Putting God's Word into Practice…

1 John 2:18-29 ~ Abiding

on January 28, 2014

This passage offers four steps to starting and maintaining fellowship with God the Father.

  1. Confess the truth about Jesus Christ (2:23).  The truth about Jesus is that He is God’s Son and the Savior of the world.  He is the only way to the Father.  (“I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6)
  2. Upon confession of Jesus as Lord, we are given by God the gift of His Spirit abiding in us.  We are never alone.  We cannot make excuses that we don’t know right from wrong.  We don’t need any other teacher.  The Holy Spirit and God’s living word are sufficient to teach us all we need to know to discern lies from truth in this world.  To be in fellowship with God and live a joy-filled life, we must be surrendered to the teaching of the Holy Spirit abiding in us. (2:20, 27)
  3. Abide in Christ (2:28).  In John 15, Jesus had a lot to teach the disciples about what it means to abide in Him.  It is like a branch being attached to a vine.  When we abide in Christ, we depend on Him for life, nourishment, strength, fellowship, unity and joy.   Jesus himself said in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you (regarding abiding), that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”  As I wrote in my journal, a wind-blown leaf caught my attention outside of my window.  It looked so free, but it was dead because it wasn’t attached to its tree!  That leaf was only going to end up decomposing in some neighbor’s landscaping.  Life is found in abiding in Christ!
  4. Practice righteousness (2:29).  I don’t have any righteousness of my own–the only thing righteous about me is that Jesus has given His gift of righteousness to me–wrapped me in it like a robe!  Therefore, my life needs to reflect His righteousness, and that is only possible through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in me.  Practicing basketball every day doesn’t make us part of the basketball team.  Someone with authority has to declare us on the team–officially making us basketball players.   But a basketball career doesn’t stop there.  The team members must practice with the team everyday so that others know we are on the team and we better reflect the title of basketball players.  Practicing righteousness does not make us righteous, it just proves that we know Christ has declared us righteous before His Father.

And now little children, abide in Christ, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.  If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (1 John 2:28-29)

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