“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.”
Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?
John now identifies the antichrists of verse 18. An antichrist is someone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah. They also deny more than that Jesus was the anticipated Messiah; they deny that He is the “Son” [the Son of God] and that He came in the flesh (4:2-3; 2 Jn 7). They rejected the idea that he stepped foot in humanity and died in that humanity to save our souls.
The antichrists taught that a divine presence came on Jesus at His baptism and left Him before He died on the cross. They reduced Him to a mere man invested with divine powers for a period. They denied that He was the eternal Son of God.
This view of Cerinthus struck at the very heart of the incarnation. The reason these false teachers came to this conclusion is that they accepted a popular doctrine of that time known as Gnosticism. Gnosticism believed that anything material is sinful. That is why they could not bring themselves to believe in the humanity of Christ. They believed humanity itself was sinful.
5: 1 “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him… 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
John uses the word “liar” five times in 1 John. This is a harsh word. The antichrists were liars in character because they rejected Jesus as the Son of God and His genuine humanity simultaneously. Denying the incarnation strikes at the very essence of the gospel. Jesus must be both fully man and fully God to save our souls. That makes Him the perfect Mediator for our sins.
The word “denies” is continual action in the Greek. This gives the idea that their denial was not on an occasion but an incessant unbelief. The word “denies” can carry the idea of renounce, repudiate or disown.
The “Christ” refers to Jesus’ work as the Messiah. It presents to us His office. Jesus is God’s Anointed One who saves us from our sin. God the Father sent His eternal Son as Mediator for our sins.
The person and work of Christ is the foundation to our faith.
Nothing is more important to the Christian faith than the person and work of Jesus Christ. Our eternal future and our experience with God in time revolve around this.
It is impossible to fellowship with God without an understanding of the finished work of Christ because that is the foundation of fellowship with God.
The heresy that denies the person and work of Christ is still with us today. Cults such as the Jehovah witnesses and Christian Science distort the true gospel. Our salvation rests on believing in Jesus as God and in His humanity as the sacrifice for our sins.
Jn 20: 30 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Col 2: 9 “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”