Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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IS INSTRUCTION NEEDED?
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
The Bible does not teach that Christians do not need instruction. “But surely,” says someone, “that must be wrong. Look at this verse from 1 John: ‘the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you’(2:27). John says we do not need any man to teach us, and yet you say that the Christian church still needs instruction. How do you reconcile this?”
It seems to me that the answer is as simple as this: The very fact that John is writing to them proves that they need instruction. If they do not, then John need have no concern about them at all. If the Christian needs no instruction, then the apostles’ claim to be divinely inspired when they wrote their epistles was a sheer waste of time. These epistles are full of instruction. We are told that the Christian is to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” There is milk provided for him, and there is strong meat. That is impossible if you take this statement literally and maintain that John is saying the Christian never needs teaching. Clearly that is not what he means.
So let us put it in this positive form: Surely the context here determines the interpretation. What John is really saying is what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:13-14. He is saying that the Christian has spiritual understanding that the natural man does not have. These things are only understood in a spiritual manner, and what John is here saying is that the Christian, having received the Holy Spirit, has a spiritual understanding. “You,” says John, “are holding fast to this truth because the Holy Spirit has given you this enlightenment and understanding.”
A Thought to Ponder
The Christian, having received the Holy Spirit, has a spiritual understanding.
From Walking with God, pp. 125-126.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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