1 John 2:26-27, “26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.”

During the period of the Protestant Reformation, Roman Catholics resisted the private study of Scripture out of a fear of anarchy. To them, taking away ultimate authority from the church, they taught, would only result in chaos. This meant, every individual would follow whatever idea or doctrine seemed best, and every pulpit would be filled with another pope.

Nothing but the Word of God has final authority for the Christian, and even so, we must be aware, many in the church, have misunderstood the purpose of Sola Scriptura and used it for individualism and sectarianism. This confusion leads to the twisting of Scripture, including 1 John 2:27, “you have no need anyone should teach you.”

We must understand 1 John 2:26-27 is not saying, we have zero need for teachers since it is given in a letter, 1 John, where John is teaching. Furthermore, the context provided by 1 John 2:26 is vital since it instructs us that false teachers were not a part of John’s faithful audience when he wrote about the Holy Spirit. These teachers promoted proto-Gnosticism emphasizing the division of Christians into two classes, those with knowledge and those who did not. Such teachers viewed themselves as having knowledge. In other words, they thought of themselves as special mediators of the Holy Spirit’s anointing.

John was not interested in any of this, and so he taught about this essential topic for this purpose. Every Christian who desires to be faithful will continue in the truth they have in the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20-21; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Those who leave orthodoxy and orthodox fellowship reveal their unbelief and lack of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:19). Every faithful Christian has the Holy Spirit’s anointing and has no need of any special mediators other than the Holy Spirit. Even so, every Christian has a need for teachers.

While the Holy Spirit’s anointing does indeed teach (1 John 2:27), many passages in the New Testament are clear; the Lord uses gift teachers to help us know sound doctrine (Ephesians 4:11-14). Furthermore, the Apostle Paul teaches God’s people there are varieties of gifts but one Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4). The Holy Spirit dwells in every Christian, but He uses each person differently through their gifts, talents, and abilities, for the same purpose, to advance the gospel. Every Christian has gifts, and so we must all, in the Body of Christ be using them, so that we might better appreciate and more fully experience the Holy Spirit’s work. Please make sure you exercise your gifts, and submit to the faithful, biblically qualified male pastors and elders, the Holy Spirit has given to your local church.