As John continues his encouragement to those believers who have remained faithful and proven their faith in the Lord, he encourages them to remain in the things that they have always been taught. It is not very popular for one to stay consistent. Most people look to see which way the wind is blowing and that is the direction they go in. Most people go with the flow rather than consistently swimming upstream against the tide. This ebb and flow is becoming more and more prevalent in the church. Many churches fall into the trap of succumbing to worldly ways and ideas in the name of filling the pews and growing their numbers. There is nothing wrong with trying new methods, however, many churches don’t just stop with trying new methods, rather, they water down the Gospel or preach an entirely different Gospel all together. There is something to be said about consistency. John tells his readers that even though many have left the church and have fallen prey to false doctrine, they must remain faithful and consistent. With the constant looming of temptation from the world and from false teachers, it is imperative that we stay on point and abide in Christ. Staying focused on Jesus (abiding in Christ) is essential to our continual fellowship with the Lord and with other believers. In this passage, John gives five things that abiding in Christ means.
Abiding in Christ means adhering to the old truths. 1 John 2:24 says, “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” Our fellowship with God remains strong as we adhere to the things that we have been taught from the beginning. Matthew Henry writes, “Truth is older than error. The truth concerning Christ, that was at first delivered to the saints, is not to be exchanged for novelties. So sure were the apostles of the truth of what they had delivered concerning Christ, and from him, that after all their toils and sufferings they were not willing to relinquish it.” How often do we see those who have exchanged the truth for novelties! In pulpits across America we hear political speeches, self-help lectures, and motivational speakers; seldom do we hear faithful preaching of the Word of God week in and week out. The old truths may not be socially acceptable today. The fundamentals of our faith may not be popular and may seem to some as outdated and boring. However, we must not allow ourselves to fall prey to teachers having itching ears. We must stay true to the old truths upon which our hope is built.
Abiding in Christ means we have the promise of eternal life. Verse 25 says, “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” As we abide in Christ, we will not only stay true and faithful to the old truths, but we will also have confidence in the promise of eternal life. We should not get caught up in our popularity or in our own success for none of those things will last. The thing we should focus on is our relationship with Christ for that is the one thing that will last. We have the promise of eternal life. Not just mere existence. We will truly live forever. We will enjoy the abundant life we have in Christ forever. It is a life of joy and completeness. It is a life of adventure and discovery. It is a life like nothing we could ever imagine. Our eternal life with Christ is not something to just look forward to; it is something we can experience right now. The moment you trusted in Christ as your Savior you entered into eternal life. We can leap for joy in the midst of a broken world for our hope is in Christ alone and because our hope is in Him we can truly live!
Abiding in Christ means there is no need for a new revelation. 1 John 2:26-27 says, “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing jteacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”  God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us in the truth. We have the Spirit of God living within us. The Holy Spirit will never lead us away from God’s Word. We have no need for a new revelation. We have the complete revelation of God in His Son Jesus and in His written Word. If someone comes to you can claims they have a message from the Lord for you, be sure to ask them to show you. If it cannot be found in the Bible, then it is not from God. Don’t be seduced by the flattery words of man. Stay true to the Word of God. Listen to the Holy Spirit who is living inside you. Allow Him to show you the truth that is given in the written Word.
Abiding in Christ means we can have confidence in the coming of Christ. Verse 28 says, “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” The greatest prospect for the believer is standing before God knowing that He is pleased. “The author’s point in 2:28 is that if people remain in Christ (following the teaching they heard from the beginning and which the anointing, the Holy Spirit, continues to teach them), then, when Jesus Christ appears and judges his people, they may be confident and unashamed before him.” There is a such thing as being ashamed at the judgement seat of Christ. Even though we have an eternal home in Heaven, if we live our lives in such a way that does not bring God glory, then instead of being rewarded and complimented, we will experience a loss of reward and have the shameful knowledge that our lives did not please Him. Those who abide in Christ and continue in the things they are taught from God’s Word will be unashamed and confident at the coming of Christ. When we live as we ought, we can be confident that we will be rewarded and hear the Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Abiding in Christ means living righteously. Verse 29 says, “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”Having right fellowship with God requires that we live righteously. To live righteously is to practice right living. It is to not only have the knowledge of God’s Word, but also to put it into practice. It is living with character and integrity. It is living a life free of sinful habits and patterns and living in a way that points others to Jesus. Those who are in right fellowship with God will live a righteous life.
If we desire to be in right fellowship with God and with each other, we must abide in Christ. To abide in Christ, we must stay faithful to the truths of God’s Word and we must live in such a way that He will be pleased at His coming. Are you abiding in Christ?
 Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2446). Peabody: Hendrickson.