1 John 2:18-29
As believers, our relationship with Christ determines our victory over the enemies who try to deceive and defeat us spiritually. The antichrists, or those who are against Christ, try to bring defeat into our lives by rejecting Christ’s person, His teaching, and His priority. The things of God are foolishness to them (1 Corinthians 2:14). Because they have no relationship with Christ and His Word, they attempt to steer God’s people away from Christ to break our fellowship with Him. The antichrists’ deception can be hard to recognize because they may come disguised in counterfeit godliness and righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15). Their goal is always to deceive us.
The way we have power over deception is through spiritual intimacy. We develop intimacy with God by abiding in Him, but we cannot abide in God without the work and anointing of the Holy Spirit, who connects us with Him. As we strengthen our connection to God, we no longer seek answers from the secular world. We do not need secular teaching because we are being taught by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). Our spiritual discernment starts to increase and continues to grow as long as our direction is dependent on Christ. If we try to move independently of Christ, we risk breaking our fellowship with Him.
To protect ourselves against our adversaries and their deception, we first need an eternal perspective that focuses on looking to Christ’s return. Second, we must live for Christ. We ought to be righteous as Christ is righteous. When we seek to please Christ and live for Christ, we experience the attention of Christ. Third, drawing close to Christ prevents our adversaries from having authority over us. The more intimate our relationship with Christ becomes, the more we can live in victory.
- What deceptions and lies are most readily accepted in our society today? Why do lies seem to be more popular than the truth?
- Whom does our culture look up to as teachers? Why are these people respected?
Let’s Get Personal
- What deceptive thinking is currently breaking your fellowship with Christ?
- What does your attitude and behavior look like when you are abiding in God? How are things different when you are not abiding in God?
- Where are you lacking spiritual discernment and relying on the secular world for answers?
Take the Next Step
- What steps do you need to take this week, month, and year to build intimacy and connection with God so that you can begin to live wholeheartedly for Christ?
- Do you know someone who is being steered away from Christ and deceived right now? How can you step in and encourage someone to pursue fellowship with Christ?
- Want to go deeper? Take time to look at the following passages: 1 John 2:18-29; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; John 14:26; John 16:13; John 15:1-16.
Renew Your Mind
“As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”
1 John 2:27