22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” (I John 2:22-23)
The Scriptures identify a liar (ψεύστης; pseustes) as an individual who, above all else, denies that Jesus is the Christ. The Apostle John goes on to say that whoever does so exists as an antichrist. An antichrist is one who is opposed to Christ and seeks to usurp Christ as Savior and Lord.
What do the antichrist(s) specifically oppose about the person and work of Jesus Christ? Take note of the following biblical truths concerning the identity and work of the sinless, Son of God. I realize that we recently covered these truths, but they are worth examining them once more.
- Jesus Christ is the Sinless, Eternal Son of God – John 1:1-2; Colossians 1:15-18.
- Jesus Christ became man – John 1:14; Romans 1:1-3; Galatians 4:1-4; I John 4:1-2.
- Jesus Christ was born of a virgin – Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38.
- Jesus Christ lived a sinless, righteous life for sinners – I John 1:5; I Timothy 6:13-16; James 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15.
- Jesus Christ died a substitutionary death on the cross for sinners – Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Romans 5:1-10; Galatians 3:1-14; Philippians 2:5-11.
- Jesus Christ resurrected bodily from the dead – Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-11; I Corinthians 15:1-4; John 2:13-22; 11:25-26; Acts 2:22-36.
- Salvation is solely on the basis of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, given by God the Father, through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. Romans 3:21-26; 5:1-10; Ephesians 2:1-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Zechariah 3:1-5.
- Jesus Christ ascended to God the Father, Acts 1:1-11, and will return in power and glory, Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19-22.
The apostle continues to say that whoever opposes Jesus Christ is also opposed to God the Father. In other words, a person can’t say they believe in God the Father while at the same time rejecting Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God.
It is important for us to understand the underlying historical context to these two verses. One commentary explains that, “Of themselves, these verses would counter equally well a non-Christian Jewish opposition and a Corinthian opposition to Christian faith. Compromising the absolute uniqueness of Jesus as the Christ and the only way to the Father would probably permit Jewish believers to remain in the synagogues—thus delivering them from the direct challenge of the imperial cult and threat of persecution. That false prophets would advocate such compromise (cf. 4:1–6) is by no means difficult to conceive; the late-second-century Christian writer Irenaeus also attributed this view to many later Gnostics.”
How does our present culture seek to oppose the uniqueness of Jesus as the Christ and the only way to the Father? How do many churches seek to do the same thing in many cases? We must resolve to affirm the uniqueness of God’s salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!