John Stapleton

Christian Community With John Stapleton: Basic Christianity- Love- 1 John 2:26-27

I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to
lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit,* and he
lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is
true. For the Spirit* teaches you everything you need to know,
and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has
taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

1 John 2:26-27 NLT

1). Some People Are Lying To You

Like last time, John is addressing a serious heresy in the church that tried to claim the allegiance of an entirely new generation of Christians. The heresy taught that you can believe in Jesus and never change. You can fellowship with God while still living in your sin. John later reveals that these people are antichrists who have left the church.

Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the
Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have
appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.
These people left our churches, but they never really belonged
with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they
left, it proved that they did not belong with us.

1 John 2:18-19 NLT

Not only that, these people were also teaching erroneous things about Christ, saying that he wasn’t God and he didn’t take on a physical body.

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by
the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have
comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the
world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a
person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus
Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God.
But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not
acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from
God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you
heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.

1 John 4:1-3 NLT

2) But You Have The Holy Spirit

John reflects back on Jesus’ teaching about the Holy Spirit.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,
who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into
all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking
for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because
he lives with you now and later will be in you.

John 14:16-17 NLT

John is echoing Jesus here and he wants the church to remember two things:

1). The Holy Spirit lives in you
2). “the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know” (2:27).

This is important because of the rise of the Gnostics. They were a group of people who believed in secret knowledge that wasn’t available to the average layperson in church. John’s heart here is similar to fathers of the reformation. If everyone has the Spirit who is also a teacher, nobody has the corner on truth.

These people were operating out of a deep sense of pride that elevated them above those dumb people. But as Paul would point out, knowledge without love just makes a bunch of smug Christians (1 Corinthians 8:1). In the end, it is not about developing fat heads, but huge hearts. It’s not about being the smartest people, but about loving each other like we already have been told.


Lord, help us remain with you as individuals and as the church.
Safeguard us from lies both new and old, and continue to remind
us that love is the outward expression of what it is to show Christ
to the world. Amen.

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