Faithlife
Faithlife

First John: 1 John 2:19-The Departure of the Antichrists Demonstrates They Were Never Believers Lesson # 77

First John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  56:38
0 ratings
· 7 views

First John: 1 John 2:19-The Departure of the Antichrists Demonstrates They Were Never Believers

Files
Notes & Transcripts
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (ESV)
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Tuesday August 29, 2017
www.wenstrom.org
Lesson # 77
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (ESV)
They went out from us” refers to the antichrists mentioned in “departing” from the fellowship of the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia.
But they were not of us” stands in direct contrast with the previous assertion that these antichrists departed from the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia and expresses the idea that these antichrists never were a part of the fellowship of the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia.
For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us” presents the reason for the previous assertion that the antichrists who departed from the fellowship of the Christian community never were a part of the fellowship of this community in the first place.
This causal clause is composed of a second class condition which indicates the assumption of an untruth for the sake of argument.
If they had been of us” is the protasis or premise expressing the idea for the sake of argument the untruth of these antichrists being members of the Christian community.
They would have continued with us” is the apodosis expressing the certainty of these antichrists remaining in the fellowship of the Christian community in view of these antichrists being a part of the fellowship of this community which is presented in the protasis as a contrary to fact condition.
But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” stands in direct contrast to the antichrists remaining in the fellowship of the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia.
This strong adversative clause asserts that the departure of these antichrists from the Christian community demonstrates that each of them never were a part of the fellowship of the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia.
They departed from us but in fact they were never a part of our fellowship because if and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument they had been a part of our fellowship, they would have in fact remained with us. On the contrary, this departure took place in order that they would demonstrate that each and every one of them are by no means a part of our fellowship. (My translation)
In , the apostle John reminds the recipients of this epistle who were Christians in the Roman province of Asia that it was the last hour, which refers to the period between the First and Second Advents of Jesus Christ.
He then goes on to define what he means by this expression by asserting that just as they heard through their biblical instruction that Antichrist was certain to appear in history, so many antichrists were in existence in their day and age.
He then tells them that through the existence of these antichrists they can confirm that it is the last hour.
These antichrists were adhering to and propagating an incipient form of the Gnosticism which taught salvation is through acquiring knowledge.
They also rejected that Jesus Christ was a human being, which is called “docetic” Gnosticism.
Now, here in , the apostle John continues his discussion of these antichrists by asserting that they were in fact non-believers and were never believers in Jesus Christ in the first place.
They were never a part of their fellowship and thus their departure simply is a manifestation of this fact.
Notice that these antichrists left of their own volition.
They were not excommunicated meaning they were not removed from the fellowship of the Christian community because they were unrepentant when disciplined by the church for some sin (cf. ).
What John is teaching here in regarding the antichrists does not imply that “staying in the church” keeps a person saved; rather, it indicates that remaining in the fellowship is evidence that a person is truly a Christian or in other words, a sinner declared justified through faith in Jesus Christ.
Also, this does not mean if someone leaves your church that they were never a believer in the first place.
Rather, John is teaching that these antichrists were no longer a part of the fellowship of the entire Christian community and thus consequently they were no longer a part of the Christian fellowship which met in the various homes in the Christian community.
The departure of these unregenerate antichrists is like that of the unregenerate Judas Iscariot who was chosen as an apostle by Jesus Christ and was a disciple of His but never trusted in Him as Savior.
They outwardly appeared as members of the Christian community but were not regenerated.
Eventually people such as this manifest they are unsaved and depart from the fellowship of the Christian community.
Furthermore, John is not teaching that if someone leaves the church because of a dispute over a particular matter or even a doctrinal matter that they were never really a Christian.
It was in fact a doctrinal issue which caused these antichrists to depart, namely the doctrines of the incarnation and hypostatic union of Jesus Christ.
These are fundamental and cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith meaning that it is absolutely essential that one is of the conviction that the Son of God became a human being.
The resurrection is also fundamental since if Jesus does not rise from the dead, then He is not God since it demonstrates that He is the Son of God according to .
The reason why these antichrists departed from the fellowship of the Christian community was that they rejected the incarnation and resultant hypostatic union of the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, which is indicated by John’s statements in .
In these verses, when John speaks of someone denying that Jesus is the Christ, he means that they deny that Jesus Christ is the Father’s appointed Savior for sinners and thus the Son of God.
To deny this is to deny the Father since sinners can never have a relationship with the Father without trusting in His Son since the latter is the intermediary between sinners and the Father who is holy.
In , John gives us more reasons for his assertion here in .
In these verses, John commands the recipients of this epistle to test the spirits since many false prophets had gone out in the world.
These spirits are a reference to various viewpoints and teachings and these false prophets are a reference to the antichrists in .
John asserts that if a person confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, they are in fact from God and this how they can know for certain a particular teaching or viewpoint is from the Spirit of God.
When John talks about Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, he is referring Jesus of Nazareth being the Son of God and that He had become a human being.
He asserts that whoever rejects this teaching concerning the incarnation and hypostatic of Jesus Christ is not from God.
Therefore, the reason why John asserts in that these people who left the fellowship of the Christian community were antichrists and never believers in the first place is that they rejected the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the eternal Son of God.
They were not fundamentally a part of the Christian community because they did not hold to one of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, namely the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ.
If a sinner rejects the teaching that Jesus is both God and a human being, then they can never be saved since salvation is based upon the person and work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
An eternal relationship with God is based upon this fact since if the Son of God did not become a human being, then there is absolutely no sacrifice for sins.
If there is no solution to mankind’s sin problem, then there is no possibility of human beings having a relationship and fellowship with the Trinity.
Thus, we can see why John wrote the prologue to the epistle the way he did.
If a non-believer rejects that Jesus is both God and man, then they will never experience an eternal relationship and fellowship with God since the hypostatic union is the basis for this relationship and fellowship with the triune God.
If the Son did not become a human being, then there would be no possible way for sinners to experience an eternal relationship and fellowship with a holy God since His death on the cross as a human being provides sinners the forgiveness of sins.
His death and resurrection as a human being provided sinners deliverance from eternal condemnation, enslavement to the devil and the sin nature, personal sins, physical and spiritual death, and condemnation from the Law.
It also provided the opportunity to experience an eternal relationship and fellowship with a holy God.
None of this would be possible if the Son did not become a human being and die on the cross and rise from the dead three days later.
Furthermore, to deny that Jesus of Nazareth is both God and man is to deny the resurrection since the resurrection demonstrates that Jesus is God (cf. ).
To deny the deity of Christ is to deny the doctrine of the Trinity.
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →