1 John 2:24 - 28
ESV - 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us - eternal life.
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The text in 1 John 2:24-28 is to assure believers that the Holy Spirit, dwelling within, is the only reliable source for truth, and if we learn from the Holy Spirit we will abide in Christ (1 John 2:27) and not be deceived (1 John 2:26). 1 John 2:28 then goes on to admonish us to abide in Christ in order that we finish the race, and not be ashamed when He appears (at the Rapture). The implication is such that we should work out our salvation (Phil. 2:12), as it states elsewhere that Jesus will appear a second time for salvation (Heb. 9:28). Is our salvation dependent upon us? Only slightly, as it is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8), paid for by the death of His Son Jesus (1 John 2:2), that we might be the righteousness of God ‘In Christ’ (2 Corinthians 5:21). What does it mean to be ‘In Christ’? And what does it mean to abide in Him? Isn’t this, in part, our responsibility? Let’s take a closer look. We have already seen, from 1 John 2:27 that abiding in Christ is to be taught by the anointing that is in us (1 John 2:20). In a practical sense, this comes from immersing yourself in the Word, asking questions and expecting answers. They usually come through a thought process in conjunction with the Word, but they could come from a Sunday sermon, a word from a brother or sister in the Lord, or occasionally the Lord answers in that “still small voice”. (The Lord usually doesn’t have to raise His voice to be heard). To hear these answers, we have to be ‘In Christ’. We do this by getting to know Him, and to know Him we have to know His commandments (1 John 2:3-4). Those who know His Word and keep His commandments will have the love of God (agape) perfected in them. This is how we know we are ‘In Christ’ (1 John 2:5). It is reflected in our walk (1 John 2:6). How can the love of God be perfected in us? This is where we need to rise up and meet the challenge. It can’t happen in a vacuum. It comes from abiding in Christ – gaining knowledge through His Word. Look closely at Paul’s words in Phil. 1:9. The word, love, there is the Greek word, agape. Paul is praying that God’s agape love, in you, will grow in knowledge and discernment. How did God’s love get there? It is poured into our hearts via the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). The Holy Spirit is synonymous with God’s glory, which is given to us to make us one (John 17:22). It is how we are made to be ‘In Christ’ with an eye toward perfection (John 17:23). It is God’s agape love that is in believers that enables us to know God and be ‘In Christ’ (John 17:25-26). God’s love in us, is perfected by growing in knowledge and discernment. That can only come from abiding in Christ. Look at 1 John 2:24. What is John referring to when he says, “let what you heard from the beginning abide in you”? What was heard from the beginning? John tells us, in 1 John 1:5, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Jesus, in John 8:12, tells us that He is the Light of the World, and whoever follows Him will have the Light of Life. May I suggest that the Light of Life is the Holy Spirit, God’s agape love, and that is the only way one can have fellowship with the Father and the Son. It is part of what was heard from the beginning (1 John 1:3). Fellowship with the Father will come in the form of eternal life (1 John 2:25) when God’s agape love is perfected in the Church, at the Lord’s return (1 Peter 5:4). It is reflected in John’s words, found in 1 John 4:16-17. It is then that we will bear the righteousness of Christ (1 John 2:29). Isaiah 1:18
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