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2 posted on 01/01/2013 5:52:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: 1 John 2:22-28

Not Listening to Heretics (Continuation)

[22] Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the anti-
christ, he 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 also. [24] Let what
you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning
abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. [25] And this is
what he has promised us, eternal life.

[26] I write this to you about those who would deceive you; [27] but the anointing
which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one
should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true,
and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.

[28] And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have
confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.


22. “Jesus is the Christ”: this is a basic truth of Christian faith. As in most of St
John’s writings, this wording means not only that Jesus is the Messiah but also
that he is the Son of God (cf. Jn 20:31). From the earliest days of Christianity
faith in Jesus, which included both his messiahship and his divinity, could be ex-
pressed by applying to him the titles of “Messiah” and “Son of God”, or simply
one or other of those titles. Over the course of the centuries the Church has been
developing and deepening its understanding of revealed truths about Christ — part-
ly in reaction to heresies attacking that truth. In recent years also the Magiste-
rium has taken issue with erroneous ideas: “The opinions according to which it
has not been revealed and made known to us that the Son of God subsists from
all eternity in the mystery of the Godhead, distinct from the Father and the Holy
Spirit, are in open conflict with this belief likewise the opinions according to
which the notion is to be abandoned of the one person of Jesus Christ begotten
in his divinity of the Father before all the ages and begotten in his humanity of the
Virgin Mary in time; and lastly the assertion that the humanity of Christ existed
not as being assumed into the eternal person of the Son of God but existed ra-
ther of itself as a person, and therefore that the mystery of Jesus Christ consists
only in the fact that God, in revealing himself, was present in the highest degree
in the human person Jesus.

“Those who think in this way are far removed from the true belief in Christ, even
when they maintain that the special presence of God in Jesus results in his
being the supreme and final expression of divine Revelation. Nor do they come
back to the true belief in the divinity of Christ by adding that Jesus can be called
God by reason of the fact that in what they call his human person God is su-
premely present” (SCDF, “Mysterium Filii Dei”, 3).

23. “Has the Father”: a very graphic way of referring to union with God (cf. 2 Jn
9). St John, who has other ways of saying the same thing—for example, “knowing
him” (1 Jn 2:3f; Jn 14:7); “seeing him” (Jn 14:7, 9) —may have had in mind the er-
rors of the Gnostics, who held that union with God was attained through a special
kind of knowledge (gnosis), available only to initiates of their sect. The Apostle re-
peats the teaching given in his Gospel: only through Christ, through faith in him,
can one attain union with and knowledge of the Father (cf. Jn 1:18; 14:9-10); Je-
sus and the Father are one, only God (Jn 14:11). So, faith in Christ is insepara-
ble from faith in the Blessed Trinity; so, too, denial of the Son’s divinity involves re-
jection of the Father. “Once the mystery of the divine and eternal person of Christ
the Son of God is abandoned, the truth respecting the Most Holy Trinity is also
undermined” (SCDF, “Mysterium Filii Dei”, 4).

27. The anointing (cf. note on 2:20) refers to the Holy Spirit, who acts on the
faithful by instructing them “about everything”. Our Lord had said this would be
so: “the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he
will teach you all things” (Jn 14:26).

The Apostle does not mean that the faithful have no need of the Magisterium of
the Church (the very fact that he is writing to them shows otherwise); what he
wants to make quite clear is that their true teacher is the Holy Spirit (he it is who
guides the Magisterium in its teaching, and he also acts in the soul of the Chris-
tian, helping him or her to accept that teaching). “If his anointing teaches you eve-
rything, it seems that we [pastors] are toiling to no purpose; why so much shou-
ting on our part [...]? This is the marvelous thing. The sound of our words is stri-
king your ears, but the Master is within. Do not think that it is a question of some-
body learning from a man; we can attract your attention by the power of our voice,
but if he who does the teaching is not within, all our sermons will be in vain” (St
Augustine, “In Epist. Ioann. Ad Parthos”, 3, 13).

28-29. These two verses sum up what has gone before and also act as an intro-
duction to a passage on divine filiation. The central idea which St John has been
repeating—”abide in him”—now opens out on to the prospect of the Last Judg-
ment: Jesus Christ, who will be our Judge, is the same person as gave us reve-
lation and life. This is one of the foundations of Christian hope.

“We may have confidence”: the sacred writer changes to the plural, to include
himself: we all have to give an account of our actions and we should have confi-
dence in Christ our Judge. The word translated as “confidence” is much richer in
Greek than in English; it is the equivalent of freedom, frankness, confident auda-
city. “It will be a great thing at the hour of death”, St Teresa of Avila writes, “to
realize that we shall be judged by One whom we have loved above all things [...].
Once our debts have been paid we shall be able to walk in safety. We shall not
be going into a foreign land, but into our own country, for it belongs to him whom
we have loved so truly and who himself loves us” (”Way of Perfection”, 40, 8).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

3 posted on 01/01/2013 5:56:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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