Test # 7 Denial of the Son
1 John 2:22 – 23
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.
No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
In our last post, we looked at each verse within John’s epistles where he mentioned antichrist. 1 John 4:3 speaks of
…every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. We have seen where antichrist
Antichrist does not confess. This set of verses describes antichrist as one who denies the Son. Is there any difference between denying and not confessing? I wonder. Why is John changing terms, and switching from one concept (not confessing) to another concept (denying). This might be very interesting to find shades of meaning that may give us a clearer understanding of the Word.
Whoa Carl – You are splitting hares again!
Consider the Bible in John 1:20, where John (the Apostle) records what John the Baptist tells that brood of snakes when they question him
He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
No deep stuff here. To deny and to confess are two sides of the same coin! John again combines confession and denial in the 23rd verse.
I must say that I feel confession is related to verbal communication, and denial may include both verbal communication and actions done in the body. I have nothing to base this on, other than my own thoughts. Let us leave that behind then, and simply be thankful for the clear statement that John gives us in his gospel.
So let us proceed with the test that a Christian will not deny the Son.
To begin with I often have thought that denial of the Son only happens at the point of death, right? Usually in relation to martyrdom. This is simply an incorrect way of thinking about denial. Was Peter at death’s door when he denied the Lord? How about Demas, when he walked away from the Apostle Paul.
Jesus even predicted Peter’s denial. The Word describes our lives as endless opportunities to deny Him. I am afraid denial is a current and dangerous condition for believers and non-believers.
Before I go any further, I think it is imperative to remind the reader of Proverbs 24:16
for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
It is also good to remember that, although Peter denied the Master, Jesus restored Him. In this story of Peter’s denial, I see hints of a progression to a full denial. Peter stumbled into the denial, and although warned by the Lord, committed the act. His denial was dealt with later on, but Peter’s response to his denial speaks volumes to me. He immediately knew he had sinned, in that when he understood his actions, he broke down and wept.
Mark 14:38 The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
I am becoming increasingly convinced that full and complete denial is not necessarily a one time decision, but a culmination of decisions regarding the Lordship of Christ.
It is obvious for all who have walked with the Messiah for more than a few weeks, that we are weak and He is strong. We are (at least I am) continually fighting temptations, and at times I fail. Upon confession, I claim His promise and seek to walk uprightly again.
The denial that John speaks of in this set of verses speaks of a final denial sometime before death, a denial that is intentional, decided on by the person with a positive will towards the denial. An active, forward pushing denial that reveals a hardened heart and resolute spirit.
Whether you are a believer (or a non-believer) – Denial is the death of you. Confess Him as the One who is Lord!
I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post. Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.