This Week’s Verses:
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.
2:29. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
Thoughts and Musings:
Can you see the centrality of Christ in this passage? Reading these words brings delight to my soul as I reflect on God’s grace in our lives as believers. A cursory look at these verses might tempt us to think about the things we can do to stand confidently before the Lord on the day of judgement. We may think that we need to practice righteousness in order to prove we belong to him. But these precious words are so much more than a check list for believers, they life for our impotent souls.
Here we see that it is our closeness to God, our “abiding” in him, that will render us confident on that blessed day. We are not made right with God based on our ability to abide in him, but what he does in us when we allow ourselves to be swept up into him. He is the reason we can stand before a Holy Judge and not fear condemnation, because we are in him.
We cannot choose to be righteous, for our entire nature is against holiness. Yet, when the Righteous One gave us new life, he gave us his life which has the ability to pursue holiness. What gifts the Father has lavished upon us through his Son!
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” (John 8:31-38 ESV)