NEW TESTAMENT CONTEXTUAL COMMENTARY
By Dr. Robert R. Seyda
FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN
The Apostle John focuses on fellowship with God in this second chapter. In doing so, he offers five essential points in understanding fellowship. By the end of this chapter you will have a new appreciation for the role of fellowship in a Christian’s relationship with God and with their fellow believers. In fact, you cannot have fellowship with one without the other.
First, fellowship includes trusting in the Anointed One as an advocate. John does not want believers to sin, either ignorantly or intentionally. However, if and when they do, he wants them to know there is an advocate: Jesus the Anointed One who will speak to the Father on their behalf. The Messiah covered the sins of all the world. So if that includes unbelievers, it certainly covers believers, but in different ways. Those who keep His commandments are demonstrating that they truly know the Son of God. They do not only know about Him as some historical figure, but know Him on a personal and intimate basis. Those who do not keep His commands, but say they have fellowship with Him, are simply liars. Those who conduct themselves as the Anointed One conducted Himself, give evidence that they are “in union with” Him.
Second, believers are commanded to love one another. This was not a suggestion or hint, this was not a new commandment, but one given from the beginning by the Anointed One. Hate for one’s spiritual brother or sister is incompatible with fellowship with our Savior. Love is often defined as the single most important sign which the world uses to identify a Christian. Those who love their fellow brother show they have “received the Light.” John’s writing includes an important poetic section in verses 12–14.
Third, believers are not to love the world. It is interesting that John uses the Greek verb agapaō. This refers to those who welcome being entertained by those things in the world they are fond of and very pleased and contented with them. In other words, they prefer worldly, non-spiritual things to godly things. “The world” is a phrase often used to refer to the sinful, material attitudes of mankind. Those who love the world more than the Anointed One prove that the love of the Father is not in them. Such attitudes are not from the Father but the world.
Fourth, John calls the days he was living in “last hour.” Believers are warned against teachings of “antichrists,” or false teachers. These liars deny Jesus is the Anointed One. The remarkable thing is that all the things John warned his people about are still with us over 2,000 years later. That proves that if God never changes, neither does our law-breaking tendencies.
Fifth, believers are called to remember their position as children of God when they consider doing anything that might go against God’s Word or Will. They are to remain in union with Him, so they will not be ashamed when He returns. Those who do what is right, are said to be born “of Him.”
This is going to be another experience of discovery in our wonderful and exciting journey through John’s first epistle. God loves you for taking the time to study His Word. Here’s what John said about his testimony: We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God doesn’t listen to us. This is how we distinguish the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error.
 1 John 4:6