I John

I John 2:24-29 Abiding.

John says ‘therefore’, so based on what he has already written, he wants his audience to remember what was abiding in them, which is the word of God (2:14b), and the anointing of the Spirit (2:20). There is also an important principle here-that they should continue in what they had from the beginning, which is essentially what he has been reminding them of from the beginning of this letter. 2:12-14 was a reminder that one must grow into spiritual maturity, and to this end it is important to always strengthen what remains. On can never be fooled into thinking because forgiveness of sins is basic that somehow we don’t need it anymore. In building a house one must have a solid foundation and cornerstone to build on, and these must be incorporated in such a way that they remain as solid as at the beginning.

He warned about those who deny the Son, and now he emphasizes the opposite, namely to “abide in the Son and in the Father” (v. 24b ). As Jesus himself taught, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him” (Jn. 14:23). Again, “whoever denies the Son,” that he is the promised Messiah who has come in the flesh, “does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (v. 23). “And this is the promise that He has promised us-eternal life” (v. 25 Cf. Jn. 3:15; 6:40; 17:2-3). John wrote to his audience because there were those who were trying to deceive them concerning those things he had reminded them of (v. 26). This is the context of verse 27-to guard against the deceivers and their deception.

John certainly was not telling them to reject all teaching, especially since this would include his letter. Again, they needed to remember to keep and build on what they had already been taught-“concerning all things.” This was one of the key activities of the Spirit-to teach us (Cf. Jn. 14:16; 16:13). At verse 18 he addressed those who were paidia, but at verse 28 he goes back to addressing tekna or babes. To this end his message also returns to the basics of abiding. If one focuses on abiding in Him, then this will be the saint’s confidence and assurance that we will not be ashamed when judgment comes (Cf. 3:21). Again, we can know who are true and who are deceivers, and that we ourselves abide in Him and He in us, through fruit bearing because, “everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him” (v. 29 Cf. 3:7, 10; 4:17).

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