Summary: Keeping faithful to Christ.
The Anointed Life
May 28, 2006
The Bible begins by describing a world created by God and in his image.
As God spoke, "Let there be" all that is came into being.
For 6 days this happened. At the end of each, God spoke his verdict. He assessed his work and called it "good." And after creating the man and woman, "very good."
This work had pleased him.
This work, this coming into being of land and sea, sky and moons, plants and animals, brought him great joy, a quiet and contented calm. So he rested on the 7th day, basking in the joy and the gift of his work to the man and woman who he created to enjoy it.
This condition of things.
This reality as we picture it.
We imagine it.
As we rehearse this story in our minds.
Was God given.
Was all God. His doing. His work.
And it was beautiful.
And yet in chapter 3 of Genesis, this beauty was abandoned by both the man and woman because they wanted more.
They were discontent because they were deceived by the deceiver, the evil one, the serpent.
"Did God really say?" he asked.
"You won’t die," the deceiver says.
But they did, when the man and woman ate, the life they had been given died with them. They had separated themselves from God.
They had been deceived.
The protected, God anointed, God created life they had been given was no more.
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he too finds himself in a situation similar to what Adam and Eve experienced. After his baptism, he is led to the wilderness, the desert where he is tempted. Without a nourished stomach to sustain him. Without a community of friends to help him at this time of trial, Jesus, depending upon the word of God, does not fall in the deceivers hands. He will be faithful to God and God alone, no matter the offers meant to divide his loyalty. He rests in his Sonship, one anointed by God to be Savior of those who have been deceived.
In these two stories, one in the beginning of our Old Testament and the other at the beginning of the New Testament, we find ourselves, you and I like Adam and Eve are deceived.
Have been led astray.
Have been lied to.
We like them have partaken of these lies.
These false truths with the consequences being that we are separated from the nature that God intended for us.
For those though, that place their life in Christ, who invite him to reign and rule in their life, there is the promise that this sin, this deception that has entangled us will not have the last word, nor be the final verdict. But instead this old nature is of the past and a new nature, a new beginning has come in and through Jesus, who was able to triumph over the deceiver in the desert as his ministry began and at the end of his ministry when he left death behind, walking out of that tomb.
As we spend more and more time in this book of 1 John, the same two stories are told. The story of being deceived, the Adam and Eve story and the story of Christ’s life to save us from deception.
John is pointed in his writing, he uses the word liar 5 times, darkness, deceiver, led astray. He speaks of false teachers and prophets and antichrists and sin. The tricks of the trade that got Adam and Eve off track years earlier, John makes note of warning of them and their power.
In todays text, John chooses to highlight the fact that there are what he calls anti-christs around. People, not an extra-terestrial being. People, not some Hollywood like creature like Revelation tells us will come, but people who in the spirit of the antichrist say that Jesus is not the Christ and do their best to lead people astray.
John’s words, "even now many antichrists have come." (v. 18)
Not 1 but many.
Not a Revelation 13 beast yet, but human deceivers.
He writes, "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist." (v. 22)
John tells us that there were antichrists in the people who were present in and among the Jesus-followers. These people had on "disguises." Formerly they claimed to be part of the church but their beliefs and their actions revealed them for who they were.
This reality, that there are people who in the spirit of the antichrist
are opponents to Jesus.
are antagonistic to His ways.
are bent at deceiving those who claim allegiance to Him.