1 John 2:4
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2:3-11 What knowledge of Christ can that be, which sees not that he is most worthy of our entire obedience? And a disobedient life shows there is neither religion nor honesty in the professor. The love of God is perfected in him that keeps his commandments. God's grace in him attains its true mark, and produces its sovereign effect as far as may be in this world, and this is man's regeneration; though never absolutely perfect here. Yet this observing Christ's commands, has holiness and excellency which, if universal, would make the earth resemble heaven itself. The command to love one another had been in force from the beginning of the world; but it might be called a new command as given to Christians. It was new in them, as their situation was new in respect of its motives, rules, and obligations. And those who walk in hatred and enmity to believers, remain in a dark state. Christian love teaches us to value our brother's soul, and to dread every thing hurtful to his purity and peace. Where spiritual darkness dwells, in mind, the judgment, and the conscience will be darkened, and will mistake the way to heavenly life. These things demand serious self-examination; and earnest prayer, that God would show us what we are, and whither we are going.He that saith, I know Him - He who professes to be acquainted with the Saviour, or who professes to be a Christian.

And keepeth not his commandments - What he has appointed to be observed by his people; that is, he who does not obey him.

Is a liar - Makes a false profession; professes to have that which he really has not. Such a profession is a falsehood, because there can be no true religion where one does not obey the law of God.

4. I know—Greek, "I have knowledge of (perfect) Him." Compare with this verse 1Jo 1:8. A liar; a false, hypocritical pretender, as 1Jo 1:6.

He that saith I know him,.... God or Christ, as the Gnostics did, who pretended to great, even perfect, knowledge of divine things:

and keepeth not his commandments; which the above persons had no regard to, and as many who profess great light and knowledge in our days show no concern for:

is a liar; he contradicts what he says, and gives the lie to it; for though in words he professes to know God, in works he denies him, and which betrays his ignorance of him:

and the truth is not in him; there is no true knowledge of God and Christ in him; nor is the truth of the Gospel in his heart, however it may be in his head; nor is the truth of grace in him, for each of these lead persons to obedience. The Ethiopic version renders it, "the truth of God is not with him"; See Gill on 1 John 1:8.

{3} He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

(3) Holiness, that is, a life ordered according to the prescript of God's commandments, however weak we are, is of necessity joined with faith, that is, with the true knowledge of the Father in the Son.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 John 2:4. Inference from 1 John 2:3, expressing the antithetical side.

ὁ λέγων κ.τ.λ.] is used in the same sense as ἐὰν εἴπωμεν, chap. 1 John 1:6. Without reason, Braune considers that “in the singular there lies a progress in the development of the thought.” The statement that ἔγνωκα is used “with manifest regard to the Gnostics” (Ebrard), is not to be accepted; ὁ λέγων is rather to be taken in a quite general sense, comp. 1 John 2:6, at the same time referring to the appearance of such a moral indifferentism among the churches, αὐτόν, as in 1 John 2:3 = Θεόν.

ψεύστης ἐστί] = ψεύδεται, chap. 1 John 1:6; but in such a way that the idea is more sharply brought out by it (Braune).

καὶ ἐν τούτῳ κ.τ.λ.] as in chap. 1 John 1:8.

From the connection between the knowledge of God and the observance of His commandments, it follows that he who boasts of the former, but is wanting in the latter, has not the truth in him, but is a liar.

1 John 2:4. μὴ τηρῶν, in classical Greek a gentle hypothesis, merely suggesting a possible case; but in later Greek μή is the regular negative with participles. It was an actual error, else the Apostle would hardly have spoken so emphatically about it. ψεύστης, see note on 1 John 1:6. ἀλήθεια, see note on 1 John 1:8.

4. The previous statement is enforced by denying the opposite of it. The construction, ‘he that saith,’ ‘he that loveth,’ &c. now takes the place of ‘if we say,’ ‘if we walk,’ &c., but without change of meaning; and this continues down to 1 John 2:11, after which both constructions cease and a new division begins. Comp. 1 John 1:6, which is exactly parallel to this: ‘to know Him’ = ‘to have fellowship with Him,’ and ‘not to keep His commandments’ = ‘to walk in darkness.’

and keepeth not] By the negative which he uses (μή) S. John states the case as gently as possible, without asserting that any such person exists (see on 1 John 2:10).

Verse 4. - The participial substantive ὁ λέγων now takes the place of ἐάν with the subjunctive, but the two are equivalent (cf. 1 John 1:6, which is almost exactly parallel to this, and shows what "knowing him" really is, viz. having fellowship with him, just as not keeping his commandments is the same as walking in darkness). St. John says, μὴ τηρῶν, not, οὐ τηρῶν, the case being hypothetical - if there be such a man, he is a liar, and has no idea of truth (see on 1 John 1:8). He must have lost the very power of recognizing truth to maintain that he knows Christ, when he habitually transgresses his commands. It is no great thing, as Bode says, to know as the devils do, who "believe and tremble." 1 John 2:4A liar

Compare we lie, 1 John 1:6.

In him (ἐν τούτῳ)

Emphatic. Lit., in this one the truth is not. See on 1 John 1:8.

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