“Abide in Him” (1 John 2:28-29)

“Abide in Him” (1 John 2:28-29)


Abide in Him

Pastor Ryan J. McKeen | 1 John 2:28-29


February 4 2024



If you could turn with me once again to the book of 1 John chapter 2, right at the end of 1 John chapter 2. And if I had planned a little better, well, I did plan this, but didn’t necessarily execute the plan as well as I had initially hoped. But on our church sign out front for the last several weeks, our lettering on there has said, Abide in Christ. And I planned that because I intended to be in this section for those few weeks that we had been having that on the sign, and now that we’ve come to this passage, we’ve now changed the sign because we’d planned to.

But that’s because the last passage of scripture leading up to this took a couple weeks to really explain all that is in that section that we covered. And now we’ve come to verses 28 and 29 of chapter two, and we see this command to abide in Christ. And abide is really, it’s an old-fashioned word, and it’s a word that’s kind of fallen out of usage today. It’s not a word that we use very often. So when we see a command in a section of scripture like this, where the term abide is repeated so many times, it’s really important that we know what it means. And it will be repeated throughout John’s letter. We ought to know what it means to abide. And this is repeated so many times because to abide, really to abide in Christ is crucial to what it is to be a follower of Christ, to be a Christian.

You cannot be a Christian without abiding in Christ. So if it’s that important, what on earth does it mean to abide, to abide in Christ? And that’s what we will be considering this evening. In our last time we spent together in the book of 1 John, we covered the section on antichrists and true Christians.

In that section, John explained what the antichrist was, what they were. Not only was there one coming, but we also looked at what the characteristics of those antichrists were. And if you remember, he began the section warning that it is the last hour. It is the last hour. And he said, we know it’s the last hour because of the presence of these antichrists. And one of the marks of these antichrists is that they leave. They leave us, they go out from us, and ultimately they leave Christ. And that is the setting, the context for his command here to abide in Christ. So this lead up here is the setting of those who were going out. Those who were going out and leaving the church and were showing by their actions that they were not in Christ. I get my notes to work here. There we go.

So I’m going to read back through that passage that we covered because it really is the foundation and the setting for what we’re going to cover tonight. So starting in verse 18, that is the beginning of this section where John really shifts the focus and begins to give them direct and specific instruction concerning their situation there in that church. And starting in verse 18, he says, Children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that Antichrist is coming, even now many Antichrists have appeared. And from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us. For if they were of us, they would have remained with us. But they went out, so that it would be manifested that they are not all of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. And everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father. The one who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that which you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise which He Himself made to us, eternal life. These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you. And as for you, the anointing whom you received from him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as he taught you, abide in him.

So you see that term abide, that command. to abide, used over and over in this section. And we really didn’t touch on it a lot as we looked at not only what the Antichrist is, the spirit of the Antichrist, but also what distinguishes between the Antichrists and the true Christians. As we walked through that text, we really didn’t spend a lot of time looking at what he meant by abiding. So that’s what we’ll do this evening. So we’ll really pick up from that section, because verse 28, he starts again with abiding in him.

But notice especially there in verse 27. First he says this anointing. And as for you, the anointing whom you have received. The anointing, and then he uses a personal pronoun, whom. the one whom you are anointed with. So the anointing, and that’s the Holy Spirit. The anointing whom you received from him abides in you. It’s not upon you, it’s not over you, it’s not with you. The anointing abides in you. This is the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit. This is a New Testament ministry of the Holy Spirit. There were individuals in the Old Testament who had a special gifting of the Holy Spirit for different times and different purposes, but the fact that the Holy Spirit now comes and indwells every one of the children of God, believers, Christians, that is a new work of the Spirit begun on the day of Pentecost.

When Christ promised He would send His Spirit, and that’s found in Acts 2, the Spirit comes, and every single believer in Christ, at the moment of salvation, from then on, receives the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to you, and He dwells inside of you. If you are a believer, that’s true. That is true of you. That is a statement of fact. If you are a believer, if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within you. That’s why believers are called the temple of the Holy Spirit. It’s the dwelling place. It’s like the house of the Holy Spirit. He lives there. And again, that’s exactly what Jesus promised would happen after he ascended to heaven.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 14, Starting in verse 16, he says, Jesus says, and I will ask the Father and he will give you another advocate that he may be with you forever. Verse 17, the spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it does not see him or know him. You know him because he abides with you and will be in you. So at the time Jesus was speaking, the spirit of truth abides with them. but he will be in them in the future. As Jesus was looking to the future, after he ascended to the Father, he promised to send the Holy Spirit to be in them. And again, that’s exactly what happened beginning at the day of Pentecost. And so that’s what he’s talking of, this anointing that they have received, and they have received it. They are not waiting to receive it. They are not, if you do enough works or if you find this inner knowledge that these other false teachers were talking about, then you’ll receive this second blessing of the Holy Spirit. No, he says you have received this anointing and he dwells in you now.

And because of that, he goes on in verse 27, you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie, so not only does the Holy Spirit dwell in us, he teaches us. This is another ministry of the Holy Spirit. First we had the indwelling, this is the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The illumination of the Spirit means that he helps us to grasp and understand what God’s word, the Bible, Scripture, to understand what it means, this illumination, this teaching us of all things.

This is not some supernatural dreams and visions or secret voices in our head or some gift of knowledge or impressions or anything like that. It is helping us understand what God’s Word says. What he wrote down for us to know. The Holy Spirit comes and helps us understand what is written down for us. Gives us understanding of God’s word. It teaches us what God’s word has to say. Illumination is the spirit of God giving us understanding of the word of God. That is how his anointing teaches us all things.

And in this specific context, this verse, what has He taught us? What has He taught these believers? And just as He taught you, abide in Him. He taught you to abide in Him. So there it is. The Holy Spirit teaches us, teaches us how to abide in Him, in Christ. So instead of embracing and believing this false teaching that had come in and going out from them, instead of going out from us and showing us that they were not of us, the Holy Spirit teaches them to abide in Him.

And that is the lead up to our passage this evening, verses 28 and 29. So he just stated the facts of what is true of them because of the Holy Spirit, what the Holy Spirit does for them, the indwelling and the illumination, and what that results in is them being taught how to abide in him. And now he gets to verse 28, and he says, and now, little children, abide in him. so that when he is manifested, we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone also who does righteousness has been born of him.”

So John begins verse 28 here with his familiar affectionate greeting. We’ve seen it several times already. Little children. He continually refers to these people as his children. Little children. He’s their pastor. He is their father in the faith. He loves them. And he wants to protect them. And what he says to them is, little children, abide in him.

So following verse 27, that the Holy Spirit teaches you to abide in him, now he says, abide in him. Do exactly what the Spirit teaches you to do. He takes it from the indicative to the imperative. From what is true about you, now do it. You’ve been taught to abide in Him, now abide in Him. Do what the Spirit teaches you to do. It’s not just information. It’s not just knowledge. Now it’s a command.

So the question of the evening is, what does it mean to abide in Him? What does that look like? What does that even mean? What does it mean to abide in Christ? And again, that’s what our focus will be for the first part of this evening, and then we’ll look at those implications of what it means to abide in Him. But basically, at the base level, abide means to remain. So to abide in Him means to remain in Him. And that makes sense given the context of speaking of those who went out. Speaking of those who went out from us because they’re not of us. Now when it comes to you, remain. Don’t go. Don’t leave. Don’t leave Christ. Abide in Him. Remain in Him. So to abide in Christ is to remain in Christ.

So we’re gonna look at four implications now of what it means, what it is to abide in Christ, what abiding in Christ means. And first, just really logically, but we need to say it and it needs to be understood, that to abide in Christ, you need to be in Christ. And again, that seems pretty simplistic and obvious, But to abide or remain or continue in something, that means that has to be a present reality. It doesn’t say begin in Christ. It says remain, abide in Christ. You cannot continue doing something that you’re not already doing. You must be in Christ if you are to remain in Christ. And again, that’s exactly what John meant when he said, they went out from us because they’re not of us. They could not abide because they weren’t in Christ in the first place. You can only be in Christ by coming to him in faith.

So first and foremost, you must be in Christ. Faith brings us into a saving union with Christ. We become united to Christ. And that only comes through faith. And as we look at what it means to abide in Christ, some of you, perhaps some of you even here tonight, need to start here. Maybe you’re finding it hard to be obedient and faithful to Christ and remaining in Christ because you are not yet in Christ. You may need to come to Christ. for salvation in faith, surrendering your life to him, letting go of all the things that you are holding onto, all the things you think you are doing to earn your own righteousness. You can only come and be in Christ through faith, faith alone. And then once you have come and joined with Christ, become in this union with Christ, Romans 6.3 tells us that when we come to faith in Christ, we are baptized into Christ. We are identified with him in his death and resurrection. Just like he died, we too died to our sin. Our old man is dead. And just like he has been raised up, we too are raised up to newness of life. as a new creation. Later on in Romans 6 verse 11, Paul says, to consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. And that’s only because of what Christ has done and our identification with him in that death and resurrection.

So in order to be in Christ, you need to consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. That is the reality for a Christian. We are in Christ. Once you are in him, you need to remain, you need to abide in Christ. And John is not implying that we can lose our salvation or that once you’re in Christ, then you can come out of Christ. But there is a tension here. between God keeping us in Christ and our abiding in Christ. This is a command, something we are to obey. The truth is the only way that we can obey it is through the power of God. Through God’s enabling us, holding us fast, But first, to abide in Christ, you need to be in Christ. And that’s the first implication of this command from John.

Secondly, abiding in Christ means continuing in His Word. Abiding in His Word. Look back to verse 24. That’s where we first saw this word abide in this section from John. as he’s giving the practical commands for them to solve this problem in this church. In verse 24 he says, as for you, so he spoke of the Antichrist and what their characteristics are and what they are doing, but he says, as for you, let that which you heard from the beginning abide in you. That which you heard. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son, and by implication also in the Father. So how do we do this?

The first thing John says is by his word. First he says, let that which you’ve heard, his word, abide in you, and if that does abide in you, you will abide in him. What they heard from the beginning was the word John preached to them. That is what brought them to faith. That is what brings everyone to faith. The preaching of the word. Your character does not save anybody. Your example, your witness, does not save anybody. Your being a nice Christian does not save anybody. Romans 10 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. So while we should be good Christians, and we should be obedient, and we should live a good example and a witness, and all those things I mentioned, that alone is not enough. They need to hear the word. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. And John says to them, let that word abide in you. Let that word remain in you. Don’t forget it. Don’t forget the gospel. Don’t get over the gospel. Preach the gospel to yourself every day. Let that word abide in you. Remind yourself of what Christ has done every single day. Part of abiding in Christ is abiding in his word. You continue in Christ when you hold fast to his truth, to his promises, to his encouragements, his exhortations, his warnings, and his commandments. That’s what keeps you and holds you close to Him and remaining and abiding in Him. You need to fill your life with His truth, with His Word. You need to remain in it. God’s Word needs to be food for your soul. And you need to think of it that way. Without His Word, you will spiritually starve. It’s how God nourishes you spiritually. So we need to feed on God’s Word.

So is that true for you? Are you taking this first step of abiding in Him? Once you are in Him, are you abiding in His Word? Are you keeping His Word in your life every day? Are you feeding yourself on His Word? Or are you starving yourself and withering spiritually? If you want to abide in Christ, abide in His Word. Allow God’s Word to teach you, to train you, and to guide you into living for Christ. So secondly, we abide in Christ by abiding in His Word.

The third thing we see here is what we talked about in verse 27. Abiding in Christ means depending on the work of the Spirit. depending on the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that abides in us and teaches us to abide in Christ. Don’t forget that God has given you the Holy Spirit. Now, there is an obedience aspect to the Christian life. There is things we should be doing and things we should not be doing. There is that aspect of it. There is also a spiritual aspect. The Spirit protects us from error by illuminating our minds, helping us understand Scripture, so that we can recognize the truth and error.

Really, the ministry of illumination is what cultivates discernment within us. It’s one of the things they needed to be taught, because the fact that these false teachers had come in and had such an influence in this church, shows their lack of discernment, letting them get that far to begin with. That so many were being drawn away from them that it was this much of a concern for John. The Holy Spirit teaches us. He protects us from error. He allows our minds to recognize what is true and what is false. And more importantly, and I mentioned this before, I believe it was Spurgeon who said, the key to discernment is not discerning between truth and error, or what’s right and what’s wrong. The key to discernment is discerning between what’s right and what’s almost right. Because what’s almost right is more dangerous. Because it might sound good. But you need to be discerning enough to know if it’s not exactly right, if it’s not measured up to God’s word right, then eventually it will lead you astray. It will lead you away from Christ.

Sometimes we need to listen for and be aware of the Spirit’s work within us. And when we’ve learned and been filled by God’s Word through the Spirit and He gives us that illumination and understanding and He hides God’s Word in our heart, it does bring that level of discernment. So that when we hear error or false teaching, we are alert to it. Sometimes you don’t even know what the error is. But you hear something and it’s like, that’s not right. There’s something, that just does not, Whatever it is, that is not settling with me. That’s that discernment. Because you’ve built that foundation of God’s Word in you. And while you may not be able to place it immediately, you have a filter that everything comes through. And sometimes when that error comes in, it catches up in that filter. And it hangs up in your mind and it bugs you because you know there’s something that’s off about that. You can’t quite place it, but you know it’s just not quite right. And you dig in further and you find out that there’s some error there. And that’s how the Holy Spirit works in us. So we need to have God’s word, we need to abide in God’s word, that’s true, but we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit working within us. Don’t ignore the Spirit’s ministry in you.

And fourthly, we abide in Christ by abiding with his people, by remaining with his people. We abide in the fellowship of the church. That’s why God gave us the church, to build one another up, to love one another, to all the one another’s that’s in scripture. We are here for each other. We were not saved for ourself and our own individual life. so that it’s me and Jesus and forget the rest. We were saved to help each other. We are brought together as the body of Christ to help each other grow, to help each other discern, to help protect each other from false teaching and from errors that can be dangerous. But in order to do that, we need to be with each other.

We need to remain in fellowship. We need to abide in the fellowship of the church. That includes regular attendance to our services, but that includes living life with each other, being around each other, knowing what’s going on in each other’s lives. It’s loving one another, loving our brothers and sister in Christ.

In the next chapter of 1 John here, John even says, if we are showing love for one another, we’re willing to die for each other. In 1 John 3, verse 16, He says, by this we have known love. That he laid down his life for us, but he doesn’t stop there. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. That’s how we know love.

By two things. Well, first of all, that Christ laid down his life for us because he loves us. But the second thing by which we know love is each other. And we know we ought to lay down our life for the brothers. It’s one of those things the Spirit teaches us. When John speaks of by these things we know, and these things we know, he says it over and over and over again. And he is confident that they know, why? Because they have good memories from when he was there? Because they took good notes when he was preaching? No, because they have the Holy Spirit. And he teaches them all things.

So by this we have known love, that he laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. We put our brothers and sisters first. We give everything we can to help our fellow brothers and sisters. That is how we abide in Him.

So the four implications, or the four things that it means to abide in Christ, be in Him, first of all, continue in His Word, depend on His Spirit, and continue with His people. That is what it means to abide in Christ. John doesn’t stop there. He doesn’t stop at just the command, oh, by the way, you should abide in Him. He tells us why.

He tells us why we must abide in Christ. Not only so that they will remain unlike those who went out. He’s not trying to grow a church here. He’s not trying to build a megachurch and wants more people. He gives them the motivation. This is why it’s important. to abide in Christ, so that, verse 28, abide in Him so that when He is manifested, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. So that we may have confidence. This is our encouragement.

This is our motivation. This is our why. Why should we abide in Christ? He’s coming again. He’s coming again. You ever think about what that day will be like for you? Because John says that’s our motivation. When he’s manifested, we might have confidence. John’s been encouraging them to persevere, to remain, to abide. And now he points ahead to the second coming.

Remember back in verse 18, the start of this chapter, how we started that. Children, it is the last hour. Now he gets down here to verse 28. He’s coming again. There is an end goal to this Christian life. There’s a point to all this. It’s not just to see who can do the best, see who can obey the most. There’s an end to this road. We’re going somewhere. We look forward, and we look forward to the personal and visible and glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Life is not just a never-ending series of events. Life is not just checking off our to-do list. It’s not just the marching on of time. History has an end in mind. There is a destiny for all of us. The God who created and began all things has also decreed the end. He’s decreed when it will happen, and he’s decreed what will happen when we get there. The end will come, and it will come with the glorious appearance of Christ when he is manifested. There is no doubt in John’s words here. so that when he is manifested, or when he is revealed, is the meaning of that word, when he is revealed in the clouds of heaven, we may have confidence and not shrink away in shame. You have no reason to be ashamed or to shrink away. When he comes again, when he is the great and glorious and fearful warrior king, You have no need to shrink away if you’re in Christ. If you’re in Christ.

But if you’re not in Christ, the coming of Christ should scare you to death. You should be terrified that he’s coming back. You should be terrified at the appearing of Christ if you are not in him. Because Jesus Christ is returning as the mighty warrior king, coming to destroy his enemies. Every last one of them. And if you’re not in Christ, that’s you. If you’re not in Christ, you are who he’s coming to destroy. Only those in Christ can have confidence. at His coming. Only those in Christ can look to that day with great anticipation.

There’s something incredible and inspiring about a dear elderly saint in their last days and how excited they are to see Jesus. how they look with anticipation. They have no need to shrink away. They can face Him with confidence. They long to see Christ, and that’s exactly what John’s talking about here. When that day comes, if you’re in Christ, you have no need to shrink away. You can face him with confidence.

Jesus tells us what this day will be like. Matthew 24. The pastor will be there in a few weeks or months, eventually. Matthew 24, we’ll get there. But in Matthew 24, Jesus speaks of the return, his coming again. And he says in verse 30 and 31, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. So after listing all the terrible things that are gonna happen, then he’s coming. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and then all the tribes of earth will mourn. They will shrink away. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. They will not have confidence.

In verse 31, and he will send forth his angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of the sky to the other. They have confidence. He’s come for them. What a glorious day that will be. If you’re in Christ. If you’re in Christ. See, when Jesus spoke these words, he hadn’t gone to the cross yet. He hadn’t accomplished the terrible work yet. But he’s looking beyond the cross to the day that he too is looking forward to, when he can come again for his elect, for his people. This is the final act of redemption. He will finally make all things right. This is the last event on the calendar. And if you’re in Christ, each one of us has that day circled. We are looking forward to that day. We can face that day with confidence.

Think of it this way. Think of it like a bride looking forward to her wedding day. That’s the way the New Testament speaks of the church. We are the bride of Christ. We who are in Christ are his bride, and the day of his return will be a great wedding feast, the wedding feast of the Lamb. The wedding is on the calendar, and we, the bride, are preparing for that day. Like a bride anticipating her wedding, making all the preparations and getting herself ready The last thing she wants to have to do is shrink away on her wedding day. To be ashamed. She wants to face that day with confidence. And that is why we must abide in Christ. We look forward to that great wedding day. And Romans 9.33 says, the one who believes upon Him will not be put to shame.

That day is coming sooner than we think. Whoever believes in Him, whoever abides in Him, has no reason to be ashamed on that day. We can have confidence that when we see our Savior coming on the clouds and we meet Him, We can meet Him with confidence and joy and gladness. We have no need to shrink away. What a blessed day that will be. And spiritually healthy and growing believers long for the day of Christ’s return. We look forward to that day. We anticipate that day. The more you grow in Christ, the closer you grow to Christ. The more you grow in your spiritual walk, the better you know His word, the more and more and more you look forward. The less and less you are hanging on to this world.

What is this world? What has this world got for me? I’m looking forward to the day He comes on the clouds. those who went out from us and shown they are not of us. The ones who once professed the faith and have now turned away, and they’ve left Christ, they’ve turned away from his bride, the church.

I find it interesting when people say, well, I love Jesus, but I hate the church. If someone said that to me about my bride, You don’t love me then. You don’t love me if you don’t love my bride. Those who are turning from Christ and turning from his bride will shrink back. Because when he does come, Romans chapter three says that every mouth will be shut and everyone will be accountable to God. And the last appearance of Christ to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos in Revelation. Revelation chapter 1. This is what he told John to write down as his last word before he comes back. Revelation 1, 7, behold, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Yes and amen.

So if Christ were to come today, would you shrink back? Or would you be looking forward in confidence? Would you fly to him with confidence? So flee to Christ. Repent of your sin and trust in his shed blood. And how do we prepare for that day?

The last verse here, verse 29. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone also who does righteousness has been born of him. Really a better word here to begin that verse is since. Since you know that he is righteous, because if you’re in him, you do know that he’s righteous. Since you know that he’s righteous, we know what it looks like to abide in him. Whoever does righteousness is the same one that abides in Him. If you abide in Christ, your life will be marked with righteousness. Living righteously means striving after the example He set for us. Christ lived a completely righteous life. And John says, the one who does righteousness has been born of Him.

This is a creation principle. When God created things, he made everything to produce after their own kind. So apple trees produce apples, not oranges. Dogs give birth to dogs and not cats. And those who are born of God do righteousness because he does righteousness. If you are born of God, you will look like your father. The one who looks like and has the same characteristics of his father is the one who is born of God. Since Christ is completely righteous, those who abide in him, those who are born of God, will be righteous. So, in what ways do we need to live righteously? What does this look like?

In closing, in way of application, I wanna leave you with three areas of life that we need to be concerned with righteousness. Three areas of life in which we need to keep growing in righteousness.

First, we need to live righteously toward God. First and foremost. We need to love God and keep his commandments. We need to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, like Deuteronomy says. We must be obedient like Jesus was obedient. Jesus came to do the will of him who sent him. Living righteous begins with obedience and loving obedience. We love the commands. We don’t do them grudgingly. We don’t do them because we have to. We don’t do them but rather do something else. We love his law. We love his word. We love his commandments and we do them lovingly. We don’t do them to try to earn some type of reward. We are obedient because God has already done things for us. God has already redeemed us. He has already made us his people. Our first priority is to live righteously toward God, to obey God.

The second area, We need to live righteously toward others. We need to live out our righteousness toward others, toward other people. We need to treat others like God has treated us. We need to forgive because we’ve been forgiven. If we are born of God, we need to act like our Father, so we need to treat others the way that He treats others. We need to talk the way He talks toward others. We need to love the way that He loves others. We need to be patient because He’s patient with us. We don’t look for opportunities to get revenge. We don’t look for payback. We look for opportunities to forgive. We look for opportunities to be gracious. Jesus said that God is merciful to the righteous and to the unrighteous. We need to be gracious, which means treating others better than they deserve. Not just treating others kindly if they deserve it, treating others kindly even when we know they don’t deserve it. Why? Because we are like our Father. Because God has treated us better than we ever deserved.

Thirdly, and lastly, we need to live righteous toward ourself. We need to live like we truly are in Christ. We put off the old man. We don’t live in denial of who we truly are. We live out. the life God has given us. That old person that we were before Christ is dead and gone and should be forgotten. And yet we still live like he’s alive and well. We still live like that’s what we want to be. We need to put the old man away from us.

Romans chapter eight. Verses 13 and 14, if you’re living according to the flesh, you must die. But if by the Spirit you are putting to death the practices of the body, you will live. For as many as are being led by the Spirit, these are the sons of God. Right living means putting our sin to death. We need to take our sin as seriously as God does. We need to kill our sin every day. But we don’t just need to put off the old man, we need to put on the new man. Ephesians 4, you know the passage. We are created in righteousness and true holiness.

Not only do we need to not sin, we need to do righteousness. We need to look for ways to show the righteousness of Christ. It’s the daily renewal of our minds and conforming to Christ. We need to live in a way that shows who we are, shows the true evidence of loyalty to Christ. We need to make Him our greatest treasure. We need to speak with Him daily in our prayers. We need to follow His example. We need to seek Him as our deepest joy. We need to grow in our knowledge of Him, in His Word and what His Word teaches. We need to strive to live righteously in every area of our lives. All I’m doing is summarizing what the New Testament tells us to do.

That’s what it means to abide in Christ. That’s what John’s saying. If you’re in Christ, abide in Christ. Live like you’re in Christ. Continue in Christ. If you’re in Christ, if you’re not in Christ, you need to come to Christ today. He’s coming again. If you’re not in Christ, you need to confess that you’re a sinner. You need to confess that you need his sacrifice in your place to save you. You need to give all of your life over to Christ and come to him for new life. Only then can you look forward to his coming with confidence. Believers, abide in Christ.

Let’s stand and close in a word of prayer. Father, we do thank you for these passages of scripture, these reminders, these commands we’re given to live like we truly are, that you have saved us. You’ve sent your son to die. And that’s what he did. He came and he died and he rose again and he come back to you. But it’s also passages like this that remind us He’s coming again. And we eagerly wait for that day. We look forward to that day and we know that we can look forward to that day with confidence because of what your word tells us. We thank you for your word. We pray that it would mold us and shape us and change us each and every day. Pray that as we go from here, we would do exactly what this text tonight says and abide in Christ, live for Christ in every way. We pray all of these things in Christ’s holy name, amen.

Recent Sermons