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The First Epistle Of John by Augustus Neander

1 John ii. 26, 27

John concludes by a reference to the inward anointing of those whom he addresses, in contrast with those false teachers. |These things have I written unto you, concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing, which ye have received of him, abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same 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.| The Apostle repeats the assurance of his belief, that he need add nothing new by way of guarding them against those false teachers; he need only refer, for adequate instruction in all things, to that inner fountain of divine illumination, that inward anointing. This anointing is here designated, as that which they have received from him; and the reference might be to the source in which it originates, to the Father by whom this spirit is bestowed. But as the pronoun here employed, without any more definite application, always refers in this connection to Christ, that reference is to be retained also in this passage. What is asserted is therefore this: the communication of this Spirit is procured through the mediating Christ; as imparted through Christ, it is said to have been received from him. Just so this Spirit is at one time designated as he who proceeds from the Father, whom Christ sends from the Father, whom the Father bestows for the sake of Christ; and at another, as the Spirit which Christ imparts to those who believe on him, as the Spirit of Christ, so that Christ's spiritual coming to believers is a coming in and with this Spirit. If now we proceed in accordance with Luther's version, it is here John's first and special object to say, -- that what this inward anointing teaches respecting all things is the perfect truth without mixture of error, and they needed therefore only to adhere faithfully to it. In this view, the development of thought proceeds on regularly in what follows. Still it may be asked, whether John would have presented so prominently (as something of special importance in itself) the assertion that all, as this anointing teaches it, is true and there is nothing false in it; whether it is not probable, rather, that he throws in as an independent and accessory thought the words, -- |and as it is truth and no falsehood,| -- and then proceeds (repeating the previous clause in consequence of this interruption), |And even as it has been taught you, so shall ye abide in him.| The in him'must be referred to him who is here the one object of reference, to Christ. In the assured trust that the church will ever continue to yield itself to the teachings of the Holy Spirit, and being guided by his illuminating grace will ever remain true to the doctrine which they have received, he feels assured also that they will ever abide in fellowship with Christ.

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