Though I’ll only be looking at two verses, I think they hold quite a few applications and meaning just in the short description. One thing that sticks out to me is how John always stays biblical. (citing the message of the Old Testament pointing to the meaning of everything, which is Christ) It makes sense after the fact now that we know that the Holy Spirit inspired him to write it. But have you ever thought about whether they knew they were inspired? Did they feel a certain power, or did the Holy Spirit quietly breathe revelations into their minds? Though I’m sure Moses knew it when God revealed the creation account, but I’m curious how the other writers (Paul, Matthew, John, etc.) “felt” (or didn’t feel) when writing the Bible as we know it today. Maybe someone has the answer, but it’s definitely interested me.
“Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.”
~1st John 2:7-8
John makes clear we’ve had “the new commandment”, and from the context of verse 8 it’s referring to “Him” (Christ). The next clue to uncover would be what commandment of Christ is he referring to? There many such as: to love, serve, trust, live for Him, etc.
Don’t fill that in and assume anything! We’ll look at the context in Johns other letters and see what we find. In 2nd John 1:5-6 the commandment is: “the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.”
So it’s time for you to take an educated guess, are these “commandments” in both verses the same? Seems to look that way.
I’m going to set aside the command to love on another. Many have taken that way too far and twisted it to mean many things. I don’t want anyone to get lost in that trap. As John MacArthur commentated:
“this was part of the ethical instruction they received from the day of their salvation and not some innovation invented by John, as the heretics may have said.”
So from the many previous verses about living a holy life, fleeing sin, and trusting in Christ, this next commandment makes sense to the recipients as a message to flee sin (put off), and then love Christ and one another (put on).
As John adds to what believers should be doing (love one another) he makes it ever so clear that he isn’t making this stuff up! Christ gave the commandment and John was just a vessel to tell others. It’s kinda cool that while John was thinking about being faithful and not saying anything contrary to Christ (“I am writing you no new commandment”) Christ Himself was moving John’s hand to write the Scriptures! Mind-blowing.
Thanks for reading!