We must always live in the Lord.

 

 

[1 John 2:26-29]

 

 

As I read the book “Like a Kingfisher on Fire” by Pastor Eugene Peterson, ‘The Pastor of Pastors,’ I thought of one thing that is essential in our Christian life.  And I wrote this: ‘One thing that is absolutely necessary in our life of faith, what we must do to the extent that we are completely immersed in it, is to meditate on the word of God.  When we meditate on the word of God, we must have breath of mind.  The reason is because we cannot properly meditate on the Word of God with an impatient heart.  We should rejoice in meditating on the word of God without haste (Ps. 1:3).’  Personally, I think it is very important to enjoy meditating on the word of God in our Christian life.  And while we meditate on the word of God, we must strive to live a life of obedience to it.  If we keep the word of God, God's love is truly perfected in us.  By this we know that we are in the Lord (1 Jn. 2:5).

 

In 1 John 2:27, the Bible says, “…  -just as it has taught you, remain in him.”  The modern Korean Bible translates this word ‘… You must always live in Christ.’  Focusing on this word, I want to receive lessons by meditating on what it means to live in the Lord and the consequences of living that life in the Lord.

 

First, we want to think about what it means to live in the Lord.  To live in the Lord means to live as the Holy Spirit teaches us.

 

Look at 1 John 2:27 – “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.”  When we came to believe in Jesus Christ by the grace of God, God gave us the Holy Spirit and poured out His love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5).  In other words, if we are true Christians, we have received the Holy Spirit from God (1 Jn. 2:20).  So, what does the Bible say about the role of the Holy Spirit?  Look at John 15:26 – “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.”  According to the word of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father.”  And He said that the Spirit of truth testifies about Jesus.  And Jesus said in John 16:13 – “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”  The Spirit of truth who dwells in us, who believe in Jesus, not only testifies about Jesus, but also guides us into “all truth.”  The reason is because the Holy Spirit is the truth (1 Jn. 5:6).  And the Spirit of truth not only speaks only what he hears, but also tells us the “what is yet to come.”

 

The Apostle John said in 1 John 2:20, which we have already meditated on, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.”  The Apostle John told the recipients of his letter that the true Christians were those who received the Holy Spirit from God, unlike the many antichrists who appeared at that time.  And the true Christians who have received the Holy Spirit know all these things, said the Apostle John (v. 20).  That is, the true Christians know that these are the last hour and that many antichrists have appeared (v. 18).  And the true Christians who have received the Holy Spirit know the righteous Jesus Christ, the Advocate and the propitiation for our sins (vv. 1-2).  And because they kept the commandments of Jesus (vv. 3-5) and loved their brothers and sisters in Christ (v. 10), the love of God was truly perfected in them (v. 5).  The true Christians also know the Father God and overcome the devil because the powerful word of God dwells in them (vv. 13-14).  And they don’t love the world or the things in the world (v. 15).  Rather, they only do the will of God (v. 17).  Broadly speaking, all this that the true Christians who have received the Holy Spirit know is all that the Holy Spirit teaches them (v. 27).  All that the Holy Spirit teaches them is everything that Jesus said to His disciples (Jn. 14:26).  That is, the Spirit teaches them everything Jesus said.

 

In 1 John 2:27, the Apostle John says: “As for you, the anointing which 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 it has taught you, you abide in Him.”  From this verse, I think we should learn three important biblical teachings:

 

(1)     Since the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we have no need for anyone to teach us.

 

This is not to say that there is no need for God-given Bible teachers in the church.  The reason for this is clearly because 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11 in the Bible say that God has appointed “pastors” and “teachers” in the church.  I think there is a reason why the Apostle John said that we don’t need anyone to teach us because the Holy Spirit dwells in us.  That's why 1 John 2:26 says: “These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.”  That is, the reason is because there were people who deceived or tried to deceive the believers who believed in Jesus.  They are antichrists (v. 18) and the liars (v. 22).  In this last hour, the lying antichrists appeared not only to deny the Father God and the Son Jesus (v.  22), but also to deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (v. 23) and His incarnation (2 Jn. 1:7).  So I think the Apostle John said that we don’t need anyone to teach us because the Holy Spirit dwells in us to guard against the teachings of these deceivers.

 

The Holy Spirit dwells in us who believe in Jesus.  Therefore, we have no need for anyone to to teach us.  Since pastors and teachers teach us the Bible because the Holy Spirit who dwells in them teaches us through them, so we don’t need to receive any other teaching outside of the truth than the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

 

(2)     The Holy Spirit who dwells in us teaches us everything.  And the Spirit’s teaching is true and not a lie.

The apostle John already said in verse 20, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.”  In other words, we know all these things because the Holy Spirit who dwells in us who believes in Jesus teaches us all things (v. 27).  And the important thing is that everything the Holy Spirit teaches us is true and not a lie (v. 27).  That is, all that the Antichrists say and teach through the liars and the deceivers is not true but the lie.  Why do the antichrists deceive us by telling lies?  The Bible John 8:44 says: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  Therefore, the Apostle John exhorted the recipients of his letter of 1 John to not be deceived by the false words and teachings of the antichrists, but to receive the true teachings of the Holy Spirit who dwells in them.

 

The Holy Spirit, who dwells in us who believe in Jesus, teaches us all truth.  The reason is because the Holy Spirit is the truth (5:6). This Spirit of truth guides us into all truth (16:13).  The indwelling Holy Spirit testifies to us (15:26) that Jesus is the truth (14:26).  Therefore, we believers humbly learn all the words of truth taught to us by Jesus and the Holy Spirit, testified by the Holy Spirit of truth who dwells in us, so that in the progress and steadfastness of our faith, we can overcome all lies and false teachings of the devil and antichrists and don’t fall for the delusion.  In other words, we must listen to and learn the teachings of the truth by the Holy Spirit who indwells us more and more so that we don’t fall for the lies and the false teachings of the antichrists, children of the devil, and liars who deceive us and that we stand firm on the rock of faith.

 

(3)     We must always live in the Lord as the Holy Spirit teaches us.

 

What does that mean?  To live in the Lord means to practice righteousness.  Look at 1 John 2:29 – “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”  Here, in the phrase “is born of Him”, the verb “born” is also found in Jesus’ word to Nicodemus in John 3:7 – “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”  That is, when the Apostle John said, “…  you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him” (1 Jn. 2:29), he was talking about those who have been born again who have believed in Jesus, and who are righteous just as God is righteous, because they too are justified by believing in Jesus’ death and resurrection (Rom. 4:25).  Therefore, it means that the righteous must practice what is right at some point as the indwelling Holy Spirit teaches them.  This is what it means to live in the Lord.  Then what does it mean to practice righteousness?  In Matthew 6:33, as we are familiar with it, Jesus said: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  What is the life of seeking God's kingdom and God's righteousness here?  It means to seek the kingdom of God and its King, the righteous Jesus.  And I think that the life of seeking the righteousness of Jesus is a life of obedience to the word of God with faith, giving up even one's life for Jesus and the gospel while being ruled by the Lord, the King of the kingdom of God (Mk. 8:35; Rom. 1:17).  And it is to teach and preach the word of God, which we must obey, boldly and without hesitation, all about the kingdom of God and the Lord Jesus Christ (Lk. 9:2; Acts 28:31).

 

So, what does it mean to practice righteousness in 1 John 2:29?  If we look at the context of that word, we can guess a bit.  In verse 27 the second half, the Bible says, “Abide in Him” and in verse 28 the first half says, “abide in Him.”  And in verse 6, the Bible says, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”  In other words, the meaning of the word ‘practicing righteousness’ in verse 29 means that we do what the righteous Jesus Christ does (vv. 1, 6).  So what does the righteous Jesus Christ do?  As we have already learned from 1 John 2:1-2, Jesus Christ became the propitiation for our sins (v. 2) and also defends us before the Father God when we, who have been reconciled to God, sin.  Why did Jesus Christ do this for us (v. 2) and still do (v. 1)?  The reason is because He loves us.  Therefore, as those who live in Jesus Christ, what we do as Jesus Christ does (v. 6) means to live in obedience to Jesus' commandment (vv. 7-11).  That is why the Apostle John said in verse 10, “The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.”  And the Apostle John said in verse 5 that by this we know that we are in the Lord, because the love of God has truly been perfected in those who love their brothers according to the commandment of Jesus.  To summarize, in 1 John 2:29, those who practice righteousness are those who are in the Lord Jesus Christ who love their brothers according to Jesus’ commandment.  And loving their brothers as Jesus’ commanded is practicing righteousness.  We must not forget that those who practice righteousness in this way are born of Him and are the righteous children of God.  Look at 1 John 2:29 – “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”  We believers who have been justified by believing in Jesus Christ know that God is righteous, so we must live by doing what is right.  To live by practicing righteousness in this way is “abide in Him” (vv, 27-28).

 

Second and last, we want to think about is what it means to live in the Lord and what the result of living in the Lord is.

 

It is, in a word, that when Christ Jesus comes again, we will see Him with confidence and without being ashamed.  Look at 1 John 2:28 – “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”  The Apostle John says that when we abide in the Lord (vv. 27, 28), that is, when we live in the Lord, the result is that when the Lord comes, we have confidence so that we will not be ashamed before the Lord (v. 28).  How can we see the Lord with confidence without being ashamed when He comes again?  How can we have the confidence to not be ashamed before the Lord?  The reason is because the believers who live and abide in the Lord live holy and blameless life (MacArthur).  Look at Colossians 1:22 – “yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”  The Apostle John says in 1 John 2:2 that Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins.  By dying on the cross as the propitiation sacrifice, Jesus Christ reconciled us, who were enemies with God, to God.  The purpose is to present us before the Lord as holy, blameless and beyond reproach (Col. 1:22).  Therefore, those who abide in the Lord, we Christians who live in the Lord, keep the word of God (1 Jn. 2:5), so that we can purify ourselves to love our brothers with sincere love (1 Pet. 1:22) and that His love has been perfected in us (1 Jn. 2:5).  Therefore, when Jesus, the Bridegroom, comes back to this world, we Christians who are brides will be presented ourselves as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Eph. 5:27).  Therefore, we will have confidence and not shrink away from Him at the coming of the Lord, so that we will not be ashamed before the Lord (1 Jn. 2:28).

 

We must abide in the Lord as the Holy Spirit who dwells in us has taught us (1 Jn. 2:27).  We must always live in the Lord (v. 27).  The Spirit of truth bears witness to Jesus (Jn. 15:26) and guides us into all truth (16:13).  Therefore, there is no need for anyone to teach us (1 Jn. 2:27).  The reason is because there are those who deceive us (those who want to deceive us) who believe in Jesus.  Because there are false pastors and false Bible teachers who deny the Father God and the Son Jesus (v. 22) and deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (v. 23) and that He came in the flesh (2 Jn. 1:7).  We must keep in mind that the Holy Spirit who dwells within us teaches us everything (1 Jn. 2:27).  And the teachings of the Holy Spirit are true and not a lie (v. 27).  Because the indwelling Spirit is the truth (Jn. 5:6), he teaches us all truth.  The Spirit of truth testifies to us (15:26) about Jesus who is the truth (14:26).  Therefore, we believers humbly learn all the words of truth taught to us by Jesus and the Holy Spirit, testified by the Holy Spirit of truth who dwells in us, so that in the progress and steadfastness of our faith, we can overcome all lies and false teachings of the devil and antichrists and don’t fall for the delusion.  We must listen to the teachings of the indwelling Holy Spirit more and more and learn the teachings of the true Word of truth so that we can stand firm on the rock of faith.  Also, we must practice righteousness (1 Jn. 2:29).  As those who have believed in Jesus by the grace of God and have been born again, as the Lord is righteous (v. 1) and practices righteousness, we must also practice righteousness (v. 6).  We must live in obedience to the Lord's commandment (vv. 7-11).  If we love our brothers and sisters in Christ according to the Lord's commandment, then God's love is truly perfected in us, so that we know that we are in the Lord (v. 5).  The purpose of living in the Lord in this way is that when Christ Jesus comes again, we will have confidence and will not be ashamed (v. 28).  As we all abide in the Lord and live a holy life without blemish, I hope and pray that we will be established as a glorious church before the Lord when Jesus, the Bridegroom, comes again (Eph. 5:27).

 

 

 

 

Desiring to abide in the Lord as the indwelling Spirit teaches,

 

 

 

James Kim

(February 2, 2020, Earnestly praying that our church will be established as a glorious church before the Lord who will again)