Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Abide in Him

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

28 Καὶ νῦν, τεκνία, μένετε ἐν αὐτῷ, ἵνα ἐὰν φανερωθῇ σχῶμεν παρρησίαν καὶ μὴ αἰσχυνθῶμεν ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ αὐτοῦ. 29  ἐὰν εἰδῆτε ὅτι δίκαιός ἐστιν, γινώσκετε ὅτι καὶ πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην ἐξ αὐτοῦ γεγέννηται.

This concludes an incredible chapter where John lays out what I would consider to be a strong argument for what is sometimes called "Lordship Salvation."  Basically, John is saying that those who know Jesus will obey Him.  Those who don't obey Him don't know Him.  Just like in yesterday's passage John uses a third-class condition to sum up his point.  It hinges on the question of ἐὰν εἰδῆτε.

Of course, we know that Jesus is righteous.  Therefore, we know that  ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην or the ones doing righteousness are from Him.  Keep in mind that this is addressed to saints.  Therefore, he is referring to those in the Church (note the big C).  I don't mean that body which has its head in Rome, but those who are part of the body of Christ.  We know that those who make professions of faith are truly saved based on their lives.

It is important to keep this straight.  We do not practice righteousness to merit favor.  Rather, we practice righteousness because we are born again.  In other words, we can look at our lives to get an indicator of our spiritual states.  If we don't bear any fruit then we should question whether or not we really know Him.

We also have to balance this with other statements made by John.  We all still sin.  But what is the direction of our lives?  What are the deepest desires of our hearts?  We all fight the "old man" as Paul called his sin nature, but do we operate out of a mindset of loving and serving the Lord?  What motivates your heart?

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