2012-06-10 - The Righteous Walk - 1 John 2:28-29
The Epistles of John ~ Part 41 ~ 1 John 2
Baker introduces this new section of 1 John by noting:
"This verse makes the transition from concern about false teachers to concern for the children of God. It joins the admonition developed in the previous paragraph ("remain in him") to the confidence and unashamedness that should be the possession of the children of God when Christ appears." 1
John starts by showing that the foundation of our hope is our relationship with the Lord. He again addresses the recipients of the letter as "dear children." These are believers, so his call to continue in Christ therefore isn't related to salvation. He notes, that for believers to stand confidently before the Lord, they must walk faithfully with Him. To "continue" is the same concept as "abiding," and focuses on our walk with the Lord.
John had warned about the teachings of the false prophets. They had claimed the basis of relationship with God was some type of esoteric knowledge. To them, lifestyle was not an issue when it came to salvation. Along with the Gnostic heretics, they taught that how one lived here on Earth did not affect one's salvation.
John taught exactly the opposite. As believers abide in Christ, they live to serve Him. The quality of our walk IS relevant. James said:
"But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do" (James 2:18).
If these believers lived a righteous life, they would have an expectation of standing confidently before the Lord. One day they would hear the words,
"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:21).
"Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also" (John 15:20).
Nevertheless, God's love is great. We have never fully experienced that love. However, someday we will be like Him. John doesn't understand all the implications of this and neither do we. Some suggest correctly that we can look at the resurrected Christ. This will give us a clue (see Luke 24). Like Christ seen in His resurrected body, one day we will be perfect. This truth should cause all believers to say,
"Amen. Come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).
The quality of our daily walk does make a difference. In response to the marvelous love of God, we are to live a pure life. We should desire to live worthily of Him. Those who are truly God's children respond to Him in love. Love of God is obedience.
"Whoever has my (Jesus') commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him" (John 14:21).
To be continued.
To be continued.