Abide in Christ

1 John–Lesson 5

John assured believers that their sins are completely forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Confessing specific sin moment-by-moment cleanses us from all unrighteousness and restores our fellowship with God.  Confession is not meant to free us up to sin, since the consequences of sin are certain.   It is obedience to the Word of God–with confession of sin–that frees us up to NOT SIN and walk in fellowship with Christ.

“God fellowships with His children on the basis of His
unalterable, holy Character.” 1   

J. Dwight Pentecost

Through faith and fellowship with Him, we are enabled and empowered to overcome our fleshly desires and the enemy that controls the evil world system.  Fellowship–walking in the light–is the means of abiding in Christ.

“And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who
does the will of God abides [fellowships] forever.”
1 John 2:17 NASB

1. Read 1 John 2:18-27.  John declared that the world is passing away.  The final chapter of the world’s evil existence has begun.  What do 1 John 2:18 and 2 John 1:7 make John’s readers aware of?  How do we know when someone is an antichrist?

2.  John is writing about false teachers “within” the local body of Christ.   They claimed to be believers.   What does John mean when he refers to these antichrists as “not really belong[ing]2 to us” in verse 19?  Review 2 John 1:7 for help with your answer.

3.  What religions or cults (antichrists) of today have claimed a relationship with “god” and recognize Jesus the man, but deny His deity, His incarnation, and His atoning sacrifice for the sins of man?

(Note:  The word antichrist is two words–anti, meaning “against’” combined with the Greek word “christos’” meaning “anointed one.”  This indicates a person who is “against the Anointed One.”  Acts 4:27 identifies the Anointed One, “Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.”)

(Note: The word “anoint” means, “to apply oil to a person or thing.”3 In the Old Testament, oil, which symbolized the Holy Spirit, was used to anoint a person or a thing for the purpose of consecrating, setting apart as holy, the item or person to God for a sacred use.  In the New Testament the anointing of believers is only mentioned in two passages where it involves the Holy Spirit’s teaching of believers (See 2 Cor. 1:21 and 1 John 2:20,27).  It is assumed that the anointing, a one time experience, could also include service to God.  Christ was anointed.  See Luke 4:18.)

4.  According to 1 John 2:20, what allows believers to know the truth?  (Note:  It isn’t possible for a believer to know all truth.  Only God is capable of such “knowing.”   Since John is continuing to refute the false teachers by teaching his readers, he may mean that because of the anointing, believers know enough truth to resist these antichrists.)

5.  From Acts 10:38, how was Jesus anointed?  According to 1 John 2:20, what was the purpose of anointing believers?

6. Read Luke 12:12, John 14:26 and John 15:26.  How does a believer know the truth?  List some specific things we are taught.  (Note:  Charles C. Ryrie wrote in his book, The Holy Spirit, “The anointing, as far as the believer is concerned, is that he might be taught.”)

7.  Who else is commanded to teach believers?   Read Matt. 28:20, Col. 3:16, and 1 Tim. 4:11, 13.  How is the Holy Spirit involved?

8.  Some commentaries suggest that false teachers also believed in some type of mystical, ritual anointing, probably an anointing with oil, a counterfeit ritual.  They claimed their anointing as the means by which they received higher knowledge–which they considered superior to the Scriptures–that would save them.  Review questions #4-7, and show how the spiritual anointing of a believer was superior.

9.  Heb. 6:18 states, “…it is impossible for God to lie….” What two truths are revealed about liars (antichrists) in 1 John 2:21-23?  How does John 14:6 prove verse 23?

10.  John has put great emphasis on the importance of believing in Jesus as the Christ–wholly man and wholly God–for salvation.  Will this truth affect the way you share the Message?  Explain.

11. According to 1 John 2:24, what must believers do to abide in Christ and enjoy fellowship with God the Father?

12.  It is likely that the false teachers denied that John’s readers were saved.  Review 1 John 2:24-25 and John 10:10. On what basis should believers continue to trust and rest in the eternal life Christ promised?  (Note:  Abiding is not a means to eternal life.  Eternal life is a gift of God when salvation is received through believing by faith alone in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins and His resurrection.  Abiding in Christ is a walk of obedience in the light of God’s Word after salvation.  Walking in the light enables us to fellowship with Christ.)

13.  Review 1 John 2:26-27.  Read 2 Cor. 1:21 and Eph. 1:13.  Review your answer to question #8.  Explain what John means by the phrase “the anointing you received from Him remains in you.”   What benefit is ours?

14.  What do you think John’s readers knew from the Apostles’ teaching that didn’t need to be re-taught or have added revelation?

15.  Express your own personal reaction to the truth in 1 John 2: 27.  (Note:  This time John uses the word “teaches” to express an ongoing process of teaching believers.)  How much time do you spend as the Holy Spirit’s student?

16.  Write a prayer of thanksgiving and praise to Christ for the anointing you have received as a believer.

The Lord is in His holy house—
“Oh, grace beyond describing.
That Christ in me should please to dwell—
Immanuel residing!
“My soul doth magnify the Lord,”
I sing with lowly Mary,
that God should choose to enter in
This humble sanctuary!

Not now in little Bethlehem, As in the tender story;
Not now upon a mercy seat, The bright Shekinah glory,
But in the body of His saint, He maketh His residing,
Both He in me and I in Him
In fellowship abiding.—Anne Ortlund4


Journal your thoughts and insights.


1 The Joy of Intimacy With God by J. Dwight Pentecost
2 Author’s Brackets
3 The NIV Study Bible General Editor Kenneth Barker
4 My Sacrifice His Fire by Anne Ortlund Beginning portion of her poem. Page 265.  Word Publishing


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