‘And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.’ — 1 John 2:28
Various challenges faced the people John wrote to in 1 John. There were ‘antichrists’ who denied that Jesus is the Christ (v.18-23). They aimed to deceive (‘seduce’) true believers (v.26).
There was also the challenge that true believers had to abide in Christ as He had told them to do in John 15. Abiding in Christ is not about ‘staying saved’. Instead, it is about staying in close fellowship with Christ.
There are several important things we must do if we want to abide in God:
- Look to our righteous advocate Jesus Christ and remember the basis of our fellowship with God is Christ (v.1-2).
- Keep the commandments of Christ (v.3-6).
- Love our Christian brothers and sisters (v.7-11).
- Keep growing (v.12-14). The new birth brings us into God’s family and begins us on a lifelong journey of maturing and growing from children to young men to fathers.
- Don’t love the world or the things of the world (v.15-17).
- Relay upon the ‘unction’ and the ‘anointing of the Holy Spirit which is in you and helps to clarify truth from error (v.18-27).
John 2:28 urges the Christians to ‘abide in him’ so that when Christ appears they may have confidence and not shame at His coming.
The challenge for us is to be looking to Christ, to be following His commands, to be showing love for Christ, to stay away from the world, and to rely upon the power of the Spirit. All these things help us to abide in Christ and to be where we ought to be when He returns!