But the anointing which ye have received - That ointment, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, mentioned 1 John 2:20; (note).
Ye need not that any man teach you - The Gnostics, who pretended to the highest illumination, could bring no proof that they were divinely taught, nor had they any thing in their teaching worthy the acceptance of the meanest Christian; therefore they had no need of that, nor of any other teaching but that which the same anointing teacheth, the same Spirit from whom they had already received the light of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. Whatever that taught, they needed; and whatever those taught whose teaching was according to this Spirit, they needed. St. John does not say that those who had once received the teaching of the Divine Spirit had no farther need of the ministry of the Gospel; no, but he says they had no need of such teaching as their false teachers proposed to them; nor of any other teaching that was different from that anointing, i.e. the teaching of the Spirit of God. No man, howsoever holy, wise, or pure, can ever be in such a state as to have no need of the Gospel ministry: they who think so give the highest proof that they have never yet learned of Christ or his Spirit.
And is truth - Because it is the Spirit of truth John 16:13.
And is no lie - It has nothing like the fables of the Gnostics. It can neither deceive, nor be deceived.
But the anointing which ye have received of him - See the notes at 1 John 2:20.
Abideth in you - The meaning is, that the influence on your heart and life, which results from the fact that you are anointed of God, permanently abides with you, and will keep you from dangerous error. The apostle evidently meant to say that he felt assured that they would not be seduced from the truth, and that his confidence in regard to this was placed in the fact that they had been truly anointed unto God as kings and priests. Thus understood, what he here says is equivalent to the expression of a firm conviction that those who are true Christians will not fall away. Compare the notes at 1 John 2:19-20.
And ye need not that any man teach you - That is, what are the things essential to true religion. See the notes at 1 John 2:20.
But as the same anointing teacheth you of all things - This cannot mean that the mere act of anointing, if that had been performed in their case, would “teach” them; but it refers to what John includes in what he calls the anointing - that is, in the solemn consecrating to the duties of religion under the influences of the Holy Spirit.
And is truth, and is no lie - Leads to truth, and not to error. No man was ever led into error by those influences which result from the fact that he has been consecrated to the service of God.
Ye shall abide in him - Margin, “or it.” The Greek will bear either construction. The connection, however, seems to demand that it should be understood as referring to him - that is, to the Saviour.
Let us believe the Word. He who thus eats the bread of heaven is nourished every day and will know what these words mean, “Needeth not that any man teach you.” We have lessons pure from the lips of Him who owns us, who has bought us with the price of His own blood. The precious Word of God is a solid foundation upon which to build. When men come to you with their suppositions, tell them that the Great Teacher has left you His Word, which is of incalculable value, that He has sent a Comforter in His own name, even the Holy Ghost. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).... TDG 292.3Read in context »