This week in our Rooted in Christ we are going to be looking deeper at 1 John 2: 18-29. This is an interesting passage and I think can really speak to us in some interesting ways today. Today we’ll be looking at the World of the Text of this passage. If you’d like to go back and look at the World Behind the Text of 1 John, you can click here.
We see John really go big in the point he is making. He mentions that the antichrist is coming one day, but there is not just “one” big antichrist that we should be worried about, but there are many antichrists. That is not something that we think about a lot, normally we think about the one big, bad guy that we associate with the end of the world. But John here says that is not the case, but there are many of them.
The word in Greek that is “antichrist’ means one opposed the Messiah. Literally one working against Jesus. That is John’s point here. As much as we should worry about and think about that one big bad guy, we told to be careful about the evil and opposition that lay in wait among so many. He says that they went out from among us, but they were not part of us, for if they were part of us, they would have remained. This makes it appear that these ones who are now working against Jesus were at least once part of their community.
Remember one of the purposes of 1 John is to teach the people to be careful with false teaching.
We see that the teaching of these has been in error, they are denying the Father and the Son. That is how we know they are not from God. They are not correctly teaching the truth of who Jesus is. That was a central issue in the early church. There were many false teachers who denied who Jesus was, denied the cross, and denied the resurrection. John is saying that their teaching demonstrates that they are not part of the family, even though they once were. They chose to leave. And now, by their teaching, they are working against God and are, according to John antichrists.
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