1 John 2:27
But the anointing which you have received of him stays in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.
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2:24-29 The truth of Christ, abiding in us, is a means to sever from sin, and unites us to the Son of God, Joh 15:3,4. What value should we put upon gospel truth! Thereby the promise of eternal life is made sure. The promise God makes, is suitable to his own greatness, power, and goodness; it is eternal life. The Spirit of truth will not lie; and he teaches all things in the present dispensation, all things necessary to our knowledge of God in Christ, and their glory in the gospel. The apostle repeats the kind words, little children; which denotes his affection. He would persuade by love. Gospel privileges oblige to gospel duties; and those anointed by the Lord Jesus abide with him. The new spiritual nature is from the Lord Christ. He that is constant to the practice of religion in trying times, shows that he is born from above, from the Lord Christ. Then, let us beware of holding the truth in unrighteousness, remembering that those only are born of God, who bear his holy image, and walk in his most righteous ways.But the anointing which ye have received of him - See the notes at 1 John 2:20.

Abideth in you - The meaning is, that the influence on your heart and life, which results from the fact that you are anointed of God, permanently abides with you, and will keep you from dangerous error. The apostle evidently meant to say that he felt assured that they would not be seduced from the truth, and that his confidence in regard to this was placed in the fact that they had been truly anointed unto God as kings and priests. Thus understood, what he here says is equivalent to the expression of a firm conviction that those who are true Christians will not fall away. Compare the notes at 1 John 2:19-20.

And ye need not that any man teach you - That is, what are the things essential to true religion. See the notes at 1 John 2:20.

But as the same anointing teacheth you of all things - This cannot mean that the mere act of anointing, if that had been performed in their case, would "teach" them; but it refers to what John includes in what he calls the anointing - that is, in the solemn consecrating to the duties of religion under the influences of the Holy Spirit.

And is truth, and is no lie - Leads to truth, and not to error. No man was ever led into error by those influences which result from the fact that he has been consecrated to the service of God.

Ye shall abide in him - Margin, "or it." The Greek will bear either construction. The connection, however, seems to demand that it should be understood as referring to him - that is, to the Saviour.

27. But—Greek, "And you (contrasting the believing readers with the seducers; the words 'and you' stand prominent, the construction of the sentence following being altered, and no verb agreeing with 'and you' until 'need not') … the anointing," &c. (resumed from 1Jo 2:20).

received of him—(Joh 1:16). So we "are unto God a sweet savor of Christ."

abideth in you—He tacitly thus admonishes them to say, when tempted by seducers, "The anointing abideth in us; we do not need a teacher [for we have the Holy Spirit as our teacher, Jer 31:34; Joh 6:45; 16:13]; it teaches us the truth; in that teaching we will abide" [Bengel].

and—and therefore. God is sufficient for them who are taught of Him; they are independent of all others, though, of course, not declining the Christian counsel of faithful ministers. "Mutual communication is not set aside, but approved of, in the case of those who are partakers of the anointing in one body" [Bengel].

the same anointing—which ye once for all received, and which now still abides in you.


all things—essential to salvation; the point under discussion. Not that the believer is made infallible, for no believer here receives the Spirit in all its fulness, but only the measure needful for keeping him from soul-destroying error. So the Church, though having the Spirit in her, is not infallible (for many fallible members can never make an infallible whole), but is kept from ever wholly losing the saving truth.

no lie—as Antichristian teaching.

ye shall abide in him—(1Jo 2:24, end); even as "the anointing abideth in you." The oldest manuscripts read the imperative, "abide in Him."

But the anointing which ye have received: it is evident, that the ancient anointing of persons to some eminent office, was not a mere empty rite of investiture, or authorization, but also a symbol of their qualification by another Spirit then coming upon them. Whereupon our Lord Jesus was eminently the Christ, or anointed One, not only as denoting his solemn investiture with the sacred offices of King, Priest, and Prophet, which were all wont to be entered into by unction; but as signifying also his receiving the Spirit, (not by measure), by which he was most perfectly qualified for them. And whereas he is also said to have made those that believe on him, in a far inferior sense, kings and priests to his Father; to them also he imparts of the same Spirit, Romans 8:9, whence they are said to be anointed too, 2 Corinthians 1:21,22. And hence, as is here said, and 1Jo 2:27, they do not need, & c.

Ye need not that any man teach you; not as if they had absolutely no need at all of human teaching, for the apostle supposes not himself to be now doing a vain or needless thing; but that they had less need, having the internal principles of light and life in them, they were in a great measure capable of steering their own course. They had in themselves a living, ingrafted word, enabling them to teach and commune with themselves, as Deu 30:11,12 Ro 10:7-9. Hereupon their own reins could instruct them, Psalm 16:7. Or, they could instruct themselves, eautouv, as that may be read, Colossians 3:16, the word of Christ dwelling richly in them. Therefore they did not so need to be taught, as those that know not the first principles of the oracles of God.

Teacheth you of all things; i.e. all such necessary and essential things to the life and being of Christianity, of which sort that doctrine concerning the Messiah was, which he was now speaking of; not all things simply, for that had been to attribute to them far higher knowledge than he could pretend to himself, even that which was peculiar to God only. Nor was that knowledge which they had of those necessary things to be thought the effect of an immediate inspiration, but such as by ordinary external means they had already learned, but made vital and efficacious by the special sanctifying influence and operation of the Holy Ghost; who having begotten in them a correspondent impress to those great truths which are after godliness, formed the new creature in them, which is begotten of the word of truth, had made them capable of dijudication, or of distinguishing by a spiritual sense, Philippians 1:9,10, between things that were grateful, suitable, and nutritive to the life of the new creature in them, and such things as were noxious and offensive. Whereas, in reference to things more remote from the vitals of religion and godliness, none can assure themselves of such a privilege. And as to these, they are to expect it in the way of their own sincere and diligent endeavours and prayers, as the effect of the habit of grace, maintained and kept up in life and vigour; and a reward of their sincere resignation and subjection of heart and soul to the governing power of truth, so far as it should be understood and known of them, according to that of our Saviour, John 7:17: If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, & c. And thus they might certainly keep their station, and

abide in him; unto which they are therefore exhorted. But the anointing which ye have received of him,.... The Spirit, and the grace of the Spirit, which they had received out of the fulness of grace which is in Christ; and is compared to oil or ointment; See Gill on 1 John 2:20; for Christ, the anointed, is the fountain of it all, and it is had from him in a way of giving and receiving. So the second "Sephira", or number in the Jews' Cabalistic tree, which is wisdom, has for one of its surnames, the fountain of the oil of unction (i) this

abideth in you; the Syriac and Arabic versions render it, "if it abideth", which spoils the text, for the words are not conditional, but affirmative: grace is an internal thing, it is oil in the vessel of the heart, and where it once is, it abides; as does every grace of the Spirit, as faith, hope, love, and every other: grace can never be taken away; God will not take it away, where he has once bestowed it, and men and devils cannot; it can never be lost as to the principle and being of it; it is an incorruptible seed, and a living principle, which can never be destroyed, notwithstanding all the corruptions in a man's hart, the pollutions of the world, and the temptations of Satan:

and ye need not that any man teach you; not that they were perfect in knowledge, for no man is absolutely, only comparatively so, in this life; or that they needed not, and were above and exempt from the instructions of Christ's faithful servants; for John himself taught them, and to teach and instruct them was the end of his writing this epistle to them; but the sense is either that they needed not the teachings of these men before mentioned, the antichrists, liars, and seducers, being better taught, and having an unction by which they knew all things; or they needed not to be taught as if they were babes in Christ, as unskilful in the word of righteousness, but so as to increase in spiritual knowledge, and go on to perfection, and be established in the present truths, at least so as to be put in remembrance of them; or rather they needed not, nor were they to regard any mere human revelation and doctrine, for the whole Gospel was come by Jesus Christ, and no other is to be expected or received by men, nor any doctrine but what is according to the revelation of Christ; wherefore saints under the Gospel dispensation are taught of God by his Spirit, according to the word of truth, and by the ministry of it, and have no need of learning every man from his neighbour, or from his brother, any separate revelation; so that this passage does not militate against the external ministry of the Gospel, or human teachings according to that perfect rule and declaration of the whole mind and will of God by Christ under the Gospel dispensation:

but as the same anointing. The Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions read, "his anointing"; that is, God's or Christ's; and so the Syriac version renders it, "that unction which is of God"; meaning the same as before: the Ethiopic version renders it, his Spirit, which, though not a true version, is no improper or impertinent sense of the phrase: and this

teacheth you of all things; truths and doctrines necessary to salvation, as in 1Jo_2:20;

and is truth, and is no lie; or true and not a liar; which is a just character of the spirit of truth, in opposition to the spirit of error; and holds good of the grace of the Spirit, which is truth in the inward parts, and is genuine and sincere:

and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him; in Christ, from whom they received this anointing; see Gill on 1 John 2:24; or in the anointing itself, in the grace of the Spirit, in which they stood. Some versions read in the imperative, abide in him, or it, as in 1Jo_2:28.

(i) Cabala Denudata, par. 2. p. 8.

But the {t} anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye {u} need not that any man teach you: but as the same {x} 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.

(t) The Spirit who you have received from Christ, and who has led you into all truth.

(u) You are not ignorant of those things, and therefore I teach them not as things that were never heard of, but call them to your mind as things which you do know.

(x) He commends both the doctrine which they had embraced, and also highly praises their faith, and the diligence of those who taught them, yet so, that he takes nothing from the honour due to the Holy Spirit.

1 John 2:27. The ground of the Apostle’s confidence in his readers. They need not be taught but only reminded. ἀλλʼ ὡς, κ.τ.λ., a single sentence with one apodosis. Vulg. makes it a double sentence with two apodoses: “as His chrism is teaching you regarding all things, it is indeed true and is not a lie; and even as it taught you, abide in Him”. Reading ἀλλά, translate: “ye have no need that any one should teach you, but His chrism is teaching you … a lie; and even as, etc.” διδάσκει, of the continued teaching by the grace of the Spirit; ἐδίδαξεν, of the illumination at the hour of conversion. μένετε, plainly imperat. in next ver., can hardly be indicat. here (“ye are abiding”). The reading μενεῖτε (“ye shall abide”) would express the Apostle’s confidence in the steadfastness of his readers, like “England expects every man to do his duty”. Cf. Matthew 5:48 : ἔσεσθε οὖν ὑμεῖς τέλειοι. ἐν αὐτῷ, in eo (Vulg), “in Him,” i.e., in Christ and therefore in God (cf. 1 John 2:24). According to Aug., “in it,” i.e., the chrism, unctio (permanete in ipsa).27, 28. The Place of Safety;—Christ

27. But the anointing which ye have received] As in 1 John 2:2, we have the false and the true Christians put side by side in contrast; but this does not justify us in turning S. John’s simple ‘and’ (καί) into ‘but’. As in 1 John 2:24, we have the pronoun put first with great emphasis, and as a nominativus pendens. Moreover, the reception of the chrism refers to the definite occasion when Christ poured out His Spirit upon them, viz. their baptism; and therefore the aorist should be retained. Wherefore, as R. V., And as for you, the anointing which ye received.

abideth in you] We often, in order to convey a command or a rebuke gently, state as a fact what ought to be a fact. This is perhaps S. John’s meaning here. If not, it is an expression of strong confidence in those whom he adresses.

ye need not that any man teach you] This seems to confirm the reading ‘ye know all things’ in 1 John 2:20. The believer who has once been anointed with the Spirit of truth has no need even of an Apostle’s teaching. This seems to be quite conclusive against ‘little children’ anywhere in this Epistle meaning children in years or children in knowledge of the Gospel. S. John writes throughout for adult and well-instructed Christians, to whom he writes not to give information, but to confirm and enforce and perhaps develope what they have all along known. Of course S. John does not mean that the anointing with the Spirit supersedes all necessity for instruction. The whole Epistle, and in this chapter 1 John 2:6-7; 1 John 2:24, are conclusive against such a view. S. John assumes that his readers have been thoroughly instructed in ‘the word’ and ‘the truth’, before receiving the outpouring of the Spirit which shews them the full meaning of ‘the word’ and confirms them in ‘the truth’. If S. John has no sympathy with a knowledge which professed to rise higher than Christian teaching, still less has he sympathy with a fanaticism which would dispense with Christian teaching. While he condemns the Gnosticism of his own age, he gives no encouragement to the Montanism of a century later.

but as the same anointing … ye shall abide in him] We have here to settle, first the question of readings, and then the question of construction. ‘But as His anointing’ (אBC, Vulgate, Syriac) is certainly superior to ‘But as the same anointing’ (AKL, Coptic), and still more is ‘ye abide’ or ‘abide ye’ (אABC, Versions) superior to ‘ye shall abide’ (KL). The A. V. deserts Wiclif, Tyndale, Cranmer, and the Rhemish, to follow the Genevan in adopting the future. The construction is not so easily determined, but does not seriously affect the sense. We may render, (1) But as His anointing teacheth you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you,—do ye abide in Him; making only one sentence with a long protasis. Or (2) we may break it into two sentences, each with a protasis and apodosis; But as His anointing teacheth you concerning all things, it is true and is no lie; and even as it taught you, do ye abide in Him, The majority of English Versions, including R.V., are for the former: so also the Vulgate. Commentators are much divided; but Huther claims to have most on his side for the latter. He has against him Alford, Braune, De Wette, Düsterdieck, Ewald, Lücke, Neander, Westcott. The sentence seems to be a recapitulation of the section. ‘As His anointing teaches you concerning all things’ recalls 1 John 2:20; ‘is true and is no lie’ recalls 1 John 2:21-23; ‘do ye abide in Him’ recalls 1 John 2:24-25. Probably we ought to supply a new nominative for ‘taught’, viz. ‘He’, i.e. Christ understood from ‘in Him’. This explains the difference of tense: ‘taught’ refers to the gift of the Spirit of truth made once for all by Christ; ‘teacheth’ to the continual illumination which is the result of the gift. It is comparatively unimportant whether we consider ‘do ye abide’ (μένετε) as indicative, like ‘abideth’ just before, or as imperative, like ‘abide’ in the next verse. See on 1 John 2:29.1 John 2:27. Καί ὑμεῖς, and ye) On this depends ye have no need; a befitting transposition.[5]—ἘΛΆΒΕΤΕ ἈΠʼ ΑὐΤΟῦ, ye have received from Him) John 1:16.—ἐν ὑμῖν μένει, abides in you) This indicative implies a very subtle exhortation (to be compared with 2 Timothy 3:14), by which he makes the faithful, when harassed by deceivers, thus to answer them: The anointing abideth in us: we do not need a teacher: it teaches us the truth: in that doctrine we will continue. See how pleasant the transition is from this introduction of the language of another speaker[6] to the direct address, in the following verse. Abides in you, ye shall abide in Him, are correlative expressions.—καὶ) and therefore.—οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε, ye have no need) A phrase indicative of character (or of courtesy), expressing the repulse of the faithful directed against deceivers. Αὐτάρκεια θεοδιδάκτων· They who are taught of God have a sufficiency in themselves. God is sufficient for those who are taught by Him.—τὶς) any one, whoever he may be. By rejecting the whole class of seducers, individuals are the more easily ordered to begone, although they wish to appear more excellent than others.—διδάσκῃ, teach) Hebrews 8:11, note.—ὑμᾶς, you) You are παιδία, little children, but not however ignorant.—ἀλλʼ ὡς, but [it is] as) The verb substantive is to be understood between the two particles, as between but as, and as, not as, in 1 John 2:19; 1 John 2:18, and ch. 1 John 3:12; 2 Corinthians 3:13. Nor are we to think that as in this passage has not its Apodosis until the is, or, ye shall abide.—τὸ αὐτὸ, the same) at all times; not one thing at one time, and another at another, but consistent with itself, and the same in the case of all who are holy.—διδάσκει ὑμᾶς, teaches you) The mutual communication is not set aside, but is approved of, in the case of those who are made partakers of the anointing in one body. Teaches, the present tense: from which arises the past, hath taught, with an eye to the future, ye shall abide.—περὶ πάντων, concerning all things) which you ought to know and to be taught. An antithesis to one and the same.—καὶ οὐκ ἔστι ψεῦδος, and is no lie) like that, which they boast of.—ἐδίδαξεν, hath taught you) the anointing.—μενεῖτε, ye shall abide) The faithful are ordered to say, As the anointing hath taught us, abiding in that doctrine, we shall abide in the Son, and therefore in the Father also: 1 John 2:24. This Future has the force of consolation and exhortation. The whole discourse brought down from 1 John 2:18 to this verse, is most pleasantly adapted to young children, and in particular the mention of teaching and anointing.

[5] See Append. on HYPERBATON.—E.

[6] See Append. on SERMOCINATIO.—E.Verse 27. - Parallel to verse 24, but stating as a fact what is there given as a command. The emphatic ὑμεῖς again marks the emphatic contrast between St. John's readers and the antichrists. Απ αὐτοῦ means "from Christ" (verse 20). The indicative μένει states what ought to be true of them, and is a delicate equivalent to μενέτω (verse 24). The anointing of Christ τὸ χρίσμα αὐτου abides with them as a permanent gift, and renders further apostolic teaching unnecessary. It is quite a mistake to suppose that the superfluous teaching refers to the antichrists. The ideal to which the Christian must aspire is the being led into all truth by the Spirit; he will need no human teachers then (see the remarkable parallel to this in Jeremiah 31:33, and the quotation of it in Hebrews 8:10, 11). The construction in the middle of the verse is amphibolous. We may take καὶ ἀληθές ἐστὶν either as the apodosis of ὠς ("as his anointing teacheth you... so it is true") or as a continuation of the protasis, which is resumed by καθώς ("as his anointing teacheth you... and is true... and even as"). Thereafter is better. The emphatic "and is no lie" is thoroughly Johannine (see on verse 23). The conclusion of the verse is doubtful also. The reading μένετε is certainly preferable to μενεῖτε; but μένετε may be indicative like μένει in the first clause, or imperative like μένετε in the next verse. The latter is more probable. As for you (ὑμεῖς)

Emphatic, as in 1 John 2:24.

Of Him (ἀπ' αὐτοῦ)

See on 1 John 1:5.

The same anointing (τὸ αὐτὸ χρίσμα)

The best texts read αὐτοῦ, His anointing.

Is truth, and is no lie

The characteristic combination of positive and negative statement. See on 1 John 1:5.

Ye shall abide (μενεῖτε)

Wrong. The best tests read μένετε, which may be taken either as imperative, abide ye, or as indicative, ye abide. The indicative is preferable, as answering to μένει abideth.

In Him


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