“Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning.”
Abide means to reside or “be at home with.” This “beginning” is the time when they began to hear certain doctrinal truths. John wants the Bible doctrine that he has taught them, such as the Hypostatic Union of Christ, virtue-love, fellowship with God, walking in the light, confession of sin, the advocacy of Christ, the propitiation of God by Christ’s death and various other doctrines to be resident in their souls. Remember that John has already written the Gospel of John, which he had no doubt taught this group of believers.
“If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”
“If” is a third class condition meaning maybe that which you have heard in the past will remain in you and maybe it won’t. If the doctrine remains (“meno” in Greek meaning to abide or to reside) in you, you will continue (“meno” in Greek) to have an experiential relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father. Failure to have God’s Word abiding in you means that you are unable to have a growing relationship with God. You merely know Christ as your Savior, but have no spiritual relationship with Him on a daily basis. (John 15:1-7)
“And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.”
The word in Greek for promise is “epangelia” and is a legal term denoting a summons, an announcement or a proclamation. This Greek word is most often used for the promises of God. For example, God has made a proclamation that all who believe in Christ will have eternal life. God is able to make this promise on the basis of the advocacy of Christ and His propitiatory spiritual death on the cross. (John 3:16,18; I John 2:2, 5:13)
“These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.”
The key word in this verse is seduce. It is translated from the Greek word “planao” meaning to lead astray or to cause to wander. The apostate false teachers are those who reject or distort the truth of the Word of God for selfish motives. These teachers are called false, which is the Greek word “pseduo”. They represent themselves as true in order to gain entrance into a ministry. Some of these unbelievers deny the deity of Christ, some deny the humanity of Christ and some deny the saving power of the Gospel.
These false teachers have deliberate motives, which include monetary greed, sensual pleasures, luxurious lifestyles, power, and fame. They actually train themselves in the art of greed and lust. The Bible says that they use fabricated words of flattery with promises of prosperity in order to extort money and material possessions. They are members of the “mutual admiration society”, pretending to admire certain people in order to gain acceptance. They make merchandise, the Greek word “emporeuomai”, of the unsuspecting, unstable, spiritually weak believer. (II Peter 2)
They play upon the emotions of the duped believer since they themselves are ruled by their emotions. These false teachers have no substance in their message; they scoff at the truth and will not accept the authority of Biblical doctrine. These unbelievers bring with them, into these ministries, destructive, self-willed, erroneous opinions that lead to divisions and the formation of sects. It is, of course, impossible for them to bring in accurate doctrinal information from God’s Word, since they are unable to learn truth as unbelievers. These apostates are so arrogant they even reject human authority and speak evil of persons in authority over them in order to carry out their own agenda.
The Bible says that these false teachers live a lifestyle of the “rich and famous”, while turning the grace of God into lasciviousness (a license to sin). They are arrogant souls, in love with themselves, in love with money and they love to brag about it. Conceited, unholy, lovers of sensual pleasures, they cannot be appeased. They are rash in their speech, lack self-control, especially over their emotions, and cannot be trusted. With everything they have accumulated they are nevertheless ungrateful and callous to human affection, they do not honor their parents and are haters of anything good. We are commanded to avoid these blasphemers of truth.
“But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and you need no man to teach you”
Staying within the context of the passage is very important in correctly understanding this verse. The anointing, as we have learned, is the Holy Spirit and His teaching ministry to the believer. This anointing is received by means of Him (Jesus Christ). John is pointing out the fact that these believers have been taught in the past by the Holy Spirit. This does not diminish the role of pastor/teacher in the local church. The ultimate teacher of doctrinal truth has always been the Holy Spirit, regardless of the means of communicating this truth. This anointing (the Holy Spirit) permanently resides in every believer, regardless of spiritual status.
“but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.”
John says that this same anointing currently teaches you and has taught you in the past. This anointing is received at salvation by every believer, not a select few with special supernatural powers. This anointing is truth, one of the divine attributes of God the Holy Spirit. “Ye shall abide in Him” is a command to abide or to be at home (to be in fellowship) with Christ. Jesus said in John 15:7, “if you abide in Me and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you.”
“And now, little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
In summary, my spiritual children, remain in fellowship with Christ. Why? So that you will have confidence and not suffer shame when you stand before Jesus Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Most of us, as believers in Christ, will never receive recognition in this life for our accomplishments, but I assure you that this will not be the case in eternity. There is going to be great inequality in the eternal state for believers. It is only our fulfillment of God’s plan under the control of the Holy Spirit that will be rewardable in eternity, not our human good works. Only divine production is rewardable. All divine production is a matter of God’s grace and is never based on human works. The questions are going to be: “Did you tap into God’s system?” or “Did you go it alone?” (I Corinthians 9:24-27)
God has given us the blueprint for success in His Word. By learning and following His plan we can be successful in our Christian lives. The days in which we live are uncertain and the national scene is unstable at best. Yet for believers who CHOOSE to execute the Christian Way of Life, you can remain stabilized, confident and faithful in time of pressure or even national disaster. Why? Because you know the One Who controls history and you have learned that you have a place in it. You have a personal sense of destiny that has been secured by your faith in Christ and realized by your consistent intake and application of God’s Word (Bible doctrine). Only with Bible doctrine in your soul that has been converted into wisdom through application, will you be able to put everything in life into its proper perspective. (Matthew 11:28-30; James 1:1-12; II Timothy 1:12)
For every believer there are only two choices after salvation: 1) execute God’s plan, purpose and will or 2) execute your own plan and play into Satan’s hand. The first will result in what the Bible calls gold, silver and precious stones, analogous to divine production on earth. The second will result in what the Bible calls wood, hay and straw, analogous to human production on earth. Both will be judged (represented by fire) at the Judgment Seat of Christ. When gold, silver and precious stones are subjected to fire, it purifies them and enhances their value. When wood, hay and straw are subjected to fire they are burned up. It is, therefore, only divine production that survives the Judgment Seat of Christ and is rewardable. (I Corinthians 3:13-15)
“If you know that He is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Him.”
Knowing that Christ is righteous can be learned only by the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit (the anointing). Doeth righteousness means practicing righteousness, which means the execution of the Christian Way of Life, as the believer abides in Christ and His words abide in the believer. Only those who are “born of Him” (a reference to the “new birth” or being “born again”), can practice this righteousness. ( Romans 3:22, 10:3)