Whoever Say he Abides in Him
Whoever Say he Abides in Him
Sunday, March 2, 2008
"whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." (1 John 2:6, ESV)
1.John has already set the example of "God is light" and today he tells us that we who are truly in that light will imitate Christ. There will become a likeness of Him in us in life and deed.
2.To walk as Christ walked is to live, not by rules, but by an example. It is to follow Him, to be His disciple. This discipleship is personal, active and costly.
3.Discipleship is best seen in the vine-branch relationship of John 15:1-8. This is an image of what it means to be a disciple. Jesus said "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples." (John 15:8, ESV)
4.Here in 1 John 2:5-6 discipleship is in view as we are told that true believers will imitate Christ. In fact the original word here 'Meno' translated 'abide' in this verse is the same word used seven times in John 15:1-8. It is equilivent to being "in Him" from verse 5.
5. Let us stop and say here that nobody ever becomes a Christian by following Christ's example; but after we come into God's family, we are to look to Jesus Christ as the one and only example.
6.We see a correlation between abiding and being in Him. It can be used to show that God abides in the believer "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4, ESV) and that the believer abides in God "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." (1 John 5:20, ESV).
7.The idea of "abiding" does not refer to a "spiritual elite"; it describes all believers, remember that you cannot separate belief and conduct. All who have been born of God abide in God. Note the parallelism between "No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him." (1 John 3:6, ESV) and "We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him." (1 John 5:18, ESV) :whoever abides in Him does not sin (3:6); whoever is born of God does not sin (5:18).
8.In case you are wondering what this means, the statement "in which He walked" tells us everything we need to know. "because as he is so also are we in this world." (1 John 4:17).
9.We are to walk in the light "as he is in the light" (1 John 1:7). "And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure." (1 John 3:3). "Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous." (1 John 3:7, ESV).
10.This verse has a very practical application. People who say they abide in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked. (period) "But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”" (2 Timothy 2:19, ESV)
11.To abide in Christ means to depend on Him for all that we need in order to live for Him and serve Him. This is a living relationship, as He lives His life through us, we are able to follow His example. "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, ESV)
12.How do we know that we are in him? John answers with a progressive succession of statements: “we are in him,” “[we] live in him,” and “[we] walk as Jesus did.”
13.“We are in him.” We know that we are in God when we have intimate fellowship with him through Jesus Christ (1:3). The phrase in him is a reassertion of “[to] have come to know him” (2:3).
14.“[We] live in him.” Fellowship with God in Christ is not a static condition but an active relation that endures. If we say that “ ‘in him we live and move and have our being’ ” (Acts 17:28), we place ourselves under obligation to God himself. We must follow the example he has given us in the earthly life of his Son.
15.“[We] walk as Jesus did.” As Jesus lived while he was on earth, so we must live in imitation of him. We can do this only by setting our lives in harmony with his revelation.
16.James H. Sammis eloquently expresses this teaching in the words of his well-known song:
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
All the miseries and evils which men suffer from - vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.
- Noah Webster