Knowing the Truth
Who knows what is true? Many people are confused but want to know. They have a sense of being eternal but do not know who God really is, or how to find Him. Some think that they have the answers, and those who are passionate communicators go around teaching what they claim is true. It was common in John's day for travelling philosophers to peddle their ideas in the market places and lecture rooms. So the false teachers had an easy entrance to the community, and they particularly wanted to get into the churches. The same is true today.
John tells the believers that they already know the truth! That did not mean that they knew everything; or that every time they spoke, it was with God's authority. He meant that they knew God as their Father, Jesus as their Saviour (who is 'the Truth' in John 14:6), the truth about His deity and they had received the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). In welcoming Jesus they had received God's wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). John's letter was not bringing a new idea but to assure them that what they already believed was true – and therefore they should not entertain the false teachers.
John urgently warned about the danger from people who were anti-Christ. They denied that Jesus is God in the flesh, the Father's exclusively anointed Saviour for the world. They claimed to be wise, but did not know the Lord Jesus Christ and so could not understand the character of Father God. Boldly, John said that they were liars. On the other hand, the believers in the true church already knew the truth; they knew they had a secure relationship with Father God because they had trusted Jesus, the anointed Son of God, to take away their sins and give them eternal life (John 17:3).
Today, many people think that God is remote and unknowable. Yet they live in fear of Him, doing what their teachers say to mitigate His wrath. But Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6). By welcoming Jesus, we welcome God (John 13:20). Anybody can welcome Him, irrespective of their background (John 3:16): when they do, they receive forgiveness, the love of God, fellowship with the Holy Spirit and eternal life (www.crosscheck.org.uk). That is a wonderful message for you to believe and take to a confused world.
© Dr Paul Adams