WALKING IN THE LIGHT

NEW TESTAMENT CONTEXTUAL COMMENTARY

By Dr. Robert R. Seyda

FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN

CHAPTER TWO (Lesson LXX) 06/29/21

2:27 But you received the Holy Spirit, and now He lives within you, in your hearts, so that you don’t need anyone to teach you what is right. For He teaches you all things, and He tells you the Truth. He is not a liar. So, just as He has said, you must live in the Anointed One, never to depart from Him.

Alfred E. Plummer (1746-1829) now sees the Apostle John adding several contrasts to the ones already mentioned. They involve the Present World with the Future World and the Anointed One versus the antichrist. Again, these are a test of loyalty that will determine whether a person is a professing Christian or a possessing Christian. But in these cases, it is more a matter of avoiding than choosing.[1]

Samuel E. Pierce (1746-1829) says people the Apostle John talks about here all had union with the Lord Jesus the Anointed One. Their interest and communion were with Him. The Apostle would have them remain steadfast in their profession and possession given by the Spirit to them as the best outward proof that their testimony of these things showed the reality of grace in a person’s life. That’s why John urged over and over again to learn from these instances. We are not to be so exact in always interpreting every word we read out of God’s holy book. Our Lord Jesus gave us an example.  

The Gospels show that our Master delivered verbatim the same sermon and parables repeatedly, says Pierce. Therefore, we need not be ashamed to follow His example. Pierce is trying to say that we should be comfortable using the same words Sunday after Sunday. He is pointing out particular words that a person might hear in every message: repentance, faith, love, born again, sin, grace, forgiveness, the cross, et al. These are truths to emphasize again and again. They are God’s words brought to our memory by the Holy Spirit.[2]

Richard Rothe (1799-1867) feels that John has reached a juncture here in verse twenty-seven. He seems satisfied with what he’s written so far and doesn’t see any reason to require anything further since they have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within their hearts. It doesn’t mean they’ve reached the level where no further instructions are needed, but that they are capable of fighting the good fight and keeping the faith. So, if they faithfully follow the anointing of the Spirit that enlightens them, they will not forsake the truths initially communicated to them. Growing in the Lord is a continuous process; we never stop learning, but there must come to some point when we correctly use and abide by what we’ve already learned.[3]

Robert Lewis Dabney (1819-1904) points out that what John says here shows that the perseverance of the saints’ proceeds “from the abiding of the Spirit, and the seed of God within them.” At the hour they believe, every Christian is so united to the Anointed One that they partake of His indwelling Spirit. This union is permanent. The motivating cause for instituting God’s free and eternal love is a permanent and unchangeable status. The indwelling of the Spirit promised to believers is a permanent and abiding gift.[4] That’s why the Apostle Paul said we are not to grieve God’s Holy Spirit, who secured us for the day of redemption.[5] No doubt, that begins when we are guilty of quenching His Spirit.[6]

William Kelly (1821-1906) says that it is interesting to inquire about the difference between our obedience and our righteousness. Yet is not the answer sufficiently plain? Although righteousness is always obedient, in itself, it is an expression not only of submission to divine authority but of consistency with a relationship. It seems to define its proper meaning. Even if we seek the force of God’s righteousness, it is no less applicable than elsewhere. It means the consistency of God with His relationship, just as it is with the Anointed One’s righteousness or with man’s righteousness, as significantly as they all may differ. In God’s case, there is the perfection of the Anointed One’s consistency with His relationship with believers. In our case, we have to lament the shortcoming of our inconsistency as Christians with our Lord and Master.[7]

Friedrich Düsterdieck (1822-1906) talks about believing Jews who sealed in John’s Revelation and how it relates to every approved Christian. Their sealing occurs by receiving the new seal of the covenant, the Holy Spirit of the Father, and the Son in extraordinary power and fullness. Thus, He appears in a visible mark, characterizing their entire conduct, and secures them against the trials of the empire of the world, especially on the part of a counterfeit Christianity,[8] and the judgments of God proceeding throughout the world.[9] How ridiculous it is for anyone to break that seal and lose all its promises.

John James Lias (1834-1923) addresses the Apostle’s John’s words that true born-again believers who have the Holy Spirit living in them do not need anyone to teach this. Lias says that we can see that these words, like those in verse twenty, are addressed to the believing community. They have the potential of being true of every member. But this may not have been true of each Christian. Otherwise, there would have been no need to caution them. The fact is that the spiritual gifts granted to the Christian Church members are conditional, like all other gifts, upon proper use. There is no permit here for spiritual fanatics who imagine themselves to have such firm possession of their souls they are entitled to believe that they already understand all truth.[10]

Lias goes on to say that we need to be careful about being deceived from within. The devil is always busy trying to fool the believer by making “the worse appear to be the better choice.” Yes, Satan is skilled in placing the temptations of a sinful appetite in their most attractive light. He provides us with alternative names for our sins. Extravagance is an open-mindedness; indulgence is leniency; partying is amusement; a free-for-all is a social acceptance; unbelief is independent thinking; greed is ambition. What was once “sinful” is a choice, and what was proper is “old fashion.”

Lias says the Apostle John sees these as “mockers” who “walk after their ungodly lusts,” “not having the Spirit in them,” they “separate themselves” from the true congregation of the faithful. There is only One who can “keep us from falling,” and to “present us faultless before the presence of God’s glory, with exceeding joy,” even He who anointed us with His Holy Spirit. We can be safe only if we “abide in Him.” “In Him is Life, and Life is the Light of the world.” Believe in Him, and you will abide in union with Him. None of these “seducing spirits” will be able to “pluck you out of His hand.”[11] [12]

William Sinclair (1850-1917) also shares some insightful information on the effects of anointing. He tells us that anointing with oil played a significant part in the physical life of Eastern races. The climate was dry, humid, and exhausting; moisturizer restored freshness, elasticity, and vitality to the thirsty and feeble frame.

So, like dew reviving the vegetation on the hillside, says Sinclair or ointment restoring the strength to muscles and ligaments, the healing, soothing, influence of the Divine Spirit breathes new life into the heart of God’s children. By unfolding the meaning of what they heard, brings all things to their remembrance, which guides them into all truth.[13] So, the Apostle John tells them they did not need the unproven discoveries of false teachers; all they wanted was the unction of God to revive what they heard from the beginning.[14]

A. T. Robertson (1863-1934) points to what we should understand when the Apostle John talks about teaching. The Greek verb didaskō (“teaching”) is used in the present active indicative tense here. It means, that the subject is acting on rather than being acted upon. That means reality rather than hypothetical activity is in view. The Holy Spirit is to bring all things to their remembrance[15] and bear witness concerning the Anointed One.[16] Yet, they need to be reminded of what they already know to be “true” and “no lie,” according to John’s positive and negative habit.[17] So, he urges them to “abide in Him.” Jesus precisely demanded that the disciples abide in Him.[18] [19]


[1] Plummer, Alfred: First Epistle of John, op. cit., p. 97

[2] Pierce, S. E., An Exposition of the First Epistle General of John, op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 293

[3] Rothe, Richard: The Expository Times, op. cit., September 1892, p. 552

[4] Dabney, Robert L. Systematic Theology, op. cit., (Kindle Locations 10856-10858)

[5] Ephesians 4:30

[6] 1 Thessalonians 5:19

[7] Kelly, William: An Exposition of the Epistles of John the Apostle, op. cit., pp. 164-165

[8] See Matthew 24:21-25

[9] Düsterdieck, Friedrich: Critical and Exegetical Handbook on the Revelation of John, op. cit., p. 258

[10] Lias, J. J., The First Epistle of John with Exposition, op, cist., pp. 168-169

[11] John 10:28

[12] Lias, J. J., The First Epistle of John with Homiletical Treatment, op. cit., pp. 174-176

[13] John 16:13

[14] Sinclair, William, First Epistle of John, op. cit., p. 481

[15] John 14:26

[16] Ibid. 15:26; 16:12-15

[17] 1 John 1:5

[18] John 15:4ff

[19] Robertson, A. T. Word Pictures, op. cit., p. 1952

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s