1 John – Truth, Trump, or Theory: Believe in This Jesus Above All Else
From the Series: Certainty – Absolute Truths That Bring Joyful Assurance
BY MAX FERNANDEZ
There are Christians who are attempting to find assurance in what they think is Jesus pure and simple, but they keep having these experiences that seem to jolt their confidence. I believe one of the reasons this happens is because of the subtle “allure” of other truth claims. These claims have elements of truth in them, and Christians often don’t realize when they begin to add these assertions they are hearing to Jesus Christ. Christianity then becomes a sort of mixture of stories they know about Jesus mixed with solutions they are hearing from their information sources.
John helps us to know what the truth is: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)
“Jesus is the Christ” has serious implications. It means that:
- God has become flesh.
- There is someone who can adequately deal with our sins.
- We can have eternal life.
- The Bible has been fulfilled.
- There is a clear answer for sin/life/right and wrong.
Who Jesus is, as presented in scripture, needs no support system from a political party or from any other worldview; yet there are Christians who unwittingly have sought for confidence and joyful assurance based on conservative politics or Theory-based teaching. It is imperative that we take our eyes off of men who are changing the truth of Jesus Christ or who are calling for us to trust in what they are saying. We must abide in the truth of Jesus Christ alone for confidence.
Who Jesus is, as presented in scripture, needs no support system from a political party or from any other worldview.
This Truth Is Active (1 John 2:18-19)
- Shows who is on the dark side (v. 18)
- Shows that the timer is ticking down (v. 18)
- Shows that only those who stay in the body are really
in the light (v. 19)
This Truth Has No Knock-off Brands—Only a Single Source (1 John 2:20)
John gives assurance to the believers by drawing their attention to the single, exclusive Source of this truth—the Holy One. God has given His people the Holy Spirit so that they might know all things, which in this context means that they would know all things necessary for denying the liars.
This Truth Will Not Allow Add-ons (1 John 2:21-23)
The truth that John is calling the people to confidence in needs no add-ons, updates, or modifications. What God has said in sending his Son is complete. To deny what God has said in sending Jesus, the Logos, is to deny the Father (Hebrews 1:1-2). Jesus is the absolute truth of God, and Jesus is absolutely sufficient as the Savior.
This Truth Requires Proper Application (1 John 2:24-27)
John gives the command to allow what they had heard from the beginning to remain in them (v. 24). We have competing truth claims that are subtly calling for our faith. It is not that they are telling us to stop believing in Jesus, but they are morphing our belief in Jesus. This evolution leads us to be people who speak the right thing but believe something else.
John answers how to consistently and rightly apply this truth in the final two verses (vv. 26-27). First, the New Testament apostolic writings must be read and believed. Second, we must listen to what God’s Spirit through these writings teaches us. Third, the message from the Spirit is clear: “Remain with faith in the sufficiency of Jesus” [to the exclusion of all others] and not with faith in the sufficiency of Trump or Theory.
Trump says, “Make America Great Again.” Theory says, “American history is tainted and needs to be revised.” The Father says, “I promise eternal life to all those who are in the Son.” Which one of these provides true, lasting confidence? What other truth claims have you allowed to be mixed with Jesus?
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