And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears, we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of Him. (1 John 2: 28-29)
After the turbulence of John’s emotions as he warned his beloved readers of the pitfalls and dangers of his times, he returned to the quietness of resting in the Lord Jesus and His work for them.
By this time, John was an old man and probably one of the few remaining apostles, if not the last, most of the others having perished in the paranoia of persecution, both from fanatical Jews and the Roman government, zealous for Caesar and for their gods. In the ferment of false teaching, he taught the truth and warned of the danger of deviating from what his readers had learned from him and from their leaders about the simplicity of following Jesus.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to what He taught was the solid rock around which the waters of error and unbelief swirled. Man’s wisdom and philosophy sounded sophisticated and drew the attention of so-called intellectual thinkers, but it had no substance and was destined to perish with all the false gods and religions that ungodly man had spawned.
Against the backdrop of all the conflicting contributions of man stands the unshakeable truth of God. God is light. God is love. In the perfect balance of holy love, God provided a solution to the dilemma of mankind’s alienation from Him through their willful disobedience and rebellion. God’s love for the human race moved Him to send His own Son, in human flesh, to live as a perfect Son and die as a rebel sinner to bring us back to God. His love and His justice satisfied, He can invite His estranged children back into fellowship with Himself.
Is there another philosophy or religion in the world, arising from human imagination that can match the perfection of God’s involvement in human affairs to rescue humanity from its self-inflicted destruction? Not only did He do it through Jesus, but He did has powerful effects on those who believe in Him and respond to His invitation.
There is not another teaching in the history of humanity that can transform sinners into trusting and obedient children of God. The human story is littered with evidence of God’s power to change hearts and turn sinners around. But what produced the change? Not adherence to some fanciful philosophy or religious gobbledygook. The Holy Spirit alone can change hearts as men and women entrust themselves to the one who died for them and rose from the dead. He is our Mediator, seated in power and authority at the right hand of the Father.
John’s simple counsel to his readers is: Remain in Him. Just keep trusting Him. Don’t fall for the lies that complicate your simple trust in Jesus. Stay in His word and you will stay in the truth. Whatever anyone adds or takes away from who He is, what He said and what He did will draw you away from Him.
Our faith is founded, firstly, on the indestructible truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is fully God. He came from God and He returned to God. He is also fully man. He was born of the virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit but fully human. He lived in perfect obedience to His Father for thirty-three years. No one responded to His challenge to find Him guilty of sin.
In spite of Hi innocence, He was found guilty of blasphemy by the Jewish religious hierarchy and treason against Rome although Pilate declared Him innocent. He was crucified, died and was buried in a borrowed tomb. He rose from the dead on the third day because death could not hold Him. His death paid the debt which the Father demanded as the penalty fro sin, freeing the sinner of his debt and offering forgiveness to all who receive it by faith.
The spinoff of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the believer is the right of access to the Father again. Where sin once barred the way, the barrier has been removed and we are free to approach the Father without fear. Those who believe in Jesus have been reconciled to the Father and restored to His family with full rights as His sons and daughters.
“Now”, said John, “stay in the simple trust in Jesus that bought all these benefits to you. Don’t fall for the strange teachings being offered to you as the truth. Continue with Jesus and what you were taught from the beginning.” John was echoing Jesus’ words, “I am the vine; you are the branches.” What does a branch in the vine need to do to be fruitful? Nothing! It simply stays there, connected to the vine stock and receiving its nourishment from the vine.
What does a believer need to do to remain in Jesus? Nothing except trusting Him and living in the truth we received from Him. Only if we do that can we be secure in our faith and be fully confident in Him when He returns. The righteousness we need to be acceptable to the Father is a gift from Him. When our new nature responds by doing what is right, we can be sure that we are “in Him”.
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
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