Monday, February 18, 2013
2nd John Part 8
1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
John tells us that failing to abide in the doctrine of Christ delivered first by the apostles and then by evangelists and others was a transgression, Matthew 28:20; John 15:14. The Greek word for “transgresseth” John uses is “parabaino” and means “to go contrary, to violate a command, to go aside, or to go beyond.” To teach opposite of what Christ taught, to violate His command, to turn aside from His word, or to go beyond His word by adding our own, is to transgress His doctrine.
John was warning of antichrist teaching abounding throughout the first century churches in verse 7. Primarily, he was concerned about the repudiation that Christ came in the flesh; that is, God was manifested in the flesh as a genuine man, John 1:14; 1st Timothy 3:16. This refusal to acknowledge the perfect deity and humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ was a rampant error in “Christian” Gnosticism as well as in modern cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. His warning turned from these false teachers propagating lies to his spiritual children who were in danger of being hoodwinked by such liars and antichrists, verse 8.
Finally, John explains that any such teacher who fails to abide in the doctrine of Jesus Christ, that Christ was God incarnate, or God with us, (Isaiah 7:14) has not God. He is not a minister of the gospel, but a witting or unwitting minister of Satan, masquerading as a minister of righteousness, 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15. The apostle informs us that such men left the Christian church because they were never truly one of them, 1st John 2:19. By proclaiming this false message of Jesus Christ they are labeled as antichrists; opposing the Son of God by replacing Him with “another Jesus,” 2nd Corinthians 11:4. Both meanings apply to the Greek prefix “anti.”
John’s message is chillingly clear; if you do not abide in the revelation of Jesus Christ as God and man, God the only Savior, you do not have God. Every religion on earth that pays lip service to Christ while robbing Him of His inherent humanity or deity has erected another Jesus, and according to the apostle does not have God. There is no salvation outside of the genuine Savior whom Peter, Paul, John and the rest of Christendom proclaim. To replace the Savior religions substitute or supplement Him with works that must be accomplished to be saved. The focus of one’s salvation shifts—bluntly or subtly—from the perfect Savior to ourselves and the particular institution we’ve become entangled in.
Whoever abides in the doctrine of Christ—who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Romans 1:3-4—has God. Note that the apostle says that if we abide in Christ’s doctrine we have both the Father and the Son; whereas failing to adhere to the doctrine signifies that we do not have God. Here the language seems interchangeable. John tells us that by abiding in the doctrine of Christ brings us into a vital relationship with both the Father and the Son, both of whom are God, John 10:30. It is a proper understanding of God that makes us capable of entering into a right relationship with Him. We must know who He is. Then we must know that He has invited us to come to Him. Finally, we must decide on what to do with this offer.
Error is very prevalent in our day; arguably more so than at times prior. Jesus Himself cautioned that many false Christs would rise and deceive many, Matthew 24:24. The antidote is a daily, vital walk with God by abiding in His doctrine. We hold fast the truth He has vouchsafed for us and walk in its light. He promised that if we do so we will truly be walking in the Spirit, treading in the path of filial obedience that His only begotten Son displayed while on earth. Paul warns that we “should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,” Ephesians 4:14. We have received the truth. Remember, brethren that part of the idea of transgressing means “going beyond” God’s revelation. We are not to try being more “broad minded” than our Lord. We should be content simply to be like Him (Matthew 10:25), and to look forward to being found in His presence when we are called home.