1 JOHN - Chapter 2 - Love of God Perfected Print E-mail

1 JOHN – Chapter 2 – Love of God Perfected

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


When I teach the Tuesday Morning Bible Study, I know I am teaching Bible scholars who have studied the bible most of their life.  I must confess when I started 1 John, I told the LORD, “they already know everything I can teach them on this Book of the Bible.”   Well, I am already challenged by Chapter 2.  How do I squeeze into one teaching the Parakletos, Hilasmos, the new commandment, little children, young men, fathers, the world/kosmos passing away, antichrist, false teachers, the anointing and abiding in Christ?  If I were teaching little children (Christian babies), I would have to take this in several sections.  With the Grace of God because I am teaching young men/women and fathers/mothers, we will attempt to cover the whole chapter in one hour.


1 John 2: 1-2:  My little children, these things I write to you that you sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


Acts of sin rather than a sinful course of life are in view.  John includes himself in this verse.  We have an Advocate…”  


  1. Advocate is Gr. Parakletos = “Called to one’s side – called to one’s aid.  One who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant.  Here identified as Jesus Christ and in other place in the Bible used as a name for the Holy Spirit’s work to lead the apostles to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and give them divine strength needed to enable them to undergo the trials and violence of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.  The comforter.”
  2. Righteous One – Redeemer/intercessor, the One who suffered in our place, the atoning sacrifice for our sins, which cleanses and shelters us.
  3. Propitiation – Hilasmos = the atoning sacrifice for sins; the sin offering.   – Used only twice in the Holy Bible – here and John 4:10.


1 John 2: 3-6:  By this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that says, I know him and do not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby we know that we are in Him. He that says he abides in him ought also to walk, even as he walked.


Just as we studied this past Sunday that there are three levels of Faith and God’s Faith is perfect.  Then we see here that if we keep his commandments, and his word, then in us the love of God is perfected.  God is love!   We receive His love for us in Christ Jesus, but there is a place in Him where His love is perfected in us. 


In these five chapters, John gives us 21 reasons that we know that we know Him:


  1. Personal fellowship with the Trinity (1:3-7; 2:13).
  2. Fullness of joy in the heart (1:4)
  3. Keeping His commandments (2:3; 3:22)
  4. Walking even as he walked (2:6)
  5. Love of the brethren (2: 9-11; 3: 10-19, 23; 4: 7-21; 5:1)
  6. Overcoming the world/kosmos and Satan (2: 13-14; 5:4, 18)
  7. Hatred of the world/kosmos (2: 15-17)
  8. Being one with Christians (2:19)
  9. Holy Spirit anointing (2:20-27)
  10. Knowing the truth that sets us free (2:21; Jn. 8: 32-36)
  11. Acknowledging God and Christ (2: 22-25)
  12. Doing righteousness (2:29; 3:7-10; 5:1-4, 18)
  13. Purifying ourselves (3:3)
  14. Being born again (2:29; 3:9; 5:1-18)
  15. Cleansing from sin (1: 7-9) 3: 5-10)
  16. Freedom from condemnation (3: 20-24)
  17. The indwelling Spirit (3:24; 4:4, 13)
  18. Faith (2:23; 5:1, 10)
  19. Confessing Christ (4: 14-15)
  20. Receiving Christ (5: 10-13, Jn. 1:12)
  21. Answered prayer (3:21-22; 5: 14-15)


1 John 2: 7-11:  Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning.  The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning.  Again a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines.  He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother is in darkness even until now.  He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.  He that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and does not know where he goes because that darkness has blinded his eyes.

By John referring to the Old Commandment, I must assume he is referring to Lev. 19:18: You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the LORD.   It is a primal law of creation sealed in the Word of God.   The new commandment would then be John 13:34:  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.   In Mt. 22: 37-40 the whole of the law and the prophets is declared to depend upon the two commands of love to God and love to one’s neighbor. 

This is one of the two great affirmations of this Letter:  God is love and God is light.

1 Jo. 4:9:  In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.   

Whoever loves his brother abides in the holy fellowship with the Father and the Son, and has within him is no tendency to be suddenly provoked to sin, and thus to become a cause of offense. 


Hates his brother – not simply dislikes; the malign hellish contrast to divine love, actively wishing evil to its object.  Such a person is in Satan’s realm of darkness and enmity; he is incapable of discerning the true nature of his own actions or the destiny for which he is preparing himself.  Psychologically and spiritually, hatred blinds its subject just as surely as love illumines.  It is characteristic of John to disregard the blurred color of a human situation, and to insist upon the stark black and white of the underlying spiritual principle.  His function is not that of a judge, weighing all the factors, but that of a teacher.  The either/or necessity of love and hate is well illustrated in Mk. 3: 1-6.  (Jesus healed the man with the withered hand and the Pharisees hated Jesus.)


As Christians, we are facing the hatred of the world/kosmos against the One True God ----this continues to be manifest toward Jew and Christian alike.


Abiding in the Light:


  1. Walking as Christ walked (V. 6)
  2. Love of the brethren (V. 10; 3: 14-15)
  3. God’s word abiding within (V. 14).
  4. Doing the will of God (V. 17)
  5. Permission of individual (V. 24-25)
  6. Continued anointing (V. 27)
  7. Freedom from sin (3:6)
  8. Keeping His commandments (3:24, Jn. 15:10)
  9. Indwelling Spirit (3:24)
  10. Fruit bearing (Jn. 15: 4, 7)


1 John 2: 12-14:  I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.  I write unto you fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning.  I write unto you, young men because you have overcome the wicked one.  I write unto you little children, because you have known the Father.  I have written unto you, fathers because ye have known him that is from the beginning.  I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.


We hear much teaching on fathers these days.  Here we see three levels of maturing in Christ.  The apostle begins his letter with “My little children.”  That is a salutation of endearment.  It is my persuasion the reference here to little children, young men and fathers  is not referring to age groups.  It combines the Christian fellowship of the innocence (through grace) of baby Christians with the maturity of fathers/mothers.  The fathers who have known him from the beginning could refer to the elders who actually knew Christ in the flesh.  We have come to give this title of honor to Elders in the Body of Christ.  The young men are pressing on to subdue and overcome the evil one.  This indicates the fathers have overcome while the young men are overcoming.  


1 John 2: 15-17:  Do not love the world(kosmos), neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passes away, and the lust thereof; but he that does the will of God abides for ever.


Divine love is always in danger of being crushed out by a rival love, the love of the world/kosmos.  Things that are in the world speak of the world’s spirit, its tone, and its values.   Worldliness is identified with the love of the things in the world and attitudes of the kosmos.  The three characteristic attitudes of the world are sensuality, materialism and ostentation.


Cravings of sinful man signify the notion that desires and appetites have a right to insist upon fulfillment without reference to the superior Law of God.  The lust of the eyes is the spirit of the world is putting supreme value upon things which can be seen, and the subsequent greed to obtain them (as opposed to the value which faith puts value on the Spirit of God)  By boasting is meant ostentatious pride in the possession of worldly resources.


Death is the termination of these things, and not only for the individual, but the world/kosmos itself has the sentence of death upon it.  The is the world system and the desire to be in a world system that leaves God out of its reckoning is disappearing.  Planet Earth is not fading away here, nor is it in view;  but the kosmos systems, structure, and world order are disappearing; and have disappeared since the time of John.  We do not live in the same kosmos that John and the other apostles lived in. The Roman kosmos disappeared from the face of the earth as well as many other world systems in the past 2000 + years.  


1 John 2:18-19: Little children, it is the last time and you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists whereby we know that is the last time.   They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.


In verses 18-29, the crisis which may have occasioned the Letter comes into clear view.  The falsity of the new teaching is made clear that Christ means Anointed.  Jesus is the Christ.  His people share his life (Jn. 14; 19), and do his work having a chrisma (anointing from Him).  It was well known that the end of the age would be heralded by the appearance of the antichrist, but says John, his spirit is already abroad in the world.  These false teachers are his people and share his spirit.  They are antichrists. 


John has been widely censured by theologians for his declaration this is the last hour.  John and his readers were living in an eschatological hour, electric with movements of the unseen principalities which might burst into sight at any time.  Jerusalem had fallen, and antichristian Rome was already closing in on mortal combat with the Church.  These were the days of the eighth emperor, Domitian.  Could John be referencing him as the eighth king of Rev. 17:11?  The Holy Writ is always NOW!  Even from our point of time, John’s assessment was correct.  We see the signs of the time and watch as prophecy unfolds before our eyes.  The periods of the rise of Islam, the Reformation, the Napoleonic Wars, the wars in the Middle East, and the rise of China and Russia in the present age, are examples of epochs heavy with destiny.  In one such “last hour” the LORD will suddenly return and the world will break into its irreversible course.  This realization braces Christians to be continually in a state preparedness.  Did John have all this in view?  Not likely.  Prophets speak better than they know (1 Pet. 1:10).  John had good reason to think about his day, as we do ours.  His word here is literally “a last hour.” 


We know the appearance of the sinister figure of antichrist will herald the end exalting himself above every object of worship; he will deny that Jesus is the Son of God incarnate.  But now, says the apostle, this teaching has already appeared in Christian circles.


2 Th. 2: 3-9:   Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.  Do you remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  Now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  Then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.  


John is saying the rebellion has already begun; and with the rising of many antichrists what hinders the appearing of the Man of Sin?  It should be noted the words antichrist and antichrists is only used four times in the Holy Bible in 1 John and 2 John. 


Antichrist, or one who presumes to be worshipped, and opposes Christ is different from false Christ of Mt. 24:24 who are messianic pretenders.  All that Christ is in reality, Antichrist opposes, and so all false teaching opposing Jesus Christ which assumes the guise of truth, among heretics and even among heathen is in some sense the spirit of antichrist.  The Incarnation reveals the true destiny of man in his union with God through Christ; the lie of Antichrist is that man is divine apart from Christ.


A false christ pretends to be Christ – Mat. 24: 23-24:  If anyone says to you, Look here is the Christ! Or There! Do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, event the elect.  


John indicates the secession of the antichristian teachers serves a necessary purpose.  It was not only a divine providence to limit their opportunity for mischief, but it also demonstrated that none of them belonged to us---a salutary warning for every church.  Apostasy on the part of some in church membership can and does occur, but only in those who never were truly Christ’s.


1 John 2: 20-21:  But you have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and you know all things.  I have not written unto you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.


The anointing bestowed by Christ as the Holy One is the Holy Spirit, by virtue of which all of you know the truth.  The knowledge of the truth is not the privilege of a select few, but of all God’s people.


This is an appeal to the common faith of the Church, the truth.  The anointing will recognize and reject any foreign elements as a lie.  Prophets will no doubt weigh the utterances of other prophets, but the final judgment is that of the whole congregation.  This is important for many will falsely accuse us.   The LORD placed the authority of that judgment on the Elders and the congregation in 1 John 2: 20-21.


The anointing – the Holy Spirit remains and teaches.  The Holy Spirit will teach us to recognize what is gospel and what is not gospel.


1 John 2: 22-23:  Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ?  He is antichrist that denies the Father and the Son.  Whosoever denies the Son, the same does not have the Father.  But he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also.


1 John 2:  24-25:  Let that abide in you which you have heard from the beginning.  If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you,  you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.  And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life.


1 John 2: 26-28:  These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.  But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.  And now, little children, abide in him that he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.


Jesus said that we are to Abide in Him (Jn. 15:4).  Abiding is the condition of fruit-bearing.  If one does not abide he is cut off and destroyed like a branch (Jn. 15:6).  To be found in Him at His coming is one of the purposes of abiding in Christ.  To this end Paul counted all loss for Christ and made every known consecration. (Phil 3: 7-16).


John is here referring to the seducers.  John does not teach that saints have no further need of gospel ministers, for God has sent them in the churches with an anointing to teach.


1 John 2: 29:  If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one that does righteousness is born of him.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church


Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible and F. F. Brue Bible Commentary.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.


15 Titles of Antichrist:


  1. Antichrist
  2. The Assyrian
  3. The King of Babylon
  4. The Spoiler
  5. The Extortioner
  6. Gog, the Chief Prince of Meshech  and Tubal.
  7. The little horn
  8. King of fierce Countenance
  9. The Prince that Shall come
  10. The King of the north
  11. The man of sin
  12. The son of perdition
  13. The Wicked
  14. That Wicked
  15. The Beast.
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