The Word Abiding
The Word Abiding
Sunday, May 4, 2008
"I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." (1 John 2:14, ESV)
1. The word abiding is present tense. Some adjectives are enduring, lasting, continuing, remaining, surviving, permanent, constant, prevailing, persisting, persistent, eternal, tenacious, firm, fast, everlasting, unending, unchanging. The opposite of abiding is brief, temporary. We see that this verse repeats the message of the last verse for fathers and amplifies it to the youth to include abiding.
2. John again mentions the Fathers. These are the believers with long and rich experiences. They have come to know and still know Him which is from the beginning. This is the same clear description of our Lord as has been described in the Gospel of John 1:1-18 as well as in this epistle (1 John 1:1).
3. John declares that he is writing to mature believers, who have known Him and still know Him --- "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death," (Philippians 3:10, ESV)
4. To the young people, John wrote that they are strong and the word of God abides in them, and he repeated that they have overcome the evil one. This strength is not the
natural physical strength of young people but the power of God’s Word in them through the Holy Spirit.
5. Isaiah wrote, "Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:30-31, ESV)
6. God’s people can enjoy this power and can be victorious over Satan. Since Satan controls the minds of those in revolt against God (i.e. the world, see 5:19), believers must constantly guard against his assaults by becoming saturated with God’s Word. They can remain strong only as the Word of God abides in them.
"We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." (1 John 5:19, ESV)
" I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:13, ESV)
"And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete." (1 John 1:4, ESV)
7. These young men are strong in the Lord and the power of His might (Deut 31:6; Josh 1:7). This strength comes from their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose victory over the evil one gives them the ability to triumph (1 John 5:4).
"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”" (Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV)
"Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go." (Joshua 1:7, ESV)
8. "You have overcome the evil one." The theme of overcoming is picked up again in 5:4-5 "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (ESV)
9. That is where the victory is over “the world” that opposes God. The victory John describes is resisting temptation and keeping faithful to God’s word. It contrasts with the defeat of the human race at the Fall (Gen. 3).
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works." (Titus 2:11-14, ESV)
10. For John, victory in the battle against temptation has in effect already been won, since our union with God cannot be broken (John 10:27–30). However, since we have this victory let us please the one who brought us into it.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”" (John 10:27-30, ESV)
11. Remember no one is spiritually strong by himself, It is God who has made them strong through his Word that is now abiding in them. These men have understood the gospel, its demands, including obedience to God and are now living it out by His power.
"Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops." (2 Timothy 2:3-6, ESV)
12. Is it possible to have this victory in this day and age? Yes, Psalm 119:9 says " How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word." (ESV).
13. Also, there is a future day of full victory and of those victors of whom John writes about in Revelation 12:11, "And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." (ESV) Clearly these victors have taken “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17) and used it.