Reading for Friday, May 25: 1 John 2
John says he writes to keep his readers from sin (v1), but also to speak a word about our advocate against sin – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, whose atoning sacrifice cleanses us from our sins (v2). But John glosses over the intricacies of atonement in favor of ethics. “But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did,” (v5-6). Through obedience, God’s love is made complete in us. In fact, we could argue that we experience God’s love most fully only through willful obedience.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world.” (v15). John speaks of “the world” with a negative connotation — it is a place filled with “the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does.” These are representative of antichrist, behaviors that deny Christ’s lordship over one’s life.
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One,” (v20). This anointing serves as the wellspring of life for the believer: “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you…But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him,” (v27). This is one of John’s signature sentiments: remain in Christ, abide in Him. If we abide, “we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming,” (v28).