Verses to review today: 1 John 2:18-26
New Verse: 1 John 2:27
But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. (ESV)
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: 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. (KJV)
Greek: καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ, μένει ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς, ἀλλʼ ὡς τὸ αὐτοῦ χρῖσμα διδάσκει ὑμᾶς περὶ πάντων καὶ ἀληθές ἐστιν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ψεῦδος, καὶ καθὼς ἐδίδαξεν ὑμᾶς, μένετε ἐν αὐτῷ.
Transliterated Greek: kai hymeis to chrisma ho elabete ap’ autou, menei en hymin kai ou chreian echete hina tis didaskē hymas, all’ hōs to autou chrisma didaskei hymas peri pantōn kai alēthes estin kai ouk estin pseudos, kai kathōs edidaxen hymas, menete en autō.
Literal Word for Word Translation: and you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you and you do not have need that anyone teach you, but as his anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you remain in him.
Vocab: χρῖσμα, chrisma, anointing; ἐλάβετε, elabete, you (pl) have received; χρείαν, chreian, need; διδάσκῃ, didaskē, he should teach
Commentary: Again, the “and you” at the beginning of the literal translation shows the emphasis on the contrast of those who are trying to deceive in verse 26 and those John is writing to who have the anointing. Not only does the message they heard from the beginning dwell in them, but the anointing dwells in them as well (vv 20, 21, 24). It is important to understand that it isn’t just the Spirit in them from which they know the truth, but the knowledge they have from the message they heard. Some claim by verses like this one that they need no human teachers, nor the Bible, and that the Spirit is all they need. However, the message proclaimed and the Spirit go hand in hand. Otherwise, why is John teaching them? The Spirit testifies to the teaching of the apostles – the message which they heard. The Spirit illuminates the reading of the Scriptures for our enlightenment. Many times, especially for the less mature, the Spirit works through others to teach. No person should know something by the Spirit that no one else, also inspired by the Spirit for the last 2000 years, has ever known. The quickest way to heresy is to rely on esoteric teaching without any foundation on the word that has come from Christ through the apostles. Indeed, it was the Gnostics who claimed that esoteric teaching was what was needed for salvation – a secret knowledge.
The teaching John is saying they don’t need is the teaching from the Gnostics – those who are trying to deceive them and whose knowledge is not of the Spirit. In other words, they have no need for a new teaching. Many today are not satisfied with the gospel. They think there has to be something more – something more spiritual and more mystical – something they acquire through effort. Unfortunately, that which is more mystical is often demonic and pulls people away from the simple truth of grace. There can be mystical experiences that are truth, but they are rare and must be validated by Scripture when they do occur. We are not to seek them. That is exactly how the Gnostics strayed from the gospel in the first place. By the Spirit, we know when a message resonates or has disharmony with our soul. Since the Word was inspired by the Spirit, it can never contradict.