Show header
Hide header
  • The Greek word for little children was often used by older persons in addressing younger ones. "It is a term of parental affection. It applies to Christians irrespective of growth. Used in vv. 12, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21; John 13:33; Gal. 4:19" (Darby). The aged apostle considered all the recipients of his Epistle his dear little children in the Lord. In vv. 13-27 he classified them into three groups: young children, young men, and fathers. Verses 1 John 2:1-12 and 1 John 2:28-29 are addressed to all the recipients in general, and vv. 13-27 to the three groups respectively, according to their growth in the divine life.

  • The things mentioned in 1 John 2:1:5-10 regarding the committing of sin by the children of God, the regenerated believers, who have the divine life and participate in its fellowship (1 John 2:1:1-4).

  • This word and if anyone sins in the succeeding sentence indicate that the regenerated believers can still sin. Though they possess the divine life, it is still possible for them to sin if they do not live by the divine life and abide in its fellowship.

  • Aorist subjunctive, denoting a single act, not habitual action.

  • The Greek word refers to one who is called to another's side to aid him; hence, a helper. It refers also to one who offers legal aid or one who intercedes on behalf of someone else; hence, an advocate, counsel, or intercessor. The word carries the sense of consoling and consolation; hence, a consoler, a comforter. It is used in the Gospel of John (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) for the Spirit of reality as our Comforter within us, the One who takes care of our case or our affairs (see note John 14:161a). It is used here in reference to the Lord Jesus as our Advocate with the Father. When we sin, He, based on the propitiation that He accomplished, takes care of our case by interceding (Rom. 8:34) and pleading for us.

  • See note 1 John 1:24e. The Lord Jesus as our Advocate is living in communion with the Father.

  • Here this divine title indicates that our case, which the Lord Jesus as our Advocate undertakes for us, is a family affair, a case between children and the Father. Through regeneration we have been born children of God. After regeneration, if we sin, it is a matter of children sinning against their Father. Our Advocate, who is the sacrifice for our propitiation, undertakes for us to restore our interrupted fellowship with the Father that we may abide in the enjoyment of the divine fellowship.

  • Our Lord Jesus is the only righteous man among all men. His righteous act (Rom. 5:18) on the cross fulfilled the righteous requirement of the righteous God for us and all sinners. Only He is qualified to be our Advocate, to care for us in our sinning condition and restore us to a righteous condition that the relationship between us and our Father, who is righteous, may be appeased.

  • I.e., the sacrifice for propitiation. See note Rom. 3:252a. The Lord Jesus Christ offered Himself to God as a sacrifice for our sins (Heb. 9:28), not only for our redemption but also for the satisfying of God's demand, thus appeasing the relationship between us and God. Hence, He is the sacrifice for our propitiation before God.

  • The Lord Jesus is a sacrifice for propitiation, not only for our sins but also for the whole world. However, this propitiation is conditioned on man's receiving the Lord by believing in Him. The unbelievers do not experience its efficacy, not because it has any fault but because they do not believe.

  • Verses 1 John 2:1-2 are a conclusion to the word in 1 John 1:5-10 regarding our confessing and God's forgiving of our sins, which interrupt our fellowship with Him. That is the first condition of — the first requirement for — our enjoyment of the fellowship of the divine life. Verses 1 John 2:3-11 deal with the second condition of — the second requirement for — our fellowship with God: that we keep the Lord's word and love the brothers.

  • Or, perceive; not doctrinally but experientially by keeping His commandments.

  • Lit., have come to know Him; denoting that we have begun to know Him and that we continue to know Him until the present time. This refers to our experiential knowledge of God in our daily walk and is related to our intimate fellowship with Him.

  • See note John 13:341a. So throughout the book.

  • Denoting the revealed reality of God as conveyed in the divine word (see note 1 John 1:66), which reveals that our keeping the Lord's commandments should follow our knowing Him. If we say that we have known the Lord, yet we are not keeping His commandments, the truth (reality) is not in us, and we become liars.

  • Word is synonymous with commandments in vv. 3-4. The word here comprises all the commandments. Commandments emphasizes injunction; word implies spirit and life as a supply to us (John 6:63).

  • The Greek word denotes the love that is higher and nobler than human affection (see note 2 Pet. 1:71a and note 2 Pet. 1:72b). Only this word with its verb forms is used in this Epistle for love. Here the love of God denotes our love toward God, which is generated by His love within us. The love of God, the word of the Lord, and God Himself are all related to one another. If we keep the Lord's word, God's love has been perfected in us. It is altogether a matter of the divine life, which is God Himself. God's love is His inward essence, and the Lord's word supplies us with this divine essence, with which we love the brothers. Hence, when we keep the divine word, the divine love is perfected through the divine life, by which we live.

  • I.e., in the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 1). This is a strong expression, stressing that we are one with the Lord. Since we are one with the Lord, who is God, the loving essence of God becomes ours. It is supplied to us by the Lord's word of life for our walk of love that we may enjoy the fellowship of the divine life and abide in the divine light (v. 10).

  • To be in Christ is the beginning of the Christian life. Our being put in Christ was God's doing once for all (1 Cor. 1:30). To abide in Christ is the continuation of the Christian life. This is our responsibility in our daily walk, a walk that is a copy of Christ's walk on earth. See note 1 John 2:278.

  • Lit., that One; referring to Jesus Christ.

  • The commandment given by the Lord in John 13:34, which is the word the believers heard and had from the beginning.

  • This phrase is in the relative sense. See note 1 John 1:12, par. 2.

  • The commandment regarding brotherly love is both old and new: old, because the believers have had it from the beginning of their Christian life; new, because in their Christian walk it dawns with new light and shines with new enlightenment and fresh power again and again.

  • This relative pronoun, in the neuter gender, does not refer to commandment, which is in the feminine gender. It should refer to the fact that the old commandment regarding brotherly love is new in the believers' Christian walk. That the old commandment is new is true in the Lord, since He not only gave it to His believers but also renews it in their daily walk continually. It is true also in the believers, since they not only have received it once for all but also are enlightened and refreshed by it repeatedly.

  • The passing away of the darkness is its vanishing in the shining of the true light. The true light is the light of the Lord's commandment. Because this light shines, the commandment regarding brotherly love dawns in the darkness, making the old commandment always new and fresh in our entire Christian living.

  • Light is the expression of God's essence and the source of truth (see note 1 John 1:53b). The divine love is related to the divine light. It is versus the satanic hatred, which is related to the satanic darkness. Hating a brother in the Lord is a sign of being in darkness (v. 11). Likewise, loving a brother is a sign of abiding in the light (v. 10). Love causes us to abide in the light, and light causes us to love the brothers.

  • Abiding in the light depends on abiding in the Lord (v. 6), from which issues love toward the brothers.

  • The Greek word means to go away.

  • In John 12:35, 40 darkness is the issue of blinding; here it is vice versa.

  • The forgiveness of sins is the basic element of God's gospel (Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31; 10:43; 13:38). Through this, the believers who receive Christ are regenerated and become the children of God (John 1:12-13).

  • The believers who are mature in the divine life. They are classified by the apostle as the first group among his recipients.

  • The Greek verb is in the perfect tense, denoting that the state produced continues: you have known; therefore, you know all the time. Such living knowledge is the fruit of the experience of life.

  • The eternal, preexisting Christ, who is the Word of life from the beginning (1 John 1:1; John 1:1). Knowing in the way of life such an eternal Christ is the characteristic of the mature and experienced fathers, who were not and could not be deceived by the heresies that said that Christ was not eternal as the Father is. Knowing Christ as the eternal One who is from the beginning will cause us to mature and not be deceived by the heresies of modernism.

  • In the absolute sense. See note 1 John 1:12, par. 2.

  • The believers who are grown up in the divine life. They are classified by the apostle as the second group of his recipients.

  • Overcoming the evil one is the characteristic of the grown-up and strong young believers, who are nourished, strengthened, and sustained by the word of God, which is abiding and operating in them against the devil, the world, and the lust of the world (vv. 14-17).

  • Satan, the devil. See note 1 John 5:194b.

  • The Greek word denotes have written; in other MSS, write. Although have written is more authentic according to a more recent discovery of MSS, write, which is used by the KJV and J. N. Darby's New Translation, is more logical according to the context. The apostle in this verse addressed his writing to each of the three classes of his recipients, always in the present tense. In the succeeding verses, 1 John 2:14-27, he addressed each of the three classes again, but always in the aorist tense (v. 14, to the fathers and young men; v. 26, cf. v. 18, to the young children).

  • The believers who have just received the divine life. They are classified by the apostle as the third group of recipients.

  • The Father is the source of the divine life; of Him the believers have been reborn (John 1:12-13). To know the Father is the initial issue of being regenerated (John 17:3, 6). Hence, such an experiential knowledge in the youth of the divine life is the basic qualification of the young children, who are the youngest in John's classification.

  • Although the Greek here is in the aorist tense, it does not indicate that any previous Epistle was written by the apostle to these same recipients. It means that he was repeating what he wrote to them in the preceding verse to strengthen and develop what he said. Hence, it indicates have written.

  • This word, ending with abides in you, strengthens the word you have overcome, which was written in the previous verse to the young men.

  • Verses 1 John 2:15-17 are the development of the word written in v. 13 to the young men.

  • The Greek word is used for different things, as follows: In Matt. 25:34; John 17:5; Acts 17:24; Eph. 1:4 and Rev. 13:8, it denotes the material universe as a system created by God. In John 1:29; 3:16 and Rom. 5:12, it denotes the fallen human race, corrupted and usurped by Satan to be the components of his evil world system. In 1 Pet. 3:3 it denotes adorning, ornaments. Here, as in John 15:19; 17:14 and James 4:4, it denotes an order, a set form, an orderly arrangement, hence, an ordered system (set up by Satan, the adversary of God), not the earth. God created man to live on the earth for the fulfillment of His purpose. But His enemy, Satan, in order to usurp the God-created man, formed an anti-God world system on this earth by systematizing men with religion, culture, education, industry, commerce, entertainment, etc., through men's fallen nature, in their lusts, pleasures, and pursuits, and even in their indulgence in necessities for their living, such as food, clothing, housing, and transportation (see note John 12:312). The whole of such a satanic system lies in the evil one (1 John 5:19). Not loving such a world is the ground for overcoming the evil one. Loving it just a little gives the evil one the ground to defeat and occupy us.

  • Lit., the love of the Father; referring to the Father's love within us, which becomes our love toward Him. To love Him with such a love is to love Him with the love with which He has loved us and which is enjoyed by us.

  • The world is against the Father, the devil is against the Son (1 John 3:8), and the flesh is against the Spirit (Gal. 5:17).

  • The lust of the flesh is the passionate desire of the body; the lust of the eyes is the passionate desire of the soul through the eyes; and the vainglory of life is the empty pride, boast, and display of material things, of the present life. These are the components of the world.

  • The Greek word denotes physical life, referring here to the present life; it differs from the word for life in 1 John 1:1-2, which refers to the divine life.

  • As the world is against God the Father, so the things in the world (v. 15), which constitute its lust, are against the will of God. The lust of the world, along with him who loves the world, is passing away, but he who does the will of God abides forever.

  • See note 1 John 1:65. I.e., does the will of God habitually and continually, not just occasionally.

  • As the world is against God the Father, so the things in the world (v. 15), which constitute its lust, are against the will of God. The lust of the world, along with him who loves the world, is passing away, but he who does the will of God abides forever.

  • Referring to the young children in v. 13 as the third class of recipients. Verses 1 John 2:18-27, stressing the knowledge in life (vv. 20-21), strengthen the word "because you know the Father," spoken to this class in v. 13.

  • An antichrist differs from a false Christ (Matt. 24:5, 24). A false Christ is one who pretends, deceivingly, to be the Christ, whereas an antichrist is one who denies Christ's deity, denying that Jesus is the Christ, that is, denying the Father and the Son by denying that Jesus is the Son of God (v. 22 and note 1 John 2:222c; v. 23), not confessing that He has come in the flesh through the divine conception of the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:2-3).

  • At the apostle's time many heretics, such as the Gnostics, the Cerinthians, and the Docetists, taught heresies concerning the person of Christ, that is, concerning His divinity and humanity.

  • These antichrists were not born of God and were not in the fellowship of the apostles and the believers (1 John 1:3; Acts 2:42); hence, they were not of the church, that is, of the Body of Christ.

  • To remain with the apostles and the believers is to remain in the fellowship of the Body of Christ.

  • The anointing is the moving and working of the indwelling compound Spirit, who is fully typified by the anointing oil, the compound ointment, in Exo. 30:23-25 (see Life-study of Exodus, Messages 157-166, and note Phil. 1:194d). This all-inclusive life-giving Spirit from the Holy One entered into us at the time of our regeneration and abides in us forever (v. 27); by Him the young children know the Father (v. 13) and know the truth (v. 21).

  • Some MSS read, you know all things.

  • Denoting the reality of the Divine Trinity, especially of the person of Christ (vv. 22-25), as taught by the divine anointing (vv. 20, 27). See note 1 John 1:66.

  • This knowing is by the anointing of the indwelling and life-giving Spirit. It is a knowledge in the divine life under the divine light, an inner knowledge that originates with our regenerated spirit, indwelt by the compound Spirit; it is not mental knowledge produced by outward stimulation.

  • This is the heresy of Cerinthus, a first century Syrian heresiarch of Jewish descent educated at Alexandria. His heresy was a mixture of Judaism, Gnosticism, and Christianity. He separated the maker (creator) of the world from God and represented that maker as a subordinate power. He taught adoptionism, saying that Jesus was merely God's adopted Son and had become the Son of God by being exalted to a status that was not His by birth; thus he denied that Jesus had been conceived by the Holy Spirit. In his heresy he separated the earthly man Jesus, regarded as the son of Joseph and Mary, from the heavenly Christ and taught that after Jesus was baptized, Christ as a dove descended upon Him, and then He announced the unknown Father and did miracles. Further, he taught that at the end of His ministry Christ departed from Jesus, and Jesus suffered death on the cross and rose from the dead, while Christ remained separate as a spiritual being, and, finally, that Christ will rejoin the man Jesus at the coming of the Messianic kingdom of glory.

  • To confess that Jesus is the Christ is to confess that He is the Son of God (Matt. 16:16; John 20:31). Hence, to deny that Jesus is the Christ is to deny the Father and the Son. Whoever so denies the divine person of Christ is the antichrist.

    The fact that denying that Jesus is the Christ equals denying the Father and the Son implies the thought that Jesus, Christ, the Father, and the Son are all one. They all are the elements, the ingredients, of the all-inclusive compound indwelling Spirit, who is now anointing the believers all the time (vv. 20, 27). In this anointing, Jesus, Christ, the Father, and the Son are all anointed into our inner being.

  • Since the Son and the Father are one (John 10:30; Isa. 9:6), to deny the Son is to be without the Father, and to confess the Son is to have the Father. Here to deny the Son is to deny the deity of Christ, to deny that the man Jesus is God. This is a great heresy.

  • The Word of life, i.e., the Word of the eternal life that the believers heard from the beginning (1 John 1:1-2). Not to deny but to confess that the man Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (v. 22), is to let the Word of the eternal life abide in us. In so doing we abide in the Son and in the Father and are not led astray by the heretical teachings concerning Christ's person (v. 26). This indicates that the Son and the Father are the eternal life for our regeneration and enjoyment. In this eternal life we have fellowship with God and with one another (1 John 1:2-3, 6-7) and have our being in our daily walk (v. 6; 1:7).

  • In the relative sense (see note 1 John 1:12, par. 2).

  • The singular pronoun He, referring to both the Son and the Father in the preceding verse, indicates that the Son and the Father are one. As far as our experience of the divine life is concerned, the Son, the Father, Jesus, and Christ are all one. It is not that only the Son, and not the Father, is the eternal life to us. It is that Jesus, being the Christ as the Son and the Father, is the eternal, divine life to us for our portion.

  • In the Gospel of John, such as in John 3:15; 4:14; 6:40, 47; 10:10; 11:25; 17:2-3.

  • According to the context of vv. 22-25, the eternal life is just Jesus, Christ, the Son, and the Father; all these are a composition of the eternal life. Hence, the eternal life also is an element of the all-inclusive, compound indwelling Spirit, who moves within us.

  • This indicates that this section of the Word was written to inoculate the believers with the truth of the Divine Trinity against the heresies concerning Christ's person.

  • Or, deceive you. To lead the believers astray is to distract them from the truth concerning Christ's deity and humanity by means of heretical teachings concerning the mysteries of what Christ is.

  • This is the indwelling of the all-inclusive, compound life-giving Spirit (Rom. 8:9, 11).

  • Concerning the indwelling of the Divine Trinity (John 14:17, 23), we do not need anyone to teach us; by the anointing of the all-inclusive, compound Spirit, who is the composition of the Divine Trinity, we know and enjoy the Father, the Son, and the Spirit as our life and life supply.

  • It is not an outward teaching by words but an inward teaching by anointing, through our inner spiritual consciousness. This teaching by anointing adds the divine elements of the Trinity, which are the elements of the anointing compound Spirit, into our inner being. It is like the repeated painting of some article: the paint not only indicates the color, but also by coat upon coat being added, the elements of the paint are added to the thing painted. It is in this way that the Triune God is transfused, infused, and added into all the inward parts of our being that our inner man may grow in the divine life with the divine elements.

  • According to the context, all things refers to all things concerning the person of Christ, which are related to the Divine Trinity. The teaching of the anointing concerning these things keeps us that we may abide in Him (the Divine Trinity), that is, in the Son and in the Father (v. 24).

  • The anointing within us of the compound Spirit as the composition of the Triune God, who is true (1 John 5:20), is a reality, not a falsehood. It can be proven by our actual and practical experience in our Christian life.

  • The Greek word means to stay (in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy); hence, to abide, remain, and dwell. To abide in Him is to abide in the Son and in the Father (v. 24). This is to remain and dwell in the Lord (John 15:4-5). It is also to abide in the fellowship of the divine life and to walk in the divine light (1 John 1:2-3, 6-7), i.e., abide in the divine light (v. 10). We should practice this abiding according to the teaching of the all-inclusive anointing, that our fellowship with God (1 John 1:3, 6) may be maintained.

  • See note 1 John 2:11. The word that begins in v. 13, written to the three different classes of recipients, ends in v. 27. Verse 28 turns back to all the recipients. Hence, the address is again to the little children, as in vv. 1, 12.

  • The word addressed to the three groups of recipients in vv. 13-27 concludes in the charge to abide in Him as the anointing has taught. In this section, 1 John 2:28-29; 3:1-24, the apostle continued to describe the life that abides in the Lord. The section begins (v. 28), continues (1 John 3:6), and ends (1 John 3:24) with abide(s) in Him.

  • Here the pronoun He refers definitely to Christ the Son, who is coming. This, with the preceding clause abide in Him, which is a repetition of the clause in the preceding verse involving the Trinity, indicates that the Son is the embodiment of the Triune God, inseparable from the Father or the Spirit.

  • This indicates that some believers, those who do not abide in the Lord (i.e., remain in the fellowship of the divine life according to pure faith in Christ's person) but are led astray by the heretical teachings concerning Christ (v. 26), will be punished by being put to shame from Him, from His glorious parousia.

  • Lit., in His presence (parousia).

  • The Greek word denotes perception with a conscious knowledge, a deeper inward seeing. This is for knowing the Lord.

  • Here He denotes the Triune God — the Father, the Son, and the Spirit — all-inclusively, because it refers to He and Him in the preceding verse, which denote the coming Son; it also refers to Him in this verse, denoting the Father, who has begotten us. This indicates strongly that the Son and the Father are one (John 10:30).

  • This refers to the righteous God in 1 John 1:9 and Jesus Christ the Righteous in v. 1 of this chapter. In this word to all the recipients, beginning from v. 28, the apostle turned his emphasis from the fellowship of the divine life (1 John 1:3-10; 2:1-11) and the anointing of the Divine Trinity (vv. 12-27) to the righteousness of God. The fellowship of the divine life and the anointing of the Divine Trinity should have an issue, that is, the expression of the righteous God.

  • Or, know that...(imperative).

  • The Greek word denotes outward, objective knowledge (see note John 8:551, note John 21:172a, and note Heb. 8:111). This is for knowing man.

  • See note 1 John 1:65. This is not to do righteousness occasionally and purposely as some particular act but to practice righteousness habitually and unintentionally as a common daily living. It is the same in 1 John 3:7. This is a spontaneous living that issues from the divine life within us, with which we have been begotten of the righteous God. Hence, it is a living expression of God, who is righteous in all His deeds and acts. It is not just an outward behavior but the manifestation of the inward life; not just an act of purpose but the flow of life from within the divine nature, of which we partake. This is the first condition of the life that abides in the Lord. It is all due to the divine birth, which is indicated by the word has been begotten of Him and the title children of God in the succeeding verse (1 John 3:1).

  • John's writings on the mysteries of the eternal divine life stress very much the divine birth (1 John 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18; John 1:12-13), which is our regeneration (John 3:3, 5). It is the greatest wonder in the entire universe that human beings could be begotten of God and sinners could be made children of God! Through such an amazing divine birth we have received the divine life, which is the eternal life (1 John 1:2), as the divine seed sown into our being (1 John 3:9). Out of this seed all the riches of the divine life grow from within us. It is by this that we abide in the Triune God and live out the divine life in our human living, i.e., live out the life that does not practice sin (1 John 3:9) but practices righteousness (1 John 2:29), loves the brothers (1 John 5:1), overcomes the world (1 John 5:4), and is not touched by the evil one (1 John 5:18).

Download Android app
Play audio
Alphabetically search
Fill in the form
Quick transfer
on books and chapters of the Bible
Hover your cursor or tap on the link
You can hide links in the settings