Christ vs. AntiChrist
Scripture reading for December 19th: 1st John 1-5
John wrote this letter to the church to counter some false teachers called “gnostics” who were saying that Jesus was just a spirit. They denied that Jesus Christ came in a human body. Since they believed that the body was not “spiritual”, it didn’t matter what was done in the body. To them, there really wasn’t any sin a person could commit in the body.
But Jesus was a man and lived in obedience to the Father. Jesus calls all men to repentance. Breaking God’s law is sin and we must confess and repent. (1st John 1:8-9) If we say we have no sin, we are living in deception, just like the false teachers.
We can not separate the actions of our spirits and bodies, doing what we please here on earth and still expect God’s mercy! John used a word to describe these false teachers who worked among God’s people. He called them “antichrist”. (1st John 2:16) These teachers were proposing an alternative Christ that was simply a spirit. This false teaching took people away from Christ.
The early church knew about “the Antichrist” who was to come in the last days. He would be a world ruler who would deceive many with false signs and wonders. (2nd Thessalonians 2:8-11) Paul described him as the “man of lawlessness”. John further stated that many “antichrists” had already gone out into the world at the time of his writing. These false teachers had come from within the church but left the church.
“Antichrist” is a term that literally means “one set over against Christ”. In our language today we would likely use “counterfeit” to describe them. They use the name of Jesus Christ but live in rebellion to what Jesus actually taught and stood for. They were legalistic and manipulative and lacked the love of the Lord.
The best remedy against deception is to know the real thing and be filled with the Holy Spirit. John told his readers that they had an anointing that would teach them all things. (1st John 2:20, 27) The One who lived in them was greater than the deceiver in the world! (1st John 4:4) Take a moment today to reflect on the truths of John’s epistle. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you with His anointing. Confess that the greater One lives in you!