Chapter 20

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CHARITY (Gk: agape; love)



(1 John 4:1-3)  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [Gk: test: discern, examine] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth [Gk: acknowledges] [“confess with thine mouth” Rom 10:9] that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist [Gk: opposite and opponent of the Messiah (the Christ)], whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

1.      false prophets = Gk: pseudoprophetes; a spurious [Dict: not genuine or true, not authentic] prophet, i.e. pretended foreteller or religious impostor /// pseudes; untrue, i.e. erroneous, deceitful, wicked:--false, liar & apostolos; delegate: apostle, messenger, he that is sent.

2.      (2 John 1:7)  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

3.      (1 John 2:18-20)  Little children [Gk: paidion; infants, fig. immature Christians], it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest [Gk: apparent] that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know [Gk: perceive, understand] all things.

a.      unction = Gk: chrisma; an unguent or smearing, i.e. (fig.) the spec. endowment ("chrism") of the Holy Spirit:--anointing, unction.

b.      unguent = Dict: any soft preparation or salve, usually of butterlike consistence, applied to sores, etc., an ointment.


(1 John 4:4)  Ye are of God, little children [Gk: teknion; infants, i.e. (plur. fig.) darlings (Christian converts)], and have overcome them [Gk: subdued: conquered, prevailed, gotten the victory]: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world [“the god of this world” 1 Cor 4:4: Satan].


(1 John 4:5,6)  They [the unsaved antichrists] are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them [i.e., they speak the same language]. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error [Gk: deception, delusion].

1.      (1 Cor 1:18)  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness [Gk: silliness, i.e. absurdity]; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

2.      (1 Cor 2:14-16)  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

a.      discerned = Gk: scrutinized, i.e. (by impl.) investigated, interrogated, determined:--ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.

3.      (1 John 4:6b NIV)  This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.


(1 John 4:7-9)  Beloved, let us love [i.e., self-sacrificial love vs. self-beneficial love] one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God [is re-generated, is born-again], and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God [is not “born of God” as we are]; for God is love.  In this was manifested [Gk: made apparent] the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world [as a sacrificial innocent lamb offered as a substitute payment to atone for our criminality], that we might live through him.


(1 John 4:10-12)  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [Gk: atonement] for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us [that He commanded that His only begotten Son should die for us], we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected [implying continuous action] in us.


(1 John 4:13-16)  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen [with our spiritual eyes] and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

1.      Commentary: “he hath given us of his Spirit” = the evidence of this occurrence is that our spiritual eyes were re-opened when we were born-again, and thereafter the Word of God gradually ceased to seem foolishness to us as we grew (perceived and understood) in His Spirit.

a.      (Luke 2:40)  And the child [Jesus] grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.


(1 John 4:17-21)  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness [Gk: assurance: confidence] in the day of judgment [Gk: condemnation, damnation]: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  We love him [as a response], because he first loved us [i.e., we did not, could not, generate that agape love until He had first kindled it in our heart]. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who [(sacrifically)] loveth God [(sacrifically)] love his brother also [because by loving your brother you are loving God].