|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:18-23 Every man is an antichrist, who denies the Person, or any of the offices of Christ; and in denying the Son, he denies the Father also, and has no part in his favour while he rejects his great salvation. Let this prophecy that seducers would rise in the Christian world, keep us from being seduced. The church knows not well who are its true members, and who are not, but thus true Christians were proved, and rendered more watchful and humble. True Christians are anointed ones; their names expresses this: they are anointed with grace, with gifts and spiritual privileges, by the Holy Spirit of grace. The great and most hurtful lies that the father of lies spreads in the world, usually are falsehoods and errors relating to the person of Christ. The unction from the Holy One, alone can keep us from delusions. While we judge favourably of all who trust in Christ as the Divine Saviour, and obey his word, and seek to live in union with them, let us pity and pray for those who deny the Godhead of Christ, or his atonement, and the new-creating work of the Holy Ghost. Let us protest against such antichristian doctrine, and keep from them as much as we may.
Verse 23. - Every one who denieth the Son not only does that, but οὐδέ doth not possess the Father. To deny that Jesus is the Christ is to deny the Son of God, for the Christ is the incarnate Son; and to deny the Son of God is to deny the Father also, for the incarnate Son is the Revelation of the Father; and not only so, but to deny the Son is to cut one's self off from the Father, for "no one knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him." To emphasize this great truth St. John uses his favourite motive of stating it both negatively and positively. To deny the Son is not to have the Father; to confess the Son is to have the Father (comp. 1 John 1:5, 8; 1 John 2:4, 27; 1 John 3:6; 1 John 4:2, 3, 6, 7, 8; 1 John 5:12). Note the solemn asyndeta. There is not a single connecting particle in verses 22-24; the sentences fall on the ear like minute-guns. "Every one that denieth." There is no exception. Even an apostle, if he denies that Jesus is the Christ. thereby also loses all possession of the Father. The history of philosophy verifies the statement. Deism has ever a tendency to end in pantheism or atheism.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whosoever denieth the Son,.... Jesus Christ to be the true, proper, natural, essential, and eternal Son of God:
the same hath not the Father; or does not hold the Father; or "believe the Father", as the Syriac version renders it; for there cannot be a father without a son; and he that honours not the Son, by owning him as such, honours not the Father; whatever reflects dishonour on the Son, reflects dishonour on the Father. If Christ is not truly and properly the Son of God, the Father is not truly and properly the Father of Christ; if Christ is only a Son in a figurative and metaphorical sense, the Father is only a Father in a figurative and metaphorical sense; if Christ is a Son only by office, then the Father is a Father only by office, which is monstrously stupid. Such an one does not hold the true doctrine of the Father, and does not appear to have true faith in him, true love unto him, or real interest in him, only by profession:
but he that acknowledgeth the Son, hath the Father also: this clause is left out in many copies, and stands as a supplement in our version; but is in the Alexandrian copy, in four of Beza's manuscripts, and in some others; and in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions; and confirms and illustrates what is before said; for as he that denies the sonship of Christ cannot hold the paternity of God, so he that owns the sonship of Christ, the second Person, maintains the paternity of the first; for these two are correlates, and mutually put, or take away each other: no mention is made of the Spirit, because, as yet, no controversy had risen concerning him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. Greek, "Every one who denieth the Son, hath not the Father either" (1Jo 4:2, 3): "inasmuch as God hath given Himself to us wholly to be enjoyed in Christ" [Calvin].
he—that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. These words ought not to be in italics, as though they were not in the original: for the oldest Greek manuscripts have them.
hath—namely, in his abiding possession as his "portion"; by living personal "fellowship."
acknowledgeth—by open confession of Christ.
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