It is wrong to say we don't require cleansing from our sins. It's like being born in a swamp with murky water all over us. We need to take a shower at some point to get the dirty water off of us. But it is the soul which is contaminated by sin and the shower requires repentance and turning to Christ.
(1 John 2:13) I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
(1 John 2:14) I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
John mentions that Christians have heard that a person referred to as Antichristwill someday very soon, at the last time, appear on the human scene. In this verse he seems to be correcting their views about this. Rather than think that the last time is some very soon future time, he states that the last time is now because there are already many antichrists on the scene.
(1 John 2:19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
Those who were mere pretenders in the faith abandoned the apostles. True Christianity is apostolic, that is to say, true Church leaders will be holy and orthodox. We should reject those claiming to be Church leaders who are not qualified.
Notice that there were people who were trained by the apostles who went out in the apostles name, but they did not teach what the apostles taught. This raises the question of whether someone teaching anything not taught by the apostles can claim to be true teachers of the faith. For example, the apostles clearly taught that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ.Is someone who teaches it to be merely symbolic a trustworthy teacher of the faith?
An antichrist is a liar, as is anyone who teaches false doctrine. Should we allow that liars are teachers and defenders of the faith?What about when one of these liars is a bishop? or pastor or teacher or theologian? or pope?
(1 John 2:24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
(1 John 2:27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
Satan's sphere of influence encompasses the entire universe.Because Adam, when given the chance, did not rebel against Satan, his tentacles of sin permeate all aspects of the created order. Only is repenting from sin do we free ourselves from its influences.
There are two aspects to this:
We should seek assurance that we are pleasing God (because if we are not pleasing God, we are not redeemed). Note how we can do this: by being charitable to our fellow Christians in need.
Notice that Paul equates being a Christian with being of the truth. Christianity is a religion concerned foremost with truth. Thus, in assessing teachings and doctrines from various sources, we should judge them using truth as the criteria. Any that are provably false should be rejected(as should the source of the false teaching, the false teachers, even if they are bishops or popes).
This is probably not the best place to start a new chapter because the thought continues from the previous verse. This verse contrasts the Spirit of God which dwells within true believers and enlivens them by enabling them to keep God's commandments.
John raises the topic of false teaching, false teachers, and false prophets. In his day there were New Testament prophets. Later, the Church stopped having these, for no good reason as far as I can tell. I think this reflected the growing trend for bishops to become political rulers who controlled the people.Perhaps they got rid of prophets to solve the problem of false prophetsbut this didn't work because they ended up having heretical bishops and political bishops instead.
John assumes that there is a spirit behind every teaching, behind every utterance of a prophet. A true prophet will deliver the message of the Holy Spirit while a false prophet will deliver the message of a false spirit. Thus, Church teachers are merely discerning spirits and delivering the message they believe to be of God. If they choose wrongly, we are to reject the message and to reject them as teachers.
In John's day, the key to properly discerning infallible teachingwas to see what it said about who Jesus is. If the teaching confirmed that Jesus took on a human body, the teaching is trustworthy. Today this test is not enough since there are now plenty of teaching systems which accept the doctrine of the Trinity but which, nevertheless, contain errors.We should reject false teachings even if they are otherwise in harmony with the Nicene creed.
(1 John 4:3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
As soon as Jesus appeared in the world, the spirits of darkness opposed him by corrupting his message. Many false teachers and false prophets were all too happy to deliver these false messages and thus, the era of false teachers, the era of antichrists began.
Since they are waiting for Christ's coming, this implies that he comes at their death; that everyone encounters Christ at death and they are received into the kingdom of heaven at that time.It doesn't make sense for them to be exhorted to wait for Christ's coming if it occurs thousands (millions?) of years after they have died.
This verse demonstrates that John uses the term "logos" to refer to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
We may wonder why he chose to use an existing term having various meanings, a term used in both Hellenistic [Greek] philosophy and in the Old Testament, and to give it a new meaning. Perhaps his purpose was to inform them that their various ideas of logos were flawed or incomplete; that the truth of the matter is that God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. Perhaps John was hinting that they should therefore revise their views to line up with Christian teaching.
We can ask God for anything according to his will and he will hear these prayers.
God always grants prayers such as these, prayers according to God's will.
(1 John 5:16) If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
Even praying for salvation for someone who is in sin, but not in mortal sin,even this will be granted because it is God's will to redeem everyone not in mortal sin. You can't pray for someone living in mortal sin and expect God to answer; they must first repent of their sin. This is the problem with the teaching of saved by faith only:it ignores the role of works in salvation.
Certainly you can pray that God will draw those in mortal sin or those unredeemed to himself via the Holy Spirit. And certainly God will attempt to influence them in this way. But he will not violate their free will choice to reject him.
This verse clearly states that those who are redeemed don't sin. This implies that those who do sin are not among the redeemed. The fundamentalist evangelical Protestant teaching on this topic is completely wrong; works do have a role in salvation.
(1 John 5:20) And we know that the Son of God is [has] come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
God the Father and the Son of God are two persons of the same Godhead. If we are in God the Father, we are also in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
King James Version