|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:7-11 The deceiver and his deceit are described: he brings some error concerning the person or office of the Lord Jesus. Such a one is a deceiver and an antichrist; he deludes souls, and undermines the glory and kingdom of the Lord Christ. Let us not think it strange, that there are deceivers and opposers of the Lord Christ's name and dignity now, for there were such, even in the apostles' times. The more deceivers and deceits abound, the more watchful the disciples must be. Sad it is, that splendid attainments in the school of Christ, should ever be lost. The way to gain the full reward is, to abide true to Christ, and constant in religion to the end. Firm cleaving to Christian truth unites us to Christ, and thereby to the Father also; for they are one. Let us equally disregard such as abide not in the doctrine of Christ, and those who transgress his commands. Any who did not profess and preach the doctrine of Christ, respecting him as the Son of God, and salvation by him from guilt and sin, were not to be noticed and countenanced. Yet in obeying this command, we must show kindness and a good spirit to those who differ from us in lesser matters, but hold firmly the all-important doctrines of Christ's person, atonement, and holy salvation.
Verse 9. - For whosoever transgresseth πᾶς ὁ παραβαίνων we must substitute whosoever advanceth πᾶς ὁ προάγων: both external and internal evidence are strongly in favour of this correction. "Whosoever advanceth" probably means whosoever goes beyond revealed truth and professes to teach something more profound. Gnostic teachers professed to have advanced a long way beyond the simple facts and simple moral teaching of the gospel; they "knew the depths;" they had "things ineffable, secret, higher than the heavens," to disclose; and these secret things were often not merely incompatible with Scripture, but a complete reversal of it. But it is possible that πᾶς ὁ προάγων may mean no more than "every one who takes the lead," i.e., chooses a line for himself, which in matters of doctrine means creating a heresy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whosoever transgresseth,.... Not the law of God, of which everyone is a transgressors and that daily, in thought, word, or deed; but who passes over the rule and standard of doctrine, the word of God, and will not adhere to that, nor walk according to it, but rejects and despises that rule:
and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ; which he received from his Father, and delivered to his apostles, and of which he is the sum and substance; the doctrine which is concerning his person as the Son of God, and as truly God, and the union of the two natures, divine and human, in his one person; and concerning his office, as the Mediator, surety, and messenger of the covenant, and as the prophet, priest, and King of his church; and concerning his incarnation, obedience, sufferings, death, resurrection from the dead, ascension to heaven, session at God's right hand, intercession for his people, and second coming to judgment; concerning peace and pardon by his blood, atonement by his sacrifice, justification by his righteousness, and complete salvation by him: this is , "the doctrine of the King Messiah", or the Messiah's Talmud (h), to use the Jewish phrase, and which agrees with John's. Now, whoever has embraced and professed this doctrine, but errs concerning it, and rejects it, and abides not in it, as Satan abode not in the truth, appears to be of him:
hath not God; for his Father, but the devil, the father of lies; he has no true knowledge of God, for there is none but in Christ, whose doctrine such an one has denied; nor has he, nor can he, have communion with him, nor any interest in him.
He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ; as he hath received and professed it; neither can anything remove him from it, not the arguments of false teachers, nor the reproaches and persecutions of men, or the snares and allurements of the world:
he hath both the Father and the Son; he has an interest in them both, and has knowledge of each of them, and fellowship with them. The Alexandrian copy and the Vulgate Latin version leave out the phrase, "of Christ", in the preceding clause, and only read, "in the doctrine"; and the Syriac version, "in his doctrine"; the sense is the same.
(h) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 98. fol. 85. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. The loss (2Jo 8) meant is here explained: the not having God, which results from abiding not in the doctrine of Christ.
transgresseth—The oldest manuscripts and versions read, "Every one who takes the lead"; literally, "goes," or "leads on before"; compare Joh 10:4, "He goeth before them" (not the same Greek). Compare 3Jo 9, "Loveth to have the pre-eminence."
hath not God—(1Jo 2:23; 5:15). The second "of Christ" is omitted in the oldest manuscripts, but is understood in the sense.
He—emphatical: He and He alone.
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