Gracefully Truthful


Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

1 John 2:20-23

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well. 24 What you have heard from the beginning is to remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he himself made to us: eternal life.

The Original Intent

1) What is the anointing of the Holy One? (verse 20)

The Greek language has many words that translate to “anointing” in English. The first meaning I think of is “To be anointed with oil for anything from healing to being anointed as a king or a prophet.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary says believers have ‘an anointing from the Holy One’ and it renders them holy, separating them to God in much the same way a king would be anointed and set apart to do kingly work. 

This passage teaches that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the all-efficient means of enabling believers to have a knowledge of the truth. In simpler terms, when we are born, we have instincts. Likewise, when we are born again of the Spirit by confessing our sin and surrendering to Christ as our Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit as a gift from God. (John 15:26)

It is He, the Spirit of truth, who provides “instinctive” knowledge and truth. (John 16:13) However, consider this, David Guzik explains that while this is true of all believers, some are paying no attention to the truths provided by the Spirit living within them!

The Everyday Application

1) What is the anointing of the Holy One? (verse 20)

In the Old Testament, God’s people didn’t have this anointing of the Holy Spirit; however, God anointed individuals to have a greater knowledge and spiritual power at certain times. King David and the prophets are examples of this “temporary anointing”. (1 Samuel 16:12-13, 2 Chronicles 15:1)

After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into Heaven, we all have access to the Spirit’s anointing. I witnessed an evangelist friend, Rev. Canon, preaching by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, God was using him for His purposes. But sisters, all who have trusted Christ as Savior have access to this power!

If all true believers have the Spirit’s anointing, what’s the difference? The answer lies simply in the regular practice of spiritual disciplines such as Bible reading, confession of sin, prayer, meditation on Scripture, and similar aspects of spiritual training. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

Rev. Canon and his wife spent early morning hours in prayer and even more hours studying the Word of God and fellowshipping with their Lord. Then they acted in obedience to God’s Word. Here’s the difference! Many Christians receive Christ, but they give Him no further reign while neglecting to invest in a vibrant relationship with Him!

Robert Boyd Munger wrote a beautiful analogy of this, “My Heart, Christ’s Home”. He compared our salvation to letting Jesus in the door, but never allowing Him further admittance. Some might grant access to the kitchen or guest bedroom, but not their master bedroom; not the hall closet or, heaven forbid, Jesus enters the basement or the attic. Jesus, along with the Holy Spirit, wants to help you clean those areas of secret sins and idols.

When we give Christ full ownership of everything in our lives, then we will experience His anointing power!

The Original Intent

2) What is this “truth” John speaks of? How do we know the truth? (verses 20-21)

John talks about what we know in Christ in the previous verses. Read them here.

To know Jesus, is to know Truth Himself. John wrote of the truth that we are sinners, but Christ has come to be our Rescuer and Complete Forgiver. (1 John 1:9-2:2) John says the truth is that God is perfect love and when we walk with Him, we learn to love like Him. (1 John 2:3-6)

Truth? We have been forgiven (1 John 2:12), in Jesus we are conquerors of evil (1 John 2:13), because of Christ’s love we are strong victors over sin and deception (1 John 2:14)!

We act on this truth when we believe that Jesus is the Promised Messiah, the eternal Son of God known from the beginning. He came to live, die, and rise again to pay for our debt of sin. (1 John 4:8) This knowledge does not mean that we don’t need teachers to remind us of truth. John was such a teacher. (verse 21)

If you read his full letter, you will find him teaching on the love of God and what Christ did for us. He teaches us this truth will be alive in Christians and that characteristics such as love are the indicators that prove we have possessed and lived out the truth.

The Everyday Application

2) What is this “truth” John speaks of? How do we know the truth? (verses 20-21)

We shall know the truth and the truth will set us free.” (John 8:32) The truth is: when we sin, we are slaves to it, but Christ came to be the payment for that sin. (1 John 4:8)

When we believe Him at His word and accept His beautiful gift of eternal life, He frees us from the slavery of sin and the eternal consequence of separation from God. The Holy Spirit comes to live inside us and guide us into godliness, enabling us to live like Jesus. (2 Peter 1:3-11)

Satan takes the truth and twists it to fit his own agenda, therefore, we must take care to be deeply rooted in Truth. It is vitally important for us to practice the spiritual disciplines to keep us from being enslaved again.

Let me remind you as John reminds us, we may still sin. (1 John 2:1) But don’t lose hope for “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We should practice self-examination for sin, asking the Spirit to convict us. John Wesley asked himself 22 questions. For a more contemporary list, Anne Graham Lotz speaks of personal examination in her book, Jesus in Me. In her experience, she was challenged in self-examination by reading the 10 commandments three times. The first time, she didn’t recognize any sin in her, but as she read them again and again, the Holy Spirit convicted her of ways she had indeed broken His commands. She offers a deeper explanation of these tools in her book, Expecting to See Jesus.

The Original Intent

3) What does John mean by “denying the Father and the Son”? (verses 22-23)

Satan isn’t the only one who is called a liar in this passage. Anyone who does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, fully God and fully man and that He perfectly revealed the Father to us is a liar. (Guzik) You can believe in God and even believe in Jesus, the Christ, but if you deny His Godship, you are a liar. Guzik says, “We can deny Jesus while praising Him with our words; we can deny Him by offering a substitute Jesus or ministering in a manner that denies the character of Jesus.”

We often hear people state that we all have the same God, we just give Him different names. Perhaps you’ve heard there are different paths to reach Him. The Bible says this isn’t so. Guzik offers this question, “Was your God perfectly revealed in Jesus Christ?” If your God was revealed in Christ, then we have the same God. If your God wasn’t perfectly revealed in Jesus, then we do not have the same God.

Guzik also states, “There are many people who seem rather spiritual or religious yet reject Jesus Christ.” While they may seem moral, it will not help when they stand before God because they are rejecting him. They have believed in a false Christ.

The Everyday Application

3) What does John mean by “denying the Father and the Son”? (verses 22-23)

I often worry I might deny Christ when my life depends on it. I’m concerned especially in today’s culture with mass shootings in churches and imprisonment for those who stand up for their faith. I have prayed often about this fear.

Then I am reminded that the power of the Holy Spirit will show up when we need Him. Isaiah declared from God, “And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand.” (Isaiah 51:16 NLT) Luke records Jesus, “For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what must be said.” (Luke 12:11-12)

Perhaps you have heard the story from Corrie ten Boom of her father when she worried about denying Christ. He stated, “When I send you on the train to go somewhere, do I give you the ticket a month ahead of time, or do I give you the ticket as you get on the train?” God will give us what we need when the train of suffering and death arrives at the station. This was very helpful to her, because she felt that was what 1 Peter 4:14 said.” (Gun to Your Head, Will You Deny Christ? | Desiring God)

God doesn’t give us all the power at once; He provides as we need it. As I read 1 Peter, I was impressed by the final verse of chapter 4, “So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.

Ann Graham Lotz says we must be “Be pre-prayered”. A crisis leaves no time to learn how to pray. It leaves. No time. Period. A crisis erupts without warning! We must always be praying and preparing our hearts for crisis. I love reading Ann’s prayers! Consider her pre-prayer for the decade from 2020: Preprayered for the New Year…and Beyond.

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4 months ago

Thank you Mandy for sharing this . Confidence , needed this today ..

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