1 John 2:21, “I write to you because you know the truth”
In 1 John 2, the author lays out three tests of Christian faith—the moral test, the social test, and in 1 John 2:18-27, the truth (or doctrinal) test. Therefore it becomes important to know what “truth” he is talking about. This truth is what originally saved them and transformed their lives. Therefore they are to hold fast to that truth and not change it or add to it. The Holy Spirit convicted them and confirmed to them that truth that you must believe to become saved, forgiven, and inherit eternal life. John is specifically referring here to the truth about the nature of Christ (1 Jn.2:22-25). The false teachers (probably the Gnostics), were professing Christ and calling themselves Christians, but they had a totally different view of exactly who Jesus is, and therefore they were also wrong about who God is and what His plan of redemption for mankind is. Since they had all that wrong, they were also wrong about the nature of man, and wrong about the basis and means of salvation.
Therefore, let us review what the Bible says about the essentials of “the Gospel” that saves us:
- The nature of man—total depravity, Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, see also Rom. 3:9-18, Gal.3:22, Eph.2:1-3, Titus 3:3-7
- The nature of Christ
- preexistence—John 1:1-5, Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:15-16, John 8:58
- perfect humanity—Hebrews 4:15
- undiminished Deity—John 10:30
- all the attributes of Deity—omniscience, omnipotence, creator, forgives, raises the dead, and worshipped by angels
- The nature of God the Father
- “I AM THAT I AM”, self existent omnipotent creator, perfect holiness.
Perfect love, but also absolute justice—He can’t overlook sin
God’s perfect love and absolute justice came together in the person of Jesus
5. God’s plan of redemption—John 3:16, 1 John 3:16, Titus 3:5 “He saved us not on
the basis of our deeds, but according to His mercy…which He poured out on us
richly through Jesus Christ our Savior”, 1 Peter 1:18-19 “You were redeemed not
by silver and gold, but by the precious blood…the blood of Christ”
6.The means of receiving God’s mercy, forgiveness, and grace—Ephesians 2:8,
1 Peter 1:5, Romans 4:16, Gal. 3:1-6, By God’s grace you have been saved, and you
received it by faith.