist denies the Father and Son; he who confesses the Son has the Father also (1Jo 2:22, 23).
- Exhortation to steadfastness (1Jo 2:24, 25).
- Repeated guarantee of the true belief by the anointment (1Jo 2:26, 27).
- Exhortation to abide in Him to have confidence at His coming (1Jo 2:28).(Adapted from Law 21)
THE LAST HOUR
2:18 Little children, it is the final hour. And as you heard that antichrist was coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, by which we know that it is the final hour.
Little children [children].[ 127 ] Spiritual children need care and guidance because they are just beginning to mature in spiritual strength and knowledge. John tenderly warns them of the crisis to come.
THE LAST HOUR
It is the final hour [the last time, the last hour].[ 128 ] Just what is the "final" or "last" hour? I admit that this is a difficult passage. First, I do not believe it could not be a short period before Christ's final coming. Inspiration and consistent thinking cancel that idea. If that were the case, we would have to admit John was mistaken. If we grant his inspiration, this verse cannot imply that the end of the world was coming right away in the first century. Nowhere does the Bible teach that. Certainly, none of the apostles believed it.
Secondly, and the most popular interpretation is that the "final hour" or "last hour" refers to the entire church age from Pentecost onward.[ 129 ] Did not Peter imply that Pentecost was in "the last days"[ 130 ] (Ac 2:16, 17)? And did he not refer to Pentecost as "the beginning" (Ac 11:15)? However, to say that the appearance of one who is Antichrist (or against Christ) proves that John's readers were in the church age but not in OT days, to me, seems rather simplistic.
Thirdly, some think it relates to the coming of Christ in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. If so, the writing of 1 John predates that event, which may or may not be the case. This view is supported by Christ's prediction. "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, the elect" (Mk 13:22).
Fourthly, and perhaps the easiest to harmonize with the facts, the "last hour"[ 131 ] or "final hour" may simply refer to perilous times.[ 132 ] According to Marvin Vincent, in Scripture, "the last hour" often means nothing more than a time of crisis (see footnote). When John wrote, it was certainly such a time of trouble and persecution for the saints. You ask, "Could not a time of crisis occur during any of the above three time periods?" Yes, of course. For example, explanations three and four could easily be combined.
And as you heard [and as ye heard, have heard, and, according as ye have heard].[ 133 ] Whenever the gospel was preached by inspired men, warning was sounded concerning false teachers to come. The modern passivity toward error is certainly not according to apostolic practice.
FOREWARNING AGAINST ANTICHRISTS
That antichrist.[ 134 ] Some think that Antichrist was to appear in the guise of Christ. Perhaps. At least we know that he opposes Christ.
Was coming [shall come, cometh, comes, is coming].[ 135 ] The Greek present tense here may be an example of the prophetic present tense, a kind of figurative language used to stress the certainty of a coming event (see chart PROPHETIC PRESENT).
- And if I go and prepare a place for you, PALIN ERCHOMAI I come again (Joh 14:3).
- Of John Jesus said, "If I will that he tarry till ERCHOMAI I come, what is that to you?" (Joh 21:22).
- At the close of Revelation: "Yea, ERCHOMAI I come quickly (Re 22:20).
Even now many antichrists [even now, so now, there many antichrists].[ 136 ]
- As you have heard that antichrist was coming, even now many antichrists have arisen (1Jo 2:18).
- They went out from us, but they were not of us (1Jo 2:19).
- But every spirit that does not confess Jesus, is not of God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming, and now is in the world already (1Jo 4:3).
- For many deceivers have gone out into the world, they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist (2Jo 7).
Have arisen [are there, have there arisen, have come].[ 137 ] It is thought by some that the antichrists may have been elders gone wrong right there at Ephesus where John was writing the letter (consider verse 19; Ac 20:30). I doubt this was the case because the Ephesian elders who went into error were once genuine Christians. The Holy Spirit had made them elders (Ac 20:28). The antichrists apparently were impostors from the start. They had never been "of us" (see 1Jo 2:19).
By which [whereby, whence, therefore].[ 138 ]
We know.[ 139 ]
That it is the final hour [that it is the last time, the last hour].[ 140 ] The "final hour" or "last time" was a time of crisis and distress when false teachers disquieted the early churches of Christ (see note above on It is the final hour).
ANTICHRISTS WENT OUT FROM "US"
2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have stayed with us. But they left so they could be made known, because all of them are not of us.
They went out from us [from among us].[ 141 ] The "antichrists" of whom John wrote were men who had been associated with churches of Christ but had separated themselves. Nevertheless, they were still bothering Christians with their false doctrine.
But they were not of us.[ 142 ] The imperfect tense of the Greek verb indicates continued action in past time. The "antichrists" continually in past time were not "of us." Other passages teach that it is possible for a child of God to go into sin and be finally lost in hell (see note on Ga 5:4). In the present verse, this is not the case. These "antichrists" were never true children of God. Even while associated with the Lord's church, they were impostors, not genuine Christians.
For if they had been of us.[ 143 ] The false teachers John speaks of were not "of us." The term "of us" means more than being nominal Christians. Apparently these men were insincere and deceitful from the start.
They would have stayed with us [they would no doubt, surely, they would have continued, remained, with us].[ 144 ] "Stayed" or "remained" in the Greek is the rare pluperfect tense.[ 145 ] It denotes that the action of the verb is regarded as complete at a point in past time implied in the context. The completion of the action in past time is emphasized. This suggests that the "antichrists" did not remain with the apostles the expected period in time past. If they had been true Christians, they would have completed their tenure "with us" but they skipped out early, some time in the past.
But they left [but, but they went out].[ 146 ] Translators of some versions perceptively supply "they left" or "they went out" by inferring the opposite of the previous phrase, "they would have remained."
So they could be made known [that they might be made manifest, that it might be plain].[ 147 ] "Made known" or "made manifest" means laid bare, revealed or uncovered. The term may be better understood if one considers how John used the word in his Gospel. "After these things Jesus EPHANEROOSEN manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias; and EPHANEROOSEN He manifested [Himself] in this way" (Joh 21:1; see charts at 1Jo 1:2, THE LIFE WAS MANIFESTED; at 1Jo 3:5, ABIDING EFFECTS OF CHRIST'S MANIFESTATION, CHRIST MANIFESTED BY BEING SENT A and B, CHRIST MANIFESTED WHEN HE CAME, FORM OF CHRIST'S MANIFESTATION, CHRIST MANIFESTED TO MEN).
Because all of them are not of us [that they were not all of us, that they all are not of us, that none are of us, that they all are not of us].[ 148 ] I understand the correct meaning to be that none of the antichrists were ever "of us."
ANOINTING FROM THE HOLY ONE
2:20 But you have an anointment from the Holy One, and all of you know.[ 149 ]
But you have an anointment [but ye have an unction, the unction, and ye have an anointing, but you have been anointed].[ 150 ] Jesus is the Christ, "the Anointed One" (see note on Mt 1:1). At least some of the people John addresses had received a special anointing of the Holy Spirit. The present tense indicates they continued to have the anointment. The "anointment from the Holy One" was a supernatural gift that, in the first century, enabled a Christian to perform miracles and/or to receive revelation directly from God (see note on verse 27).
From the Holy One [by the Holy One].[ 151 ] Who is the Holy One? One may truthfully answer, "He is Christ." Peter said the apostles had come to know that Jesus was "the Holy One of God" (Joh 6:69). He was the "Holy and Righteous One" (Ac 3:14). He was called "Thy holy Servant Jesus" (Ac 4:27, 30). John recorded Christ's own words describing Himself, "He who is holy, He who is true" (Re 3:7). Secondly, the Father is holy (Joh 17:11). Thirdly, the Spirit is holy. Christ sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles (Lu 24:49; Joh 14:26; Ac 2:33). The anointing from the Holy One was one or more of the gifts of the Spirit, given indirectly by Christ. "He gave gifts to men" (Eph 4:8).
And all of you know [and ye know all things, the things, and you all know].[ 152 ] The supernatural "anointment" provided miraculous knowledge by Divine inspiration.
YOU KNOW THE TRUTH
2:21 I did not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
I did not write to you [I have not written unto you, to you, I write to you, not].[ 153 ] The aorist tense may be a case of epistolary aorist[ 154 ] (see note on 2:13).
Because you do not know the truth [because ye know not, ye do not know, the truth].[ 155 ] John states that his readers knew the truth. Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Joh 8:32). The fact that one has heard the gospel and knows the truth does not cancel forever a need to hear it again and again.
But because you do know it [but because ye, you, know it].[ 156 ] John's first century readers knew the truth because they had heard it, read it, received it by direct inspiration or a combination of these. It was perfectly natural for those with miraculous gifts to benefit from John's message.
And because no lie is of the truth [and that, and know that, no lie is of the truth].[ 157 ] What one believes makes a great deal of difference in his life and his eternal destiny. A lie believed may give false assurance but it gives no substantial and lasting benefit. The truth does. A lie does not become good just because it is sincerely believed. Gnostic errors being spread around in John's day and afterward were lies and not of the truth. So is a lot of denominational dogma (garbage) being taught today.
ANTICHRIST DENIES FATHER AND SON
2:22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one denying the Father and the Son.
Who is the liar? [who is a liar].[ 158 ] The Greek article "the" is specific and refers to a certain false teacher. John does not hesitate to brand him as a liar. The one singled out here as "the liar" is probably Cerinthus (see Introduction to 1 John). Humanists, atheists, followers of the New Age and others who deny the deity of Christ are in the same category.
But the one who denies [but he that denieth, who denies].[ 159 ] One false aspect of Gnosticism was the denial that Jesus was miraculously conceived. The assertion was that but after His baptism the "Christ" descended upon Him. According to this error, the "Christ" who could not suffer is supposed to have departed from Him before his crucifixion.
That Jesus is the Christ.[ 160 ] According to Gnosticism, since "Christ" came upon Jesus after His baptism and left before His crucifixion, Jesus was not actually the Christ, but a separate being entirely! On the contrary, Scripture says, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth" (Joh 1:14). Also, "For in Him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily" (Col 2:9).
This is the antichrist [he is antichrist].[ 161 ] As in verse 18, the definite article is specific, No doubt, it refers to Cerinthus.
The one denying [that denieth, even he that denieth, who denies, he who denies].[ 162 ] John was probably figuratively pointing a finger at the false teacher Cerinthus who taught errors pointed out on the previous two pages[ 163 ] (see also Introduction to this letter).
The Father.[ 164 ]
And the Son.[ 165 ] This verse brings out clearly the necessity of believing and teaching the truth about God and Christ. Cerinthus the Antichrist taught a lot of mishmash about the Deity. Was it fair to brand him as one who denied both the Father and the Son? It certainly was fair. His mutilated theology was destructive and evil to the core.
HE WHO CONFESSES THE SON HAS THE FATHER
2:23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.
Whoever denies the Son [whosoever denieth the Son, who denies the Son].[ 166 ] Not just Cerinthus but anyone who denies the Son is under fire.
Does not have the Father [the same hath not, has not, the Father, the Father either].[ 167 ] Jesus came from God. One cannot be a Christian and disbelieve that. Jesus said, "If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of Myself, but He sent Me" (Joh 8:42). "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also" (Joh 14:7). "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (Joh 14:9). "Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me" (Joh 14:11; compare Php 2:6; Heb 1:3).
He who confesses the Son [but he that acknowledgeth, confesseth, the Son].[ 168 ]
Has the Father also [hath the Father also].[ 169 ] Belief in the Father and the Son go together. "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me" (Joh 14:1).
LET WHAT YOU HEARD ABIDE IN YOU
2:24 As for you, let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.
As for you [therefore].[ 170 ] The Greek sentence begins with HUMEIS you, placing emphasis upon this pronoun. Translators of the OPV are entirely justified in rendering the single Greek word, "As for you."
Let what you heard from the beginning [let that which ye have heard from the beginning].[ 171 ] What John's readers heard from the beginning was the gospel. Specifically, it was the truth of the deity of Christ (see 1Jo 1:1, 2). When the gospel was first preached, there was no hedging or equivocation about who Jesus was. John's readers had heard that He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Their faith embraced it. Their confession acknowledged that fact (compare Ac 8:37; Ro 10:9, 10). Their eternal hope demanded it. No human philosophy can change it.
Remain in you [abide in you].[ 172 ] Another word for "remain" is "abide." The idea of continuance is suggested. The truth ought to remain rooted and knit in the life of a Christian.
If what you heard from the beginning remains in you [if that which ye heard, have heard, from the beginning, abide, abides, in you, shall remain in you].[ 173 ] Christ abides in the heart of Christians (see Joh 14:23; Eph 3:17). So does the truth about Him (Ro 10:8; Col 3:16). The word "if" points out the fact that Christ abiding in a person is conditional, making salvation conditional. It is dependent upon remaining faithful to the truth heard, believed and confessed at the time of conversion. Rejection of this truth makes one an antichrist.
You also will remain [ye also shall continue, shall abide, then you will abide].[ 174 ] The result of faithfulness to the truth is the invaluable privilege of abiding in the Son and in the Father forever.
In the Son and in the Father.[ 175 ] One cannot be in God without being in Christ since they are one (see Joh 14:1; 17:20, 21). He who denies one of the Godhead cannot serve the other. The Antichrist denied both the Father and the Son (verse 22). Those who omit the name of Christ in their prayers in order to please infidels are treading on dangerous ground (see Mt 10:33). Believers must not compromise or hold unity meetings with Jews or others who blaspheme the deity of Christ or deny the truth of the gospel.
THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE
2:25 And this is the promise which He promised us: eternal life!
And this is the promise [what he has promised us].[ 176 ] The promise of eternal life given by Jesus Himself was recorded by John. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life" (Joh 3:14, 15).
Which He promised us [that he hath, has, promised us].[ 177 ] Jesus personally promised eternal life to His disciples. "For this is the will of my Father, that every one who beholds the Son, and believes on Him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (Joh 6:40; see note above; charts ETERNAL LIFE PROMISED A and B).
Eternal life [life eternal, even eternal life, even the life eternal].[ 178 ] One passage that specifies the duration of eternal life is John 10:28 where Jesus said of His sheep, "They shall never perish."
ETERNAL LIFE PROMISED (A)
- And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life (Da 12:2).
- But the righteous into eternal life (Mt 25:46).
- And in the age to come, eternal life (Lu 18:30).
- He who believes on the Son has eternal life; but he who obeys not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (Joh 3:36).
- The water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life (Joh 4:14).
- Work not for the food which perishes, but for the food which abides to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you (Joh 6:27).
- And that believing you may have life in His name (Joh 20:31).
ETERNAL LIFE PROMISED (B)
- By in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life (Ro 2:7).
- You have your fruit to sanctification, and the end, eternal life (Ro 6:22).
- Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the life which is life indeed (1Ti 6:19).
- In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal (Tit 1:2).
- And the testimony is this, that God gives us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1Jo 5:11).
- I have written these things to you so you may know that you have eternal life -- to the ones who believe in the name of the Son of God (1Jo 5:13).
- Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jude 21).
CONCERNING THOSE TRYING TO DECEIVE
2:26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are misleading you.
These things.[ 179 ] John refers to the section he had just written about antichrists (see verses 18-25).
I have written to you [have I written unto you, to you, I write this to you].[ 180 ]
Concerning those [concerning them, about those].[ 181 ]
FALSE DOCTRINES CLASSIFIED
- Compromises with false religions or idolatry.
- Those based upon human philosophy instead of divine revelation.
- Those making their propagators popular, powerful, rich or which cater to the flesh.
- Those that spring from an evil, atheistic or cruel mind.
- Unintentional misunderstandings.
Who are misleading you [that seduce you, that would, who, lead you astray, would deceive you].[ 182 ] Deceptive false doctrines fall into at least one of five categories (see chart FALSE DOCTRINES CLASSIFIED).
ANOINTING TEACHES ABOUT ALL THINGS
2:27 But as for you, the anointment which you received from Him remains in you, and you have no need for someone to be teaching you. But since His anointment teaches you about all things and is true and is no lie, just as He taught you, remain in Him.
But as for you [but, and as for you, and yourselves].[ 183 ] The Greek sentence begins with KAI HUMEIS and you. This places emphasis upon these two words. Translators of the OPV recognized this emphasis and rendered the phrase, "But as for you" (see also note on verse 24). By using this sentence structure, John suggests that his remarks about the "anointment" apply particularly to his first century readers.
The anointment which you received [the anointing, the unction, which ye, you, received, have received].[ 184 ] The anointing has reference to miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit received by various Christians in the first century.
From Him [of him].[ 185 ] The anointing was divinely given (see note on From the Holy One, verse 20).
Remains in you [abideth, abides, in you].[ 186 ] When John wrote, Christians still exercised miraculous gifts.
And you have no need for someone to be teaching you [and ye need not, and ye have not need, that any man teach you, that any one teach you, should teach you].[ 187 ] The anointing of the Holy Spirit functioned as a teacher in the early churches. It is believed that at least one in every church of the first century possessed the gifts of knowledge and/or prophecy and was able to teach by inspiration. Even so, John wrote them a letter. Just as the writings of one inspired apostle teach us today, the letters from other apostles enforce and enhance that teaching. It was in this tone and for this reason that John wrote.
But since His anointment teaches you [but as the same anointing, the same unction, as, but as, his anointing, teacheth, teaches, you].[ 188 ] Please do not misunderstand Vine's comment in the footnote and think that the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit was what saved people. There is no instance in all Scripture where that is the case. The purpose of the "anointing" of the Holy Spirit was to teach and by miracles to confirm the word taught. Jesus foretold this important work. "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak from Himself, but whatever things He shall hear, these shall He speak; and He shall declare to you the things that are to come" (Joh 16:13; compare 14:14, 26; 15:26; 1Co 2:12; 1Th 4:9).
About all things [of, concerning, as to, all things, about everything].[ 189 ] "All things" comprise the complete NT revelation (compare 2Pe 1:3; Jude 3). The ill- born objection has been made that first century Christians did not have all NT truth. Not so! The "anointment" taught them concerning every point and facet of truth that we now have revealed in written form in the NT.
And is true and is no lie [and is truth, and is no lie, and is not a lie].[ 190 ] There is no doubt but that the gift of inspiration in the early churches was genuine. There was no reason at all to be led away by Gnosticism or any other false teaching.
Just as He taught you [and even as it hath, as it, as it has, just as it has, taught you].[ 191 ] "Taught you" expresses what "the anointment" of the Holy Spirit did for first century Christians. That exact procedure is no longer needed. Today, the revelation of Christ has been recorded and is available in the pages of the NT. It is a once-for-all-time revelation. No so-called modern prophet speaks for God in the present age (see Re 22:18).
Remain in Him [abide, ye abide, ye shall abide, in him].[ 192 ] Nathan E. Han and the translators of the KJV took the present tense verb as indicative and added the word "shall" to show that they thought it was not a command. However, if one carefully reads the context, he may see that it is imperative[ 193 ] (compare verse 28).
ABIDE IN HIM
2:28 And now, little children, remain in Him, so when He is revealed we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
And now, little children [and now, children, my little children].[ 194 ] "And now" begins a new section of thought that concludes in 1 John 3:3. "Little children" is a term of affection (see notes on Joh 1:12; 1Jo 2:1).
Remain in Him [abide in him].[ 195 ] There is little doubt that "remain in Him" or "abide in Him" is imperative (see note on verse 27). It amounts to an injunction to remain faithful. To abide in Christ implies the keeping of His commandments. "And he who keeps His commandments remains in Him, and He in him" (1Jo 3:24).
So when He is revealed [that, so that, when he shall appear, be manifested, if he shall be manifested, when he appears].[ 196 ] John alludes to the final coming of Christ and the judgment day. As Paul looked toward that same great day, he wrote, "When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with Him in glory" (Col 3:4; compare 1Pe 5:4). John again alludes to the same day in chapter 3 where he says we shall see Christ. "When He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we see Him as He is" (1Jo 3:2). When He comes again, people will be carrying on life as usual like Lot and others in Sodom. People were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting and building. "After the same manner shall it be in the day that the Son of Man is revealed" (Lu 17:30).
We may have.[ 197 ] John includes himself as one who needs to abide in Christ in order to have confidence in the day of judgment.
Confidence [boldness].[ 198 ]
- In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him (Eph 3:12).
- Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God (1Jo 3:21).
- This is how love has been perfected among us, that we may have confidence on the day of judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world (1Jo 4:17).
- And we this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask something according to His will, He hears us (1Jo 5:14).
And not be ashamed before Him [and not be put to shame from before him, and not shrink from him in shame].[ 199 ] If one abides in Christ, he has confidence that welcomes His coming. Then he will not hang his head in shame, cower in fear or shrink away with guilt.
At His coming.[ 200 ] The particular Greek word used here, PAROUSIA coming denotes the arrival and subsequent presence of Christ without specifying the duration of that presence. This was the word used in ancient literature when a king visited his subjects in a certain province. Everyone turned out to see and welcome him before he traveled on.
COMINGS OF CHRIST
- Incarnation (1Ti 1:15).
- Pentecost (Joh 14:28; 16:22).
- Destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Mt 24:3, 27, 37; Jas 5:7, 8).
- Final coming to raise the dead (1Co 15:23; 1Th 2:19; 3:13; 5:23).
HE WHO PRACTICES RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BORN OF HIM
2:29 Since you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who is practicing righteousness has been born of Him.
Since you know [if ye, you, know].[ 201 ] John uses two different Greek words for "know" in this verse (EIDEETE, GINOOSKETE). Perhaps he intended his readers to be aware of the shades of meaning. EIDEETE may refer to knowledge that is intuitive or absolute, on the basis of which John's readers could have further GINOOSKETE experimental knowledge by means of observation.[ 202 ]
That He is righteous.[ 203 ] The antecedent of "He" is Jesus Christ, the One who "appears" or "is revealed" (verse 28). Christ is "faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins" (1Jo 1:9; see Ps 45:7; Isa 11:5; 42:6 59:16; Jer 23:5; chart JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS at 1Jo 2:1).
The Father also is said to be "righteous." In His prayer, Jesus so recognized Him. "O righteous Father, the world knew Thee not, but I knew Thee; and these knew that Thou didst send Me" (Joh 17:25). The angel of the waters also recognized God the Almighty as righteous: "Righteous art Thou, who art and who wast, Thou Holy One, because Thou didst thus judge" (Re 16:5; see also Ezr 9:15; Ps 48:10; 97:2; 119:137; 145:17; Jer 23:6). The point is that since judgment will by done by Him who is righteous those to be judged should live righteous lives.
You know [know, ye know, you may be sure].[ 204 ]
TESTED BY RIGHTEOUSNESS, LOVE AND BELIEF
- Tested by righteousness (1Jo 2:29-3:10).
- Tested by love (1Jo 3:10-3:24).
- Tested by belief (1Jo 3:24-4:6).
(Adapted from Law)
That every one also who is practicing righteousness [that every one that doeth righteousness, also that doeth righteousness, who practices righteousness, does right].[ 205 ] In a technical sense, there is none righteous, none who does good (Ro 3:10-12). However, there are some Bible examples of those who were devoted to God. Some of these are Asa (1Ki 15:14; 2Ch 14:2); Hezekiah (2Ch 31:20); Job (Job 1:1); Noah and Daniel (Eze 14:14, 20). David said he had "not seen the righteous forsaken" (Ps 37:25), adding that the Lord "forsakes not His saints" (verse 28). It was foretold that the remnant of Israel would be righteous. "The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth" (Zep 3:13). Both Zacharias and Elizabeth were "both righteous in the sight of God" (Lu 1:6). So was Anna the prophetess (Lu 2:37). No doubt, there were occasions when even these good people committed some act that was displeasing to God but they offered the appropriate sacrifices and were again counted righteous in God's sight (compare Ac 23:1; 24:16). In a similar way, Christians do not live totally righteous lives but are counted righteous because they are continually forgiven and cleansed (see notes on 1 John 1:7-9).
ETERNAL LIFE PROMISED (A)
- And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life (Da 12:2).
- But the righteous into eternal life (Mt 25:46).
- And in the world to come, eternal life (Lu 18:30).
- He who believes on the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (Joh 3:36).
- The water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life (Joh 4:14).
- Work not for the food which perishes, but for the food which abides unto eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you (Joh 6:27).
- And that believing you may have life in His name (Joh 20:31).
BORN OF FATHER, SON AND SPIRIT (A)
- Who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (Joh 1:13).
- Except one be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (Joh 3:3).
- Unless one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Joh 3:5).
- You must be born again (Joh 3:7).
- The wind blows where it will, and you hear the voice of it, but know not where it comes from and where it is going; so is every one who is born of the Spirit (Joh 3:8).
- Everyone also who is practicing righteousness has been born of Him [Christ] (1Jo 2:29).
BORN OF FATHER, SON AND SPIRIT (B)
- Anyone who has been born of God does not keep on practicing sin, because His seed abides in him, and he is not able to keep on sinning, because he has been born of God (1Jo 3:9).
- Every one who loves is born of God and knows God (1Jo 4:7).
- Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God (1Jo 5:1).
- For whatever is born of God overcomes the world (1Jo 5:4).
- We know that anyone having been born of God does not continue sinning, but He who is born of God watches over him, and the evil one does not have a hold on him (1Jo 5:18).
Has been born of him [is born of him, is begotten of him].[ 206 ] "Born of Him" introduces a fresh thought in this epistle (see charts BORN OF FATHER, SON AND SPIRIT A and B). We infer that "born of Him" is "born of Christ" because He [the One coming] is the antecedent (verse 28). Of course, to be born of Christ is equivalent to being born of God. "For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3:3). Does John seem to have this in reverse? Should he have said, "Everyone who is born of Him practices righteousness"? No, he should not have. He wrote what the Spirit inspired him to write: "Everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him."
In summary, John, in this chapter, strongly opposed sin and urged his readers to keep the commandments, especially the new commandment of love. He pointed out the disastrous results of hating a brother. He gave specific instructions to children, fathers, and young men. All are exhorted not to love the world. He warned against deceptive antichrists. He called attention to the divine anointment that was teaching first-century Christians "all things." The chapter closes with encouragement to remain in Christ and to practice righteousness.
[ 1 ] The basic text in this chapter is the Old Paths Version (OPV). Quotations from 1, 2 and 3 John and from Colossians are from the OPV unless otherwise noted. Alternate phrases in brackets are from the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Many quotations are from an updated but unpublished ASV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ] TEKNIA MOU, little children of me (Marshall 933); used as a term of affection, or possibly with reference to the writer's advanced age (Vincent 2.323); little child, diminutive of TEKNON, used figuratively in the NT, and always in the plural . . . a term of affection by a teacher to his disciples under circumstances requiring a tender appeal, for example, of Christ to the Twelve just before his death; the Apostle John used it in warning believers against spiritual dangers (Vine 179); when figuratively used, designates the spiritual relation of children to a father in the faith (see 1Co 4:15, where the idea but not the word occurs (Woods 221). TEKNION little child is the diminutive of TEKNON child. TEKNIA little children is the diminutive of TEKNA children. Diminutive has to do with being small in size or sometimes just lovable or pitiable. Examples are "duckling" or "kitty."
[ 3 ] Additional passages where an apostle called Christians children include 1 Corinthians 4:14, 17; Galatians 4:19; 1 Timothy 1:2; Philemon 10; 3 John 4.
[ 4 ] There are no Scriptural instructions to baptize babies nor is there an example of such in all the NT.
[ 5 ] GRAPHOO TAUTA HUMIN, I write these things to you (Marshall 933); GRAPHOO is first person singular, present active indicative (Han 427).
[ 6 ] HINA MEE HAMARTEETE, in order that ye sin not (Marshall 933); second person plural, second aorist active subjunctive of HAMARTANOO (Han 427); aorist tense cannot mean "that ye continue not in sin," but rather "that ye sin not at all" (Harrison 1468); a negative purpose clause in the aorist tense, and the apostle thus warned against even isolated acts of sin (Woods 222); see notes on 1 John 1:7, 9, 10.
[ 7 ] KAI EAN TIS HAMARTEE, and if anyone sins (Marshall 933); HAMARTEE is
third person singular, second aorist active subjunctive of HAMARTANOO (Han 427); the change from the indefinite third person, any man, to the first person, we have, is significant. By the we have, John assumes the possibility of sinful acts on the part of Christians, and of himself in common with them, and their common need of the intervention of the divine Advocate (Vincent 2.324); aorist tense, a particular act of sin (Harrison 1468); aorist (Williams).
[ 8 ] PARAKLEETON ECHOMEN, an advocate we have (Marshall 933); ECHOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 427); literally, called to one's side, that is, to one's aid, is primarily a verbal adjective, and suggests the capability or adaptability for giving aid. It was used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate; then, generally, one who pleads another's cause, an intercessor, advocate, as in 1 John 2:1, of the Lord Jesus. In the widest sense, it signifies a succorer, comforter. Christ was this to His disciples, by the implication of His word "another [ALLOS another of the same sort, not HETEROS different] Comforter," when speaking of the Holy Spirit, John 14:16 (Vine 200); universally, one who pleads another's cause with one, an intercessor . . . of Christ, in his exaltation at God's right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins (Thayer 483); ECHOMEN have is present tense, literally, "We keep on having" (Woods 222); see notes on John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).
[ 9 ] PROS TON PATERA, with the Father (Marshall 933).
[ 10 ] 'IEESOUN CHRISTON DIKAION, Jesus Christ [the] righteous (Marshall 933); without prejudice or partiality, for example, of the judgment of God (Vine 970); preeminently, of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no rectification in heart or life; in this sense Christ alone can be called DIKAIOS (Thayer 149); there is no article before the word "righteous" in the Greek text. The meaning
is, Jesus, a righteous one, pleads the cause of unrighteous ones (Woods 222); see note on 1 John 1:9.
[ 11 ] KAI AUTOS, and he (Marshall 933); the He is emphatic: that same Jesus: He himself (Vincent 2.325).
[ 12 ] HILASMOS ESTIN, a propitiation is (Marshall 933); only here and 4:10. From HILASKOMAI to appease, to conciliate to one's self [Lu 18:13; Heb 2:17]. The noun means originally an appeasing or propitiating, and passes, through Alexandrine usage, into the sense of the means of appeasing, as here (Vincent 2.325); akin to HILEOOS [merciful, propitious], signifies an expiation, a means whereby sin is covered and remitted. It is used in the NT of Christ Himself as "the propitiation" in 1 John 2:2 and 4:10, signifying that He Himself, through the expiatory sacrifice of His death, is the Personal means by whom God shows mercy to the sinner who believes on Christ as the One thus provided. In the former passage He is described as "the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." The italicized addition in the KJV, "the sins of," gives a wrong interpretation. What is indicated is that provision is made for the whole world, so that no one is, by Divine pre-determination, excluded from the scope of God's mercy; the efficacy of the propitiation, however is made actual for those who believe. In 1 John 4:10, the fact that God "sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins," is shown to be the great expression of God's love toward man, and the reason why Christians should love another (Vine 876, 897). Christ Himself is the satisfaction. Note the present tense (Harrison 1468); in Alexandrian usage the means of appeasing, a propitiation (Thayer 301); so perhaps abstract for concrete of Jesus as the HILASMOS PERI TOON HAMARTIOON HEEMOON 1 John 2:2; 4:10. But meaning 2 [sin-offering] is just as possible (Arndt 375). When the word appears outside the Bible, it conveys the thought of an offering made by a man in order to placate the wrath of a god whom he has offended. It was a means of turning the god from wrath to a favorable attitude, and it operated by giving the god something that made up for the offense that he had suffered. In the Greek version of the OT, however, the meaning is debated. Westcott and Dodd both argued that, while in secular Greek the corresponding verb takes as its object the god who has been offended, in the OT the object is the offense itself, and from this they concluded that "the scriptural conception . . . is not that of appeasing one who is angry, with a personal feeling, against the offender; but of altering the character of that which from without occasions a necessary alienation, and interposes an inevitable obstacle to fellowship" (I. Marshall 117).
[ 13 ] NIV.
[ 14 ] The Methodist Discipline is incorrect when it states that Christ died in order "to reconcile His Father unto us."
[ 15 ] Those who wonder if "expiation" or "propitiation" means an offering to appease the wrath of an angry God need to think about the fact that God Himself provided the atoning sacrifice!
[ 16 ] PERI TOON HAMARTIOON HEEMOON, concerning the sins of us (Marshall 933); the construction is to be particularly noted; for, in the matter of [PERI] our sins; the genitive case [possessive] of that for which propitiation is made. In Hebrews 2:17, the accusative case [direct object case] also of the sins to be propitiated. "That the scriptural conception of the verb is not that of appeasing one who is angry, with a personal feeling, against the offender; but of altering the character of that which, from without, occasions a necessary alienation, and interposes an inevitable obstacle to fellowship. Such phrases as `propitiating God,' and God `being reconciled' are foreign to the language of the NT. Man is reconciled [2Co 5:18; Ro 5:10]. There is a propitiation in the matter of the sin or of the sinner" [Canon Westcott, quoted by Vincent] (Vincent 2.325); concerning, not "in behalf of" (Harrison 1468).
[ 17 ] OU PERI TOON HEEMETEROON DE MONON, not concerning ours but only (Marshall 933).
[ 18 ] ALLA KAI PERI HOLOU TOU KOSMOU, but also concerning all the world (Marshall 933); the sins of [KJV italicized] should be omitted . . . for the whole world (Vincent 2.325); by metonymy, the human race, mankind (Vine 1245).
[ 19 ] Harold Camping is a strong proponent of Calvinism. He wrote, "I am convinced that when we examine everything that the Bible offers, we must conclude that limited atonement or particular atonement is the only answer that will correspond with all of scripture" (God's Magnificent Salvation Plan, 46). Others who share this false view are Donald Grey Barnhouse, Billy Graham and Chuck Swindoll.
[ 20 ] KAI EN TOUTOO, and by this (Marshall 933); literally, and in this (see Vincent 2.326).
[ 21 ] GINOOSKOMEN, we know (Marshall 933); first person plural, present active indicative (Han 427); perceive. By experience, from day to day; distinguished from OIDAMEN we know, expressing absolute, immediate knowledge of a fact once for all (Vincent 2.326); in the NT GINOSKOO frequently indicates a relation between the person knowing and the object known; in this respect, what is known is of value or importance to the one who knows, and hence the establishment of the relationship, for example, especially of God's knowledge [1Co 8:3; Ga 4:9; 2Ti 2:19; compare Joh 10:14, 27; Ge 18:19; Na 1:7; the relationship implied may involve remedial chastisement, Am 3:2]. The same idea of appreciation as well as knowledge underlies several statements concerning the knowledge of God and His truth on the part of believers (Vine 628); to become acquainted with, to know . . . the holy will and affection by which he aims to sanctify and redeem men through Christ (Thayer 117); know, come to know (Arndt 160).
[ 22 ] HOTI EGNOOKAMEN AUTON, that we have known him (Marshall 933); EGNOOKAMEN is first person plural, perfect active indicative of GINOSKOO (Han 427); more literally, have come to know (Vincent 2.326).
[ 23 ] EAN TAS ENTOLAS AUTOU TEEROOMEN, if the commandments of him we keep (Marshall 933); a phrase peculiar to John and occurring elsewhere only in Matthew 19:17; 1 Timothy 6:14. In 1 Corinthians 7:19, we find TEERESIS ENTOLOON the keeping of the commandments (Vincent 2.326); in general, injunctions, charges, precepts, commandments . . . used of moral and religious precepts (Vine 202); practice obedience to His commands (Williams).
[ 24 ] Gnosticism was primarily intellectual.
[ 25 ] I. Marshall 123.
[ 26 ] HO LEGOON, the [one] saying (Marshall 933, 934).
[ 27 ] HOTI EGNOOKA AUTON, I have known him (Marshall 934); EGNOOKA is first person singular, perfect active indicative of GINOSKOO (Han 427).
[ 28 ] KAI TAS ENTOLAS AUTOU MEE TEEROON, and the commandments of him not keeping (Marshall 934); TEEROON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of TEREOO (Han 427); practice obedience to His commands (Williams).
[ 29 ] PSEUSTEES ESTIN, a liar is (Marshall 934).
[ 30 ] KAI EN TOUTOO HEE ALEETHEIA OUK ESTIN, and in this man the truth is not (Marshall 934); emphatic. Literally, in this one the truth is not (Vincent 2.326); the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians . . . the truth which is the gospel or which the gospel presents (Thayer 26).
[ 31 ] HOS D' AN TEEREE AUTOU TOU LOGON, but whoever keeps of him the word (Marshall 934); TEEREE is third person singular, present active subjunctive of TEREOO (Han 427); note the changed phrase: word for commandments. The word is the revelation regarded as a whole, which includes all the separate commandments or injunctions (Vincent 2.327); practices obedience to His message (Williams).
[ 32 ] EN TOUTOO HEE AGAPEE TOU THEOU TETELEIOOTAI, in this man the love of God has been perfected (Marshall 934); TETELEIOOTAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of TELEIOOO (Han 427); perfect tense, hath the love of God been perfected. . . . The phrase HEE AGAPEE TOU THEOU the love of God, may mean either the love which God shows, or the love which is characteristic of God whether manifested by Himself or by His
obedient child through His Spirit (Vincent 2.327); Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments. . . . Self will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God (Vine 693). The obedient child of God is primarily a showcase of God's perfected love. Men's love to God [1Jo 2:15; 5:3]. When man loves perfectly, his love is the love of God shed abroad in his heart. His love owes both its origin and its nature to the love of God. The word verily ALEETHOOS [truly] has the meaning of a qualitative adverb, expressing existence in a manner most absolutely corresponding to ALEETHEIA truth [Joh 1:48; 8:31]. One who keeps God's word completely realizes the perfect relation of love (Vincent 2.329); passive, completed [perfected], that is, added what is yet wanting in order to render a thing full (Thayer 618).
[ 33 ] Machen 187.
[ 34 ] EN TOUTOO GINOOSKOMEN, by this we know (Marshall 934); take in knowledge, come to know, recognize, understand, or understand completely (Vine 627); [1Jo] 2:14 in particular, GINOSKOO, to become acquainted with, to know, is employed in the NT of the knowledge of God and Christ, and of the things relating to them or proceeding from them . . . the nature of God the Father, especially the holy will and affection by which he aims to sanctify and redeem men through Christ (Thayer 117). In other passage, "by this" may point forward (see 1Jo 2:3; 3:16, 24; 4:2, 9, 10, 13). Or, it may point backward (see 1Jo 3:10, 19; 4:17; 5:2).
[ 35 ] HOTI EN AUTOO ESMEN, that in him we are (Marshall 934); in union with Him (Williams).
[ 36 ] Some argue that "in Him" means "in God" because of the immediate mention of "the love of God." However, the subject under consideration is the "Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (verse 1). Verse 6 also confirms that "in Him" means "in Christ" for one is "to walk in the same manner as He walked." That "He" is none other than Jesus Himself.
[ 37 ] See my attempt to describe what it means to be in Christ in note on Ephesians 1:3.
[ 38 ] HO LEGOON EN AUTOO MENEIN, the [one] saying in him to remain (Marshall 934); whoever claims, "I am always in union with Him" (Williams); in the mystic phraseology of John, God is said MENEIN in Christ, that is to dwell as it were within him, to be continually operative in him by his divine influence and energy, John 14:10; Christians are said MENEIN EN TOO THEOO, to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him (Thayer 399).
[ 39 ] OPHEILEI KAI AUTOS HOUTOOS PERIPATEIN, ought also [him]self so to walk (Marshall 934); an obligation, put as a debt . . . a special, personal obligation, and not as DEI must, an obligation in the nature of things (Vincent 2.329); the demonstrative pronoun HOUTOS expresses the idea of a third person personal pronoun (Nunn 52).
[ 40 ] The Gnostics had their "walk" too. To them, life's journey leading to salvation or to God was a walk. I find no reason to think John was accommodative to their thinking. Instead, by "walk," he meant daily life just as Paul did (see Ro 6:4; 2Co 5:7; Ga 5:16; Eph 4:1; 5:2, 15; Col 2:6).
[ 41 ] KATHOOS EKEINOS PERIEPATEESEN, as that [one] walked; in a number of places John uses the demonstrative adjective as a substitute for "Christ": "the remote antecedent." See also John 2;21 (Marshall 934); always of Christ in the epistles of John (Vincent 2.329); KATHOOS, not merely HOOS, indicating that the imitation must be exact and in all things (Harrison 1468); especially in the writings of John, EKEINOS is always used emphatically, generally with reference to God or Christ (Nunn 52); a strong demonstrative pronoun, "that one" (Marshall 127).
[ 42 ] See the same strong demonstrative pronoun in 1 John 3:3, 5, 7, 16; 4:7.
[ 43 ] AGAPEETOI, beloved (Marshall 934); the correct reading is AGAPEETOI beloved (Vincent 2.329); dearly beloved (Williams); some texts have ADELPHOI brethren.
[ 44 ] OUK ENTOLEEN KAINEEN GRAPHOO HUMIN, not commandment a new I write to you (Marshall 934); GRAPHOO is first person singular, present active indicative (Han 428); [no commandment is] first in the sentence [and is] emphatic (Vincent 2.330).
[ 45 ] ALL' PALAIAN, worn out by time, injury, sorrow or other causes. Thus the old garment (Mt 9:16) is PALAIOO. So the old wine-skins [PALAIOUS] (Mt 9:17). The old men of a living generation compared with the young men of the same generation are PALAIOI. In PALAIOS the simple conception of time dominates. . . . The commandment is here called old because it belonged to the first stage of the Christian church. Believers had it from the beginning of their Christian faith (Vincent 2.330).
[ 46 ] I discount the argument that the letter of 1 John was written "late" because, some say, the love commandment had been given by Christ so long ago that it was "old."
[ 47 ] ENTOLEE, commandment (Marshall 934); the commandment of love (Vincent 2.330); denotes, in general, an injunction, charge, precept, commandment. It is the most frequent term, and is used of moral and religious precepts (Vine 202).
[ 48 ] HEEN EICHETE AP' ARCHEES, which ye had from [the] beginning (Marshall 934).
[ 49 ] HEE ENTOLEE HE PALAIA, the commandment old (Marshall 934); [English paleology], of what is of long duration, old in years, etc., a garment, wine [in contrast to NEOS, new] . . . of that which was given long ago and remains in force, an old commandment, 1 John 2:7 [twice], that which was familiar and well known in contrast to that which is fresh [KAINOS] (Vine 806, 807).
[ 50 ] ESTIN HO LOGOS HON EEKOUSATE, is the word which ye heard (Marshall 934); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 428); discourse, speech, of instruction, etc. (Vine 1241); gotten by hearing, learned (Thayer 23).
[ 51 ] PALIN, again (Marshall 934); the regular word for "again," is used chiefly in two senses, (a) with reference to repeated action; (b) rhetorically, in the sense of "moreover" or "further," indicating a statement to be added in the course of an argument (Vine 32, 33).
[ 52 ] ENTOLEEN KAINEEN GRAPHOO HUMIN, commandment a new I write to you (Marshall 934); GRAPHOO is first person singular, present active indicative (Han 428); denotes, in general, an injunction, charge, precept, commandment. It is the most frequent term, and is used of moral and religious precepts (Vine 202).
[ 53 ] HO ESTIN ALEETHES, what is true (Marshall 934); the expression which thing, or that which, refers either to the commandment of love, or to the fact stated, which is, that the old commandment is new (Vincent 2.331); primarily, unconcealed, manifest [A negative, LEETHOO to forget=LATHANOO to escape notice], hence, actual, true to fact . . . of things, true, conforming to reality (Vine 1170); the relative clause is introduced by the neuter HO, whereas ENTOLEE is feminine; it refers to the preceding clause as a whole [see previous footnote] (Marshall 129).
[ 54 ] EN AUTOO KAI EN HUMIN, in him and in you (Marshall 934); the fact that the old commandment is new, is true in Him [Christ], since He gave it as a new commandment, and illustrated it by His word and example. It is true in you, since you did not receive it until Christ gave it, and since the person and life of Christ are appealing to you in new lights and with fresh power as your Christian life develops. In Him, points back to as He walked (Vincent 2.331)..
[ 55 ] HOTI, because (Marshall 934); explaining the apparent paradox (Vincent 2.331).
[ 56 ] HEE SKOTIA, the darkness (Marshall 934); moral insensibility to the divine light; moral blindness or obtuseness; God is light; and whatever is not in fellowship with God is therefore darkness (Vincent 2.331); of spiritual or moral darkness, emblematic of sin, as a condition of moral or spiritual depravity (Vine 260); metaphorically, used of ignorance of divine things, and its associated wickedness, and the resultant misery (Thayer 580); see note and charts on 1 John 1:6.
[ 57 ] PARAGETAI, is passing (Marshall 934); third person singular, present passive indicative of PARAGOO (Han 428); is passing away; the passing is not represented as accomplished, but as in progress (Vincent 2.331); middle voice, passing by, passing away, of the passing of spiritual darkness through the light of the Gospel (Vine 836); is passing away [present tense] (Harrison 1468).
[ 58 ] Those who use this verse to try to put the idea of a soon return of Christ into the mind of John have missed the meaning.
[ 59 ] KAI TO PHOOS TO ALEETHINON, and the light true (Marshall 934); literally, the light, the true [light]. True, not as distinguished from false, but as answering to the true ideal (Vincent 2.331).
[ 60 ] EEDEE PHAINEI, already shines (Marshall 934).
[ 61 ] HO LEGOON EN TOO PHOOTI EINAI, the [one] saying in the light to be (Marshall 934); righteousness (Vine 670); imbued with saving wisdom, MENEIN, continue devoted to it, persevere in keeping it (Thayer 662).
[ 62 ] KAI MISOON, and hating (Marshall 934); present active participle, nominative singular masculine of MISEOO (Han 428); hate, used especially of malicious and unjustifiable feelings towards others, whether towards the innocent or by mutual animosity (Vine 528); continues to hate his brother (Williams).
[ 63 ] Vincent 2.332.
[ 64 ] TON ADELPHON AUTOU, the brother of him (Marshall 934); his fellow-Christian (Vincent 2.332).
[ 65 ] EN TEE SKOTIA ESTIN, in the darkness is (Marshall 934).
[ 66 ] HEOOS ARTI, until now (Marshall 934); though the light has been increasing, and though he may claim that he has been in the light from the first (Vincent 2.333); literally "until now," that is, "even now" (Marshall 131).
[ 67 ] HO AGAPOON TON ADELPHON AUTOU, the [one] loving the brother of him (Marshall 934); who continues to love his brother (Williams).
[ 68 ] Charles C. Ryrie in Harrison 1468.
[ 69 ] EN TOO PHOOTI MENEI, in the light remains (Marshall 934); MENEI is third person singular, present active indicative of MENOO (Han 428); righteousness (Vine 670); is always in the light (Williams); the verb expresses persistence and faithfulness (Marshall 132).
[ 70 ] KAI SKANDALON EN AUTOO OUK ESTIN, and offence in him is not (Marshall 934); not that he gives no occasion of stumbling to others, but that there is none in his own way (Vincent 2.333); "occasion of stumbling," of the absence of this in the case of one who loves his brother and thereby abides in the light. Love, then, is the best safeguard against the woes pronounced by the Lord upon those who cause others to stumble (Vine 801).
[ 71 ] It is also true that not loving a brother might be the very thing that often puts a stumbling-block in the path of another (see Mt 16:23; Joh 6:61; 16:1; Ro 14:13; Re 2:14).
[ 72 ] HO DE MISOON TON ADELPHON AUTOU, but the [one] hating the brother of him (Marshall 934); MISOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of MISEOO (Han 428); hates, used especially of malicious and unjustifiable feelings towards others, whether towards the innocent or by mutual animosity (Vine 528); continues to hate his brother (Williams).
[ 73 ] EN TEE SKOTIA ESTIN, in the darkness is (Marshall 934, 935).
[ 74 ] KAI EN TEE SKOTIA PERIPATEI, and in the darkness walks (Marshall 935); PERIPATEI is third person singular, present active indicative of PERIPATEOO (Han 428).
[ 75 ] Just last night I walked into an open closet door in a dark hallway!
[ 76 ] KAI OUK OIDEN POU HUPAGEI, and knows not where he is going (Marshall 935); OIDEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of OIDA; HUPAGEI is third person singular, present active indicative of HUPAGOO (Han 428); is going (Vincent 2.333).
[ 77 ] HOTI HEE SKOTIA ETUPHLOOSEN TOUS OPHTHALMOUS AUTOU, because the darkness blinded the eyes of him (Marshall 935); ETUPHLOOSEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of TUPHLOOO (Han 428); aorist tense, blinded, indicates a past, definite, decisive act. When the darkness overtook, it blinded (Vincent 2.333); [from a root TUPH-, to burn, smoke; compare TUPHOS smoke], used metaphorically, of the dulling of the intellect (Vine 125, 126).
[ 78 ] GRAPHOO HUMIN, I write to you (Marshall 935); GRAPHOO is first person singular, present active indicative (Han 428).
[ 79 ] TEKNIA, little children (Marshall 935); not children in age, but addressed to the readers generally (Vincent 2.333); little child, diminutive of TEKNON, used figuratively in the NT, and always in the plural. . . . a term of affection by a teacher to his disciples under circumstances requiring a tender appeal, for example, of Christ to the Twelve just before his death; the Apostle John used it in warning believers against spiritual dangers (Vine 179; dear children (Williams); when figuratively used, designates the spiritual relation of children to a father in the faith (see 1Co 4:15, where the idea but not the word occurs (Woods 221). John uses the term TEKNION little child frequently. TEKNION little child is the diminutive of TEKNON child. TEKNIA little children is the diminutive of TEKNA children. Diminutive has to do with being small in size or sometimes just lovable or pitiable. Examples are "duckling" or "kitty."
[ 80 ] HOTI APHEOONTAI HUMIN HAI HAMARTIAI, because have been forgiven to you the (your) sins (Marshall 935); APHEOONTAI is third person plural, perfect passive indicative of APHIEEMI (Han 428); primarily, sent forth, sent away [APO from, HIEEMI to send], denotes, besides its other meanings, remit or forgive . . . sins (Vine 452).
[ 81 ] DIA TO ONOMA AUTOU, on account of the name of him (Marshall 935); owing to the fact that one is called by Christ's Name or is identified with Him, for example . . . with DIA on account of (Vine 772); relying or resting on the name of Christ . . . with the mind directed unto, having regard unto his name (Thayer 448); your sins are forgiven on account of his name (Arndt 572).
[ 82 ] GRAPHOO HUMIN, I write to you (Marshall 935); GRAPHOO is first person singular, present active indicative (Han 428).
[ 83 ] PATERAS, fathers (Marshall 935); indicating age and authority (Vincent 2.333); those advanced in the knowledge of Christ (Vine 412).
[ 84 ] Since "fathers" is unusual in NT Scripture, some have wondered if John is addressing elders of the church. If so, could the "young men" be the deacons? Then, would "little children be Christians in general? C. H. Dodd had an interesting observation. He thought John was simply using a literal device to indicate qualities in everyone. All Christians should have the innocence of childhood, the strength of youth, and the mature knowledge of age (The Johannine Epistles, Moffatt NT Commentary, London, 1946, pages 37-39 via Marshall 138). Even if one disagrees, he must admit that everyone can learn something from the admonitions to the different age-groups.
[ 85 ] HOTI EGNOOKATE, because ye have known the [one] (Marshall 935); ye know. Knowledge is the characteristic of fathers; knowledge is the fruit of experience. Ye have perceived, therefore ye know (Vincent 2.334); in the NT, GINOSKOO frequently indicates a relation between the person knowing and the object known; in this respect, what is known is of value or importance to the one who knows, and hence the establishment of the relationship, for example, especially of God's knowledge [1Co 8:3; Ga 4:9; 2Ti 2:19; compare Joh 10:14, 27; Ge 18:19; Na 1:7; the relationship implied may involve remedial chastisement, Am 3:2]. The same idea of appreciation as well as knowledge underlies several statements concerning the knowledge of God and His truth on the part of believers (Vine 628); in particular, GINOSKOO, to become acquainted with, to know, is employed in the NT of the knowledge of God and Christ, and of the things relating to them or proceeding from them . . . the nature of God the Father, especially the holy will and affection by which he aims to sanctify and redeem men through Christ, his divinity (Thayer 117).
[ 86 ] All Christians "know the Lord" in the sense of hearing, obeying the gospel and receiving forgiveness (compare Jer 31:34).
[ 87 ] AP' ARCHEES, from [the] beginning (Marshall 935); beginning, origin; used absolutely, of the beginning of all things (Thayer 76); that is from the beginning.
[ 88 ] GRAPHOO HUMIN, I write to you (Marshall 935); GRAPHOO is first person singular, present active indicative (Han 428).
[ 89 ] NEANISKOI, young men (Marshall 935); [a diminutive of NEANIAS a young man], youths, young men . . . of the second branch of the spiritual family (Vine 1259).
[ 90 ] HOTI NENIKEEKATE, because ye have overcome (Marshall 935); NENIKEEKATE is second person plural, perfect active indicative of NIKAOO (Han 428); overcome, used of Christ's followers (Vine 823); perfect tense, expressing the abiding result of past action (Harrison 1469); because you have conquered (Williams).
[ 91 ] TON PONEERON, the evil one (Marshall 935); note the abrupt introduction of the word here, as indicating something familiar (Vincent 2.334); Satan is mentioned as "the [or that] evil one" (Vine 1226); either masculine [the evil one, that is, the devil] or neuter [evil] (Harrison 1469).
[ 92 ] EGRAPHA HUMIN, I wrote to you (Marshall 935); EGRAPHA is first person singular, first aorist active indicative of GRAPHOO (Han 428); strictly, I wrote. Compare I write (verses 12, 13) and note the change of tense. The past tense, I wrote, does not refer to some previous writing, as the Gospel, but, like the present, to this Epistle . . . epistolary aorist, by which the writer places himself at the reader's stand-point, regarding the writing as past . . . refers to the reader's act of reading the completed writing (Vincent 2.334); aorist tense, literally, I wrote (Harrison 1469).
[ 93 ] PAIDIA, young children (Marshall 935); emphasizes the idea of subordination and consequent discipline . . . the more appropriate word when spoken from the stand-point of authority rather than of affection (Vincent 2.334); diminutive of PAIS, signifies little or young children . . . by the Apostle John to the youngest believers in the family of God, 1 John 2:13, 18; there it is to be distinguished from TEKNIA, which term he uses in addressing all his readers [verses 1, 12, 28] (Vine 180); denotes the age and characteristics of childhood, and, as here used, conveys the kind and tender address of age to youth, of authority to subordinates, or wisdom to ignorance (Woods 221).
[ 94 ] EGNOOKATE, ye have known (Marshall 935); second person plural, perfect active indicative of GINOSKOO (Han 428); you know; resultant perfect, so equal to present [tense] (Williams).
[ 95 ] TON PATERA, the Father (Marshall 935); in his rightful authority, as a Father over little children (Vincent 2.335); of God in relation to those who have been born anew (Vine 412).
[ 96 ] EGRAPHA HUMIN, I wrote to you (Marshall 935); first person singular, first aorist active indicative (Han 428).
[ 97 ] PATERES, fathers (Marshall 935); those advanced in the knowledge of Christ (Vine 412).
[ 98 ] HOTI EGNOOKATE TON AP' ARCHEES, because ye have known the [one] from [the] beginning (Marshall 935); EGNOOKATE is second person plural, perfect active indicative of GINOSKOO (Han 428); the eternal pre-existent Christ, who was from the beginning (Vincent 2.335); in particular, GINOSKOO, to become acquainted with, to know, is employed in the NT of the knowledge of God and Christ, and of the things relating to them or proceeding from them . . . the nature of God the Father, especially the holy will and affection by which he aims to sanctify and redeem men through Christ (Thayer 117).
[ 99 ] EGRAPHA HUMIN, I wrote to you (Marshall 935); EGRAPHA is first person singular, first aorist active indicative of GRAPHOO (Han 428).
[ 100 ] NEANISKOI, young men (Marshall 935); [diminutive of NEANIAS a young man], youths, young men . . . of the second branch of the spiritual family (Vine 1259).
[ 101 ] HOTI ISCHUROI ESTE, because strong ye are (Marshall 935); strong, mighty, is used of young men in Christ spiritually strong, through the Word of God, to overcome the evil one (Vine 1097).
[ 102 ] KAI HO LOGOS TOU THEOU EN HUMIN MENEI, and the word of God in you remains (Marshall 935); used of place . . . of the word of God (Vine 2).
[ 103 ] KAI NENIKEEKATE TON PONEERON, and ye have overcome the evil one (Marshall 935); overcome, used of Christ's followers; Satan is mentioned as "the [or that] evil one" (Vine 823; 1226).
[ 104 ] MEE AGAPATE, love ye not (Marshall 935); second person plural, present active imperative of AGAPAOO (Han 428); stop loving (Williams).
[ 105 ] TON KOSMON, the world (Marshall 935); in the ethical sense, the sum-total of human life in the ordered world, considered apart from, alienated from, and hostile to God, and of the earthly things which seduce from God (Vincent 2.45).
[ 106 ] MEEDE TA EN TOO KOSMOO, nor the things in the world (Marshall 935);
[ 107 ] EAN TIS AGAPA TON KOSMON, if anyone loves the world (Marshall 935); AGAPA is third person singular, present active indicative or subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 428).
[ 108 ] HEE AGAPEE TOU PATROS, the love of the Father (Marshall 935); love towards the Father, yet as generated by the Father's love to man (Vincent 2.335); of the love of men towards God (Thayer 4); love for the Father (Williams).
[ 109 ] OUK ESTIN EN AUTOO, not is in him (Marshall 935); the love of God does not dwell in him as the ruling principle of his life (Vincent 2.335).
[ 110 ] HOTI PAN, because all that which (Marshall 935); not all things severally, but all that is in the world collectively, regarded as a unit (Vincent 2.335).
[ 111 ] TO EN TOO KOSMOO, [is] in the world (Marshall 935).
[ 112 ] HEE EPITHUMIA, the lust (Marshall 935); lust of the flesh, 1 John 2:16, a phrase which describes the emotions of the soul, the natural tendency towards things evil. Such lusts are not necessarily base and immoral, they may be refined in character, but are evil if inconsistent with the will of God (Vine 697).
[ 113 ] Marshall 144.
[ 114 ] TEES SARKOS, of the flesh (Marshall 935); sensual appetite. The desire which resides in the flesh, not the desire for the flesh. . . . The lust of the flesh involves the appropriation of the desired object (Vincent 2.336); the seat of sin in man [but this is not the same thing as in the body] (Vine 438); flesh is subjective genitive, not meaning lusts for the flesh but the flesh's
lusts, or those lusts which have their base in the flesh (Harrison 1470). The NIV almost embraces Gnosticism with its rendering the Greek "of the flesh" as "of sinful man."
[ 115 ] Revelling, drunkenness, lasciviousness and fornication were common sins in the first century. These sins may have been foremost in John's mind.
[ 116 ] Many Jews believed everyone was born with the "evil impulse." They attributed marriage to this evil. They forbade intercourse during pregnancy because of it (see hundreds of references in the Talmud). John is not writing about such a fanciful and unscriptural doctrine.
[ 117 ] KAI HEE EPITHUMIA TOON OPHTHALMOON, and the lust of the eyes (Marshall 935); this is included in the lust of the flesh, as a specific manifestation. All merely sensual desires belong to the economy which "is not of the Father." The desire of the eyes does not involve appropriation. It is satisfied with contemplating. It represents a higher type of desire than the desire of the flesh, in that it seeks mental pleasure where the other seeks physical gratification (Vincent 2.336); of the eyes (Vine 697).
[ 118 ] KAI HEE ALAZONEIA TOU BIOU, and the vainglory of life (Marshall 935); vainglory . . . means, originally, empty, braggart talk or display; swagger; and thence an insolent and vain assurance in one's own resources, or in the stability of earthly things, which issues in a contempt of divine laws. The vainglory of life is the vainglory which belongs to the present life (Vincent 2.336); denotes boastfulness, vaunting; translated "pride" in 1 John 2:16 (Vine 128, 882, 1194); the proud pretensions of life (Williams); commentators dispute whether we have a subjective genitive [pride which belongs to and springs from possessions] . . . or an objective genitive [pride in possessions] (Marshall 145).
[ 119 ] The Greek word for "glory of life" also occurs in James 4:16: "But now you KAUCHASTHE glory in your ALAZONEIAIS vauntings; all such KAUCHEESIS glorying is evil."
[ 120 ] OUK ESTIN EK TOU PATROS, is not of the Father (Marshall 935); do not spring forth from the Father (Vincent 2.336); of, EK, "origin" (Harrison 1470).
[ 121 ] ALLA EK TOU KOSMOU ESTIN, but of the world is (Marshall 935, 936).
[ 122 ] KAI HO KOSMOS PARAGETAI, and the world is passing away (Marshall 936); PARAGETAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of PARAGOO (Han 428); middle voice, passing by, passing away, of the passing [away] of the world (Vine 836); is passing away; present tense, a process now going on (Harrison 1470).
[ 123 ] Entropy has to do with the degradation toward inertness of matter-energy. In other words, it is the tendency toward randomness, the "running down" of the universe.
[ 124 ] KAI HEE EPITHUMIA AUTOU, and the lust of it (Marshall 936); strong desires of any kind (Vine 697); and with it the evil longings it incites (Williams).
[ 125 ] HO DE POIOON TO THELEEMA TOU THEOU, but the [one] doing the will of God (Marshall 936); POIOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of POIEOO (Han 428); subjectively, the will being spoken of as the emotion of being desirous, rather than as the thing willed; of the will of God (Vine 1229); but whoever perseveres in doing God's will (Williams).
[ 126 ] MENEI EIS TON AIOONA, remains unto the ages (Marshall 936); MENEI is third person singular, present active indicative of MENOO (Han 428); of time, said of believers (Vine 2).
[ 127 ] PAIDIA, young children (Marshall 936); diminutive of PAIS, signifies little or young children; it is used of infants just born, John 16:21; of male children recently born . . . more advanced . . . plural of children . . . metaphorically, of believers who are deficient in spiritual understanding, 1 Corinthians 14:20, and in affectionate and familiar address by the Lord to His disciples, almost like the English, "lads," John 21:5; by the Apostle John to the youngest believers in the family of God, 1 John 2:13, 18; there it is to be distinguished from TEKNIA, which term he uses in addressing all his readers, verses 1, 12, 28 (Vine 180); denotes the age and characteristics of childhood, and, as here used, conveys the kind and tender address of age to youth, of authority to subordinates, or wisdom to ignorance (Woods 221).
[ 128 ] ESCHATEE HOORA ESTIN, a last hour it is (Marshall 936); does not refer to the end of the world, but to the period preceding a crisis in the advance of Christ's kingdom, a changeful and troublous period, marked by the appearance of "many antichrists" (Vincent 2.337); in 1 John 2:18, "the last hour" and, in Jude 18, "the last time" signify the present age previous to the Second Advent (Vine 641); the last hour in the present age of the world's existence (Arndt 314, 896); of the time nearest the return of Christ from heaven and the consummation of the divine kingdom; the last hour, that is, the end of this age and very near the return of Christ from heaven (Thayer 253, 679).
[ 129 ] Some insist that the last hour began with the first advent of Christ (see Calvin, Ross and others).
[ 130 ] Some references that seem to support this view are Joel 2:28; Hebrews 1:1, 2; Micah 4:1; Acts 2:17. Other references to the "last times" or "last time" are 1 Corinthians 10:11; 1 Peter 2:20; 1 Timothy 4:1; Jude 18; James 5:3; 1 Peter 1:5.
[ 131 ] Notice that the Greek has no article. Marshall rightly translates "a last hour."
[ 132 ] Compare 2 Timothy 3:1, 2; 2 Peter 3:3.
[ 133 ] KAI KATHOOS EEKOUSATE, and as ye heard (Marshall 936).
[ 134 ] HOTI ANTICHRISTTOS, that antichrist (Marshall 936); can either mean against Christ or instead of Christ, or perhaps, combining the two, "one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ" [Westcott] (Vine 53, 54); the absence of the article shows its currency as a proper name. It may mean one who stands against Christ, or one who stands instead of Christ; just as ANTISTRATEEGOS may mean either one who stands in the place of a STRATEEGOS praetor, a propraetor . . . or an opposing general. . . . Antichrist, then, is one who opposes Christ in the guise of Christ. Westcott's remark is very important, that John's sense of Antichrist is determined by the full Christian conception of Christ, and not by the Jewish conception of the promised Savior (Vincent 2.337); the name HO ANTICHRISTOS was formed perhaps by John, the only writer in the NT who uses it, [five times]; he employs it of the corrupt power and influence hostile to Christian interests, especially that which is at work in false teachers who have come from the bosom of the church and are engaged in disseminating error: 1Jo 2:18 (where the meaning is, "what ye have heard concerning Antichrist, as about to make his appearance just before the return of Christ, is now fulfilled in the many false teachers, most worthy to be called antichrists" (Thayer 51); the Antichrist the adversary of the Messiah, to appear in the last days (Arndt 76).
[ 135 ] ERCHETAI, is coming (Marshall 936); third person singular, present middle indicative of ERCHOMAI (Han 428); the prophetic present, equivalent to is about to come (Vincent 2.337).
[ 136 ] KAI NUN ANTICHRISTOI POLLOI, even now antichrists many (Marshall 936); of the many antichrists who are forerunners of the Antichrist himself (Vine 54).
[ 137 ] GEGONASIN, have arisen (Marshall 936); third person plural, perfect active indicative of GINOMAI (Han 428); have there arisen (Vincent 2.338).
[ 138 ] HOTHEN, whence (Marshall 936); literally, whence (Vincent 2.338).
[ 139 ] GINOOSKOMEN, we know (Marshall 936); first person plural, present active indicative of GINOSKOO (Han 428).
[ 140 ] HOTI ESCHATEE HOORA ESTIN, that a last hour it is (Marshall 936).
[ 141 ] EX HEEMON EXEELTHAN, from us they went out (Marshall 936); the phrase went out from may mean either removal (Joh 8:59; Re 18:4) or origin (Re 9:3; 14:13, 15, 17; 19:5, 21). Here the latter, as appears from the following clause (Vincent 2.338).
[ 142 ] ALL' OUK EESAN EX HEEMOON, but they were not of us (Marshall 936); EESAN is third person plural, imperfect active indicative of EIMI (Han 428).
[ 143 ] EI GAR EX HEEMOON EESAN, for if of us they were (Marshall 936).
[ 144 ] MEMENEEKEISAN AN METH HEEMOON, they would have remained with us (Marshall 936); MEMENEEKEISAN is third person plural, pluperfect active indicative of MENOO (Han 428); [the] thought rests here rather on fellowship than on the unity of believers as one body (Vincent 2.338); used of place, metaphorically (Vine 2).
[ 145 ] Some examples of the pluperfect of completed action are Matthew 7:25; John 9:22. Verbs of the pluperfect of existing past state are usually translated to English by the simple past tense. An example of this is Acts 19:32 (Nunn 99).
[ 146 ] ALL', but (Marshall 936).
[ 147 ] HINA PHANEROOTHOOSIN, in order that it might be manifested (Marshall 936); PHANEROOTHOOSIN is third person plural, first aorist passive subjunctive of PHANEROOO (Han 428); to make visible, clear, manifest, known [akin to PHANEROS open to sight, visible, manifest], used especially in the writings of the Apostles John and Paul, occurring 9 times in the Gospel, 9 times in 1 John, 2 in Revelation; in the Pauline Epistles [including Hebrews] 24 times; in the other Gospels, only in Mark, 3 times; elsewhere in 1 Peter 1:20; 5:4. The true meaning is to uncover, lay bare, reveal (Vine 708); become known, plainly recognized, thoroughly understood: who and what one is (Thayer 648).
[ 148 ] HOTI OUK EISIN PANTES EX HEEMOON, that they are not all of us (Marshall 936); they all are not [because the verb separates not from all. In such cases, according to NT usage, the negation is universal. The KJV not all makes it partial] (Vincent 2.338).
[ 149 ] Some manuscripts read "and you know all the truth."
[ 150 ] KAI HUMEIS CHRISMA ECHETE, and ye an anointing have (Marshall 936); ECHETE is second person plural, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 428); the word means that with which the anointing is performed -- the unguent or ointment. The root of this word and CHRISTOS Christ is the same. . . . The anointing is from the Anointed (Vincent 2.338); [CHRISMA is] the corresponding noun to CHRIOO sacred and symbolical anointing], signifies an unguent, or an anointing. It was prepared from oil and aromatic herbs. It is used only metaphorically in the NT; by metonymy, of the Holy Spirit, in 1 John 2:20, 27, twice. . . . That believers have "an anointing from the Holy One" indicates that this anointing renders them holy, separating them to God. The passage teaches that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the all-efficient means of enabling believers to possess a knowledge of the truth (Vine 51). The NEB is inexcusable with the paraphrase, "are among the initiated."
[ 151 ] APO TOU HAGIOU, from the Holy One (Marshall 936); Christ (Vincent 2.338); predicated of God [as the absolutely Holy One, in His purity, majesty and glory]; of the Father (Vine 556); the Holy One -- of God 1 John 2:20 (Arndt 10); of Christ, Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34, and according to the true reading in John 6:69, compare 10:36; he is called also HO HAGIOS PAIS TOU THEOU, Acts 4:30, and simply HO HAGIOS, 1 John 2:20 (Thayer 7).
[ 152 ] KAI OIDATE PANTES, and ye know all (Marshall 936); OIDATE is second person plural, perfect active indicative of OIDA (Han 428); [you know all things] (the best texts read PANTES ye all know; in which case the connection is with the following clause: "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it" (Vincent 2.339).
[ 153 ] OUK EGAPSA HUMIN, I wrote not to you (Marshall 936); EGAPSA is first person singular, first aorist active indicative of GRAPHOO (Han 428); I wrote not (Vincent 2.339); epistolary aorist tense, referring to this Epistle [not the Gospel] (Harrison 1470).
[ 154 ] The epistolary aorist is used when the writer of a letter puts himself in the place of his readers, and describes as past an action which is present to himself, but which will be past to his readers when they receive the letter (Nunn 95).
[ 155 ] HOTI OUK OIDATE TEEN ALEETHEIAN, because ye know not the truth (Marshall 936); OIDATE is second person plural, perfect active indicative of OIDA (Han 428); the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians . . . the truth which is the gospel or which the gospel presents (Thayer 26).
[ 156 ] ALL' HOTI OIDATE AUTEEN, but because ye know it (Marshall 936); OIDATE is second person plural, perfect active indicative of OIDA (Han 428).
[ 157 ] KAI HOTI PAN PSEUDOS EK TEES ALEETHEIAS OUK ESTIN, and because every lie of the truth is not=no lie is . . . (Marshall 936).
[ 158 ] TIS ESTIN HO PSEUSTEES, who is the liar (Marshall 936); "the liar." By the definite article, the liar, the lie is set forth in its concrete personality: the one who impersonates all that is false, as antichrist represents every form of hostility and opposition to Christ. The denial that Jesus is the Christ is the representative falsehood. He that denies is the representative liar (Vincent 2.339); who is the notorious liar, article in predicate very emphatic (Williams 531); article in predicate very emphatic, who is the notorious liar (Williams).
[ 159 ] EI MEE HO ARNOUMENOS, except the one denying (Marshall 936); ARNOUMENOS is the present middle participle, nominative singular masculine of ARNEOMAI (Han 428); the article with the [present] participle denotes the habitual denial. Literally, the one denying, the one who habitually represents this attitude towards Christ. The words are aimed at the heresy of Cerinthus, a man of Jewish descent and educated at Alexandria. He denied the miraculous conception of Jesus, and taught that, after His baptism, the Christ descended upon Him in the form of a dove, and that He then announced the unknown Father and wrought miracles; but that, towards the end of His ministry, the Christ departed again from Jesus, and Jesus suffered and rose from the dead, while the Christ remained impassible [incapable of suffering] as a spiritual being (Vincent 2.339); says . . . not, contradicts (Vine 284).
[ 160 ] HOTI 'IEESOUS OUK ESTIN HO CHRISTOS, that Jesus not is the Christ (Marshall 936).
[ 161 ] HOUTOS ESTIN HO ANTICHRISTOS, this is the antichrist (Marshall 936); can either mean against Christ or instead of Christ, or perhaps, combining the two, "one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ" [Westcott]; of the many antichrists who are forerunners of the Antichrist himself (Vine 53, 54).
[ 162 ] HO ARNOUMENOS, the [one] denying (Marshall 936); ARNOUMENOS is the present middle participle, nominative singular masculine of ARNEOMAI (Han 428).
[ 163 ] Cerinthus was a Jew who denied the miraculous conception of Jesus. He taught that after His baptism, "the Christ" descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove and later withdrew from Jesus who suffered and rose from the dead. All the while, "the Christ" remained incapable of suffering because He was a spiritual being.
[ 164 ] TON PATERA, the Father (Marshall 936); the title the Father occurs always in its simple form in the Epistle. Never his or our Father, or the Father in heaven (Vincent 2.339).
[ 165 ] KAI TON HUION, and the Son (Marshall 936).
[ 166 ] PAS HO ARNOUMENOS TON HUION, everyone denying the Son (Marshall 936); the article with the participle denotes the habitual denial. Literally, the one denying, the one who habitually represents this attitude toward Christ (Vincent 2.339).
[ 167 ] OUDE TON PATERA ECHEI, neither the Father has (Marshall 936); properly, "hath not even the Father," though he professes to reverence the Father while rejecting the Son (Vincent 2.339).
[ 168 ] HO HOMOLOGOON TON HUION, the [one] confessing the Son (Marshall 936); HOMOLOGOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of HOMOLOGEOO (Han 428); declares openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts (Vine 216).
[ 169 ] TON PATERA ECHEI, also the Father has (Marshall 936).
[ 170 ] HUMEIS, ye (Marshall 936); the force of the emphatic you at the beginning of the sentence is utterly lost in the KJV, which takes the pronoun simply as nominative to ye have heard. You is emphatic by way of contrast with the false teachers [verse 22] (Vincent 2.340).
[ 171 ] HO EEKOUSATE AP' ARCHEES, what heard from [the] beginning (Marshall 936); EEKOUSATE is second person plural, first aorist active indicative of AKOUOO (Han 428); that which ye heard (Vincent 2.340); gotten by hearing, learned; in a relative sense, of the beginning of the thing spoken of: as soon as instruction was imparted (Thayer 23, 76).
[ 172 ] MENETOO, let it remain (Marshall 936, 937); MENETOO is the third person singular, present active imperative of MENOO (Han 428); continue to live in your hearts (Williams); Christians are said MENEIN EN TOO THEOO, to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him (Thayer 399).
[ 173 ] EAN EN HUMIN MEINEE HO AP' ARCHEES EEKOUSATE, if in you remains what from [the] beginning ye heard (Marshall 937); MEINEE is third person singular, first aorist active subjunctive of MENOO (Han 428); that which ye heard from the beginning. Notice the change in the order of the repeated sentence . . . emphasizing the time of the reception as coincident with the origin of their faith (Vincent 2.340).
[ 174 ] KAI HUMEIS MENEITE, both ye will remain (Marshall 937); MENEITE is second person plural, future active indicative of MENOO (Han 428); you will always remain in union (Williams).
[ 175 ] EN TOO HUIOO KAI [EN] TOO PATRI, in the Son and in the Father will remain (Marshall937); in union with the Son and the Father (Williams).
[ 176 ] KAI AUTEE ESTIN HEE EPANGELIA, and this is the promise (Marshall 937); a verb, to announce, proclaim, has in the NT two meanings to profess and to promise, each used in the middle voice; to promise, of the promise of God (Vine 892).
[ 177 ] HEEN AUTOS EPEENGEILATO HEEMIN, which he promised us (Marshall 937); EPEENGEILATO is third person singular, first aorist middle indicative of EPANGELLOO (Han 428).
[ 178 ] TEEN ZOOEN TEEN AIOONION, the life eternal (Marshall 937); literally, the life, the eternal [life] (Vincent 2.340); the life received by those who believe in Christ, John 3:16, concerning whom He said, "they shall never perish," 10:28, and of the resurrection body, 2 Corinthians 5:1, elsewhere said to be "immortal," 1 Corinthians 15:33, in which that life will be finally realized, Matthew 25:46; Titus 1:2 (Vine 373); life real and genuine, . . . a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions [among them a more perfect body], and to last forever [the writers of the OT have anticipated the conception, in their way, by employing [a Hebrew word] to denote a happy life and every kind of blessing (Thayer 273).
[ 179 ] TAUTA, these things (Marshall 937).
[ 180 ] EGRAPHA HUMIN, I wrote to you (Marshall 937); EGRAPHA is first person singular, first aorist indicative of GRAPHOO (Han 428).
[ 181 ] PERI TOON, concerning the [ones] (Marshall 937); with reference to those (Williams 532).
[ 182 ] PLANOONTOON HUMAS, leading astray you (Marshall 937); PLANOONTOON is the present active participle, genitive plural masculine of PLANAOO (Han 428); lead astray (Vincent 2.340); to cause to wander, lead astray, deceive [PLANEE a wandering; compare English planet] (Vine 369); to lead into error, deceive (Thayer 514).
[ 183 ] KAI HUMEIS, and ye (Marshall 937); emphatic, as in verse 24 (Vincent 2.340).
[ 184 ] TO CHRISMA HO ELABETE, the anointing which received (Marshall 937); ELABETE is second person plural, second aorist active indicative of LAMBANOO (Han 428); the anointing of the Spirit which you received (Williams).
[ 185 ] AP' AUTOU, from Him (Marshall 937).
[ 186 ] MENEI EN HUMIN, remains in you (Marshall 937); MENEI is third person singular, present active indicative of MENOO (Han 428); still remains in your hearts (Williams).
[ 187 ] KAI OU CHREIAN ECHETE HINA TIS DIDASKEE HUMAS, and no need ye have in order that anyone should teach you (Marshall 937); ECHETE is second person plural, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 428).
[ 188 ] ALL' HOOS TO AUTOU CHRISMA DIDASKEI HUMAS, but as of him anointing teaches you (Marshall 937); DIDASKEI is third person singular, present active indicative of DIDASKOO (Han 428); the best texts read AUTOU, His anointing (Vincent 2.340); but just as that anointing of His teaches you (Williams); [CHRISMA is] the corresponding noun to CHRIOO sacred and symbolical anointing], signifies an unguent, or an anointing. It was prepared from
oil and aromatic herbs. It is used only metaphorically in the NT; by metonymy, of the Holy Spirit, in 1 John 2:20, 27, twice. . . . That believers have "an anointing from the Holy One" indicates that this anointing renders them holy, separating them to God. The passage teaches that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the all-efficient means of enabling believers to possess a knowledge of the truth (Vine 51); present, continuous teaching of the truth (Harrison 1471).
[ 189 ] PERI PANTOON, concerning all things (Marshall 937).
[ 190 ] KAI ALEETHES ESTIN KAI OUK ESTIN PSEUDOS, and true is and is not a lie (Marshall 937); the characteristic combination of positive and negative statement (Vincent 2.340); primarily, unconcealed, manifest [A negative, LETHOO to forget,=LATHANOO to escape notice], hence, actual, true to fact. . . . of things, true, conforming to reality (Vine 1170). As I edit this page on February 12, 1996, I am watching waves nearly twenty feet high while on a ferry crossing the Irish Sea toward Scotland. The waves are no illusion!
[ 191 ] KAI KATHOOS EDIDAXEN HUMAS, and as he/it taught you (Marshall 937); EDIDAXEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of DIDASKOO (Han 428); and
as it has taught you to do so (Williams).
[ 192 ] MENETE EN AUTOO, remain ye in him (Marshall 937); you must continue in union with Him (Williams); MENEITE is wrong. The best texts read MENETE which may be taken either as imperative, abide ye, or an indicative, ye abide. The indicative is preferable, as answering to MENEI abideth [in Him] Christ (Vincent 2.340, 341); Christians are said MENEIN EN TOO THEOO, to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him (Thayer 399).
[ 193 ] The exegesis assumes that the content of EDIDAXEN is a command to remain in Christ, and that Christ is the implied antecedent of AUTOO. The latter point is demanded by the parallelism with verse 28, although Bultmann, 41 note 31, takes the reference to be to the anointing. For the former point see Schnackenburg, 162; Haas, 72 (I. Marshall 163).
[ 194 ] KAI NUN, TEKNIA, and now little children (Marshall 937); little child, diminutive of TEKNON, used figuratively in the NT, and always in the plural . . . a term of affection by a teacher to his disciples under circumstances requiring a tender appeal, for example, of Christ to the Twelve just before his death; the Apostle John used it in warning believers against spiritual dangers (Vine 179).
[ 195 ] MENETE EN AUTOO, remain ye in him (Marshall 937); you must continue to live in union with Him (Williams).
[ 196 ] HINA EAN PHANEROOTHEE, in order that if he is manifested (Marshall 937); PHANEROOTHEE is third person singular, first aorist passive subjunctive of PHANEROOO (Han 429); some texts have HOTAN PHANEROOTHEE, when he is manifested; others read EAN if (Vincent 2.341); is made visible, clear, manifest, known [akin to PHANEROS open to sight, visible, manifest], used especially in the writings of the Apostles John and Paul, occurring 9 times in the Gospel, 9 times in 1 John, 2 in Revelation; in the Pauline Epistles [including Hebrews] 24 times; in the other Gospels, only in Mark, 3 times; elsewhere in 1 Peter 1:20; 5:4. The true meaning is uncovered, laid bare, revealed; "is made manifest, doth appear" (Vine 708); with an accusative of the person, exposed to view, made manifest, showed one . . . of Christ now hidden from sight in heaven but hereafter to return visibly (Thayer 648).
[ 197 ] SCHOOMEN, we may have (Marshall 937); first person plural, second aorist active subjunctive of ECHO (Han 429); thus identifying himself with his children in the faith. Teacher and pupil must alike abide in Him (Vincent 2.341).
[ 198 ] PARREESIAN, confidence (Marshall 937); boldness, opposed to AISCHUNOMAI to be ashamed in Proverbs 13:5, where the Septuagint reads "a wicked man is AISCHUNETAI ashamed and shall not have PARRHEESIAN boldness (Vincent 2.341); the absence of fear in speaking boldly; hence, confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, without any connection necessarily with speech (Vine 130); literally, freedom in speaking or readiness to say anything (Harrison 1471); unshaken confidence (Williams).
[ 199 ] KAI MEE AISCHUNTHOOMEN AP' AUTOU, and not be shamed from him (Marshall 937); AISCHUNTHOOMEN is first person plural, first aorist passive subjunctive of AISCHUNOMAI (Han 429); literally, "be ashamed from Him." The fundamental thought is that of separation and shrinking from God through the shame of conscious guilt (Vincent 2.342); the feeling of shame arising from something that has been done . . . of the possibility of being ashamed before the Lord Jesus at His Judgment Seat in His Parousia with His saints (Vine 69).
[ 200 ] EN TEE PAROUSIA AUTOU, in the presence of him (Marshall 937); literally, presence. Hence, the presence of one coming, and so coming, especially in the NT, of the future, visible return of our Lord to raise the dead, judge the world, and finally establish the kingdom of God (Vincent 2.342); literally, a presence [PARA with, OUSIA being, from EIMI to be], denotes both an arrival and a consequent presence with. . . . When used of the return of Christ, at the Rapture of the Church, it signifies, not merely His momentary coming for His saints, but His presence with them from that moment until His revelation and manifestation to the world. In some passages the word gives prominence to the beginning of that period, the course of the period being implied. . . . In some, the course is prominent [1Jo 2:28, etc.]; in others, the conclusion of the period (Vine 201); of the advent, that is, the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God (Thayer 490); of Christ, and nearly always of his Messianic Advent in glory to judge the world at the end of this age (Arndt 630).
[ 201 ] EAN EIDEETE, if ye know (Marshall 937); know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of (Thayer 117); if ye know absolutely that He is righteous, ye perceive that every one, etc. (Vincent 2.342).
[ 202 ] I. Marshall 167.
[ 203 ] DIKAIOS, used by John both of God and of Christ (Vincent 2.342, 343); preeminently, of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no rectification in heart or life; in this sense Christ alone can be called DIKAIOS (Thayer 149); that He is upright (Williams).
[ 204 ] GINOOSKETE, know ye (Marshall 937); second person plural, present active indicative of GINOSKOO (Han 429); you must know (Williams); ye perceive may be taken as imperative: perceive or know ye (Vincent 2.342).
[ 205 ] HOTI KAI PAS HO POIOON TEEN DIKAIOSUNEEN, that also every one doing righteousness (Marshall 937); POIOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of POIEOO (Han 429); (a) of whatever is right or just in itself, whatever conforms to the revealed will of God, Matthew 5:6, 10, 20; John 16:8, 10; (b) whatever has been appointed by God to be acknowledged and obeyed by man, Matthew 3:15; 21:32; (c) the sum total of the requirements of God, Matthew 6:33; (d) religious duties, Matthew 6:1 [distinguished as almsgiving, man's duty to his neighbor, verses 2-4, prayer, his duty to God, verses 5-15, fasting, the duty of self-control, verses 16-18] (Vine 970); the verb is present, "doeth habitually" (Harrison 1471); everyone who practices uprightness (Williams).
[ 206 ] EX AUTOU GEGENNEETAI, of him has been born (Marshall 937); GEGENNEETAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of GENNAOO (Han 429); peculiarly, in the Gospel and 1 Epistle of John, of God conferring upon men the nature and disposition of his sons, imparting to them spiritual life, that is, by his own holy power prompting and persuading souls to put faith in Christ and live a new life consecrated to himself (Thayer 113); begotten, the first occurrence of the phrase in the Epistle; interpreters differ as to the reference of Him; some referring it to God, and others to Christ. Against the latter is the fact that men are not said to be born of Christ, but of God; and that to be born of God is a characteristic phrase of John, while to be born of Christ is a phrase which occurs nowhere. On the other hand, the undoubted reference to Christ in verse 28, would seem to demand a similar reference here (Vincent 2.342); begotten, born . . . used metaphorically in the writings of the Apostle John, of the gracious act of God in conferring upon those who believe the nature and disposition of "children," imparting to them spiritual life, John 3:3, 5, 7; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18 (Vine 101).
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