Confidence of Fellowship
7 April 2019 PM – 1 John 2:24-29 – 1Jn2019 – Scott Childs
Introduction: When I was learning carpentry, my boss used to say, “Measure twice and cut once.” That advice has given me confidence time and again. In our text this evening, John commands us to abide in Christ so that we will have confidence when the Lord returns. We must make sure we are in right fellowship with Christ before we meet Him.
Transition: Here in 1 John 2:24-29, the apostle John identifies three things that will help to give us confidence of fellowship with Christ.
1. 1 John 2:24 – Maintain a biblical foundation!
a. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning.
1) This is another direct command. The word therefore points us back. The truth about the incarnation and person of Christ proclaimed from the beginning of the Gospel records must abide in every believer (1Jn 1:1).
2) This is the key distinction between an antichrist and a genuine believer. Beware! Cults and false religions often use biblical terms with unbiblical definitions. They may claim to be saved, to be Christian and to follow the Bible, but if they deny the incarnation and divinity of Jesus Christ, God the Son, they are antichrists.
b. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
1) The words abide, remain, and continue all come from the same Greek word “meno”. If what you heard from the beginning about Jesus Christ might abide in you, the result is that you will continue or abide in a family relationship with the Son and with the Father (Jn 1:12-13). This takes place at salvation and is true of all genuine Christians.
2. 1 John 2:25
a. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
1) God assured us that since the truth about Jesus Christ, God the Son abides in a person at salvation, then he abides in a relationship with the Son and the Father. That new relationship includes a promise of eternal life.
2) The words eternal life have a definite article the before them. John told us in (1Jn 1:1-2) that in the incarnate Word of life who was manifested to man was the Eternal Life. Yes, Jesus is the Eternal Life. Thus, God promises that if we abide in the truth about Christ’s incarnation and divinity then we will abide in the Son and in the Father and Jesus the Eternal Life will abide in us.
3) There may be a temptation to think that to abide is to be saved. However, to abide means to remain or to continue. Christians are not commanded to remain or continue saved. Salvation is secure. Abiding in fellowship with God or Christ is not secure. Learning how to abide in Christ and in fellowship with God is the theme of this entire book. Jesus speaking to His disciples in John 15:1-10 made it clear that as believers they must abide in Him for power and fruitfulness.
3. 1 John 2:26
a. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
1) The words these things refer to the previous warnings about the antichrists (1Jn 2:18-25).
2) The word seduce literally means to cause you to stray or to lead you aside from the right way. Antichrists seek to lead people astray by their unbiblical beliefs. Some of those among the cults and false religions are sincere and very nice people, but their goal is to convince others to believe as they do. They are sincerely wrong!
4. 1 John 2:27 – Depend on the Anointing Holy Spirit
a. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you.
1) Again, we see that John was not questioning his reader’s salvation. He knew that they had received the anointing from God. John used the word anointing back in 1Jn 2:20 where it is translated unction. As the Old Testament priests were anointed with oil in their inaugural ceremony, God anoints every true Christian with the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. The Holy Spirit then indwells the believer. This anointing will abide in the believer until the believer is taken to heaven.
b. And ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
1) Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would teach those in whom He dwells (Jn 14:26; 16:13). This is not saying that we do not need to listen to the teaching of our pastor or that Bible institutes and Bible colleges are not needed (Eph 4:11; Act 13:1). It is describing one aspect of the priesthood of the believer.
2) Because the Holy Spirit lives inside of every true Christian, He will give that person insight as he studies the Bible. He is our resident teacher (1Co 2:11-14). As we listen to human teachers, we ought to be like the Bereans and compare what they teach with the Scriptures as unfolded to us by the Holy Spirit (Ac 17:11). The Holy Spirit will never contradict the teaching of the Bible because He is the author of the Bible.
3) We do not need to supplement the Bible with additional “revelations”. The Bible is complete. The main question in context is the incarnation and divinity of Jesus Christ. All that the Holy Spirit said in the Bible and will confirm in our hearts about that subject is true and is no lie. When human teaching contradicts what the Holy Spirit wrote in the Bible, we must always follow the Bible.
5. 1 John 2:28 – Abide in close fellowship with Christ
a. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
1) The title, little children, describes believers, not unbelievers as we have previously noted. John reminds us that now is the time to prepare for the Lord’s return.
2) Here, the phrase abide in him is a command that Christians must obey. Once again, abide in Christ cannot be referring to salvation because it is God who keeps a true believer secure, not the believer’s efforts. It is referring to fellowship with God.
3) The phrase when he shall appear speaks of the appearing of Jesus Christ at the Rapture (1Th 4:13-18; 1Co 15:51-52). We are commanded to abide in Christ in order that when he shall appear we may have confidence and not be ashamed. The word confidence speaks of cheerful courage. Those who are not abiding close to Christ (i.e., walking in the light, 1Jn 1:7; walking in the Spirit, Gal 5:16; putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom 13:14) are walking in darkness, walking in the flesh, and making provision for the flesh. They will not have cheerful courage when their Saviour appears. Instead, they will be ashamed before Him. Abiding in Christ to maintain fellowship with God is the solution. Again, this is the theme of this book.
6. 1 John 2:29
a. If ye know [factually] that he is righteous.
1) Righteousness is the attribute of God that portrays His integrity, virtue, purity of life, fairness, honesty and correctness.
2) This is a conditional statement. If a person knows factually that Christ is righteous, a result will follow.
b. Ye know [experientially] that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
1) That person will know from experience that everyone who is doing the righteousness of God has been born out from Him. It is more than just doing right because unbelievers can sometimes do right. It is a right living that comes from a heart transformed by God. It is the result of a heart regularly cleansed of sin by God (1Jn 1:9). It shows that this person has a new life that was fathered by God Himself. This verse only addresses the positive side of the equation. It does not say that a righteous person never sins or never walks in darkness or never loves the world or never fails to keep God’s commandments.
2) If a Christian does those sins, he loses his fellowship with God not his relationship with God.
Conclusion: Are you daily relying on the Holy Spirit to teach you something from the Bible to keep you close to the Lord? Are you enjoying a confident sweet fellowship with Christ that assures you that you are ready for His sudden return in the Rapture? Remember my boss’ carpentry advice, “Measure twice, and cut once”. Careful preparation is vital for spiritual success.
Song: I Am Resolved – 389