Thoughts about Abiding with Christ - 1 John 2:28-29
We mimic him to whom we belong. John speaks of our behavior as evidence of our belonging. The meaning of abide unfolds a bit in this passage. Abiding indicates a constant experience of God’s presence. The power to change, then, is found in the reality of God’s power. I can’t spend a moment in God’s presence without being changed in some fundamental way. A real experience with Jesus leads to a powerful change in our soul.
The change we experience during the Holy Spirit’s residency is preparation for the change we will face at the coming of Jesus. John looks toward the eschaton to describe the damage a false faith does. When all the inclinations of our soul are exposed, we want confidence instead of shame. This is a call to consistent behavior and direction that serves and exalts Christ.
Confidence is the attitude we should have when standing before the Lord. That seems unlikely because I can’t think of anyone whose presence would make me more nervous. Yet John tells the believers that by abiding with Christ now, they will boldly stand when Christ returns. We are to be confident about the work we have done and the life we have lived. Our faith-walk with Christ, both in its direction and conduct, is not about earning Christ’s pleasure. We already have his pleasure. Rather, we are bold because we abide. Such confidence suggests we are asking for God’s inspection, not dreading it. It don’t like any inspection. Yet this inspection will be a time of honor rather than shame. We can say, “Come, Lord Jesus, come!”