< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: 1st John 2:19-21

Monday, May 28, 2007

1st John 2:19-21

1 John 2:19-21 “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth”.

John said this group did not belong in the church. CH Dodd wrote, “Membership of the church is no guarantee that a man belongs to Christ.” And AE Brooke wrote, “External membership is no proof of inward union.”

In verse 20 John reminds his readers they possess knowledge. Remember both the seemists and the Gnostics claimed to have higher/special knowledge. But John is saying his readers know the gospel. What John and Peter and Paul were all trying to do in their letters was not so much tell them something new, but to bring into active and decisive use the knowledge they already possessed. That’s what I really loved about the first part of this letter and all the letters Paul wrote – they confirm and encourage our faith and then they go on to tell us plainly, in practical ways, how we can, and should, live our faith. It’s not knowing that’s the problem, it’s doing!

Our lives would be immediately different if we put into practice what we already know. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot more to learn, but even as we are this very minute, we have enough light to walk by, if we use the light we have.

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