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The Epistles of John (Part 22): 1 John 2:26–27

by Stephen Hebert on Tuesday - 17 July 2007

in Biblical Studies, New Testament

This is the 22nd part in an ongoing series on the Epistles of John.

English Standard Version Nestle-Aland 27
I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 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. Ταῦτα ἔγραψα ὑμῖν περὶ τῶν πλανώντων ὑμᾶς. καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ, μένει ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς, ἀλλ᾿ ὡς τὸ αὐτοῦ χρῖσμα διδάσκει ὑμᾶς περὶ πάντων καὶ ἀληθές ἐστιν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ψεῦδος, καὶ καθὼς ἐδίδαξεν ὑμᾶς, μένετε ἐν αὐτῷ.

In order to keep his audience from moving away from the teaching that they received, John urges them to be continually instructed by “his anointing.” This continual teaching seems to come through the act of abiding in Him, and (Him abiding in you).

When you have spent a great deal of your time in academic settings, as I have over the past few years, it can become easy to forget about the spiritual side of Christian instruction. We can become some weighed down by books of theology, classes, study, etc., that we forget that there is a second direct link to God that we possess. This direct link comes through meditation and prayer.

I really think that is what John is urging his audience to do: meditate and pray. We can read and read and read, but eventually our minds become saturated. Have you ever sat down to read and just felt like the letters on the page were in disarray, a veritable alphabet soup? As you move from page to page it becomes difficult to discern not only what the author is writing about, but even the meaning of sentences. Then phrases begin to breakdown. Finally, words have no meaning. You’ve reached your limit! Perhaps this is only a personal experience; perhaps I’m alone in this.

There is a second side of our Christian instruction: the spiritual. This side needs to be poked, prodded, encouraged, and fostered. Like the art of study, prayer and meditation require exercise. God can teach us so much through prayer. In quiet moments, when the mind is at rest, we are often able to gain some sort of clarity or insight about the situation of things.

In my own experience, study and prayer offer two very different rewards. Study helps me to draw closer to the idea of God. It helps me to understand His ways because I am reading and learning about His history. Prayer, on the other hand, helps me draw closer to God himself. In these quiet times, I am able to hear Him speak in extremely personal ways. Often this results in thinking that is simply clear and practical: do this don’t do that. In both cases, I am reminded of who He is, how He has revealed himself, and where I stand in relation to Him.

Ultimately, I think what John is getting at is this: Beware teachers because the two best teachers have already been given to you—study and prayer—both of which are nurtured by a relationship with God.

Article Series - The Epistles of John

  1. The Epistles of John (Part 1): 1 John 1:1–4
  2. The Epistles of John (Part 2): 1 John 1:5
  3. The Epistles of John (Part 3): 1 John 1:6–7
  4. The Epistles of John (Part 4): 1 John 1:8–10
  5. The Epistles of John (Part 5): 1 John 2:1
  6. The Epistles of John (Part 6): 1 John 2:2
  7. The Epistles of John (Part 7): 1 John 2:3–6
  8. The Epistles of John (Part 8): 1 John 2:7–8
  9. The Epistles of John (Part 9): 1 John 2:9–11
  10. The Epistles of John (Part 10): 1 John 2:12
  11. The Epistles of John (Part 11): 1 John 2:13
  12. The Epistles of John (Part 12): 1 John 2:14
  13. The Epistles of John (Part 13): 1 John 2:15
  14. The Epistles of John (Part 14): 1 John 2:16
  15. The Epistles of John (Part 15): 1 John 2:17
  16. The Epistles of John (Part 16): 1 John 2:18
  17. The Epistles of John (Part 17): 1 John 2:19
  18. The Epistles of John (Part 18): 1 John 2:20
  19. The Epistles of John (Part 19): 1 John 2:21
  20. The Epistles of John (Part 20): 1 John 2:22
  21. The Epistles of John (Part 21): 1 John 2:23–25
  22. The Epistles of John (Part 22): 1 John 2:26–27
  23. The Epistles of John (Part 23): 1 John 2:28
  24. The Epistles of John (Part 24): 1 John 2:29
  25. The Epistles of John (Part 25): 1 John 3:1–3
  26. The Epistles of John (Part 26): 1 John 3:4–6
  27. The Epistles of John (Part 27): 1 John 3:7–10
  28. The Epistles of John (Part 28): 1 John 3:11–12
  29. The Epistles of John (Part 29): 1 John 3:13
  30. The Epistles of John (Part 30): 1 John 3:14-18
  31. The Epistles of John (Part 31): 1 John 3:19–22
  32. The Epistles of John (Part 32): 1 John 3:23–24
  33. The Epistles of John (Part 33): 1 John 4:1–3
  34. The Epistles of John (Part 34): 1 John 4:4–6
  35. The Epistles of John (Part 35): 1 John 4:7-8
  36. The Epistles of John (Part 36): 1 John 4:9
  37. The Epistles of John (Part 37): 1 John 4:10
  38. The Epistles of John (Part 38): 1 John 4:11-12
  39. The Epistles of John (Part 39): 1 John 4:13–14
  40. The Epistles of John (Part 40): 1 John 4:15
  41. The Epistles of John (Part 41): 1 John 4:16–17
  42. The Epistles of John (Part 42): 1 John 4:18–19
  43. The Epistles of John (Part 43): 1 John 4:20–21
  44. The Epistles of John (Part 44): 1 John 5:1
  45. The Epistles of John (Part 45): 1 John 5:2-3

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