1 John 2:28-3:3 "Abide In Him"

Text: 1 John 2:28-3:3

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. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Two observations in verse 28:

  1. The key to facing Jesus confidently is to abide in Him

  2. Jesus Christ will return and some will shrink back in shame and others will have confidence

Our text begins by stating, “And now, little children, abide in Him”. ‘Abide’ means to continue, be faithful and to stand firm. Let’s begin by giving some practical ways that believers can ‘abide in Him’.

The first way that we ‘abide in Him’ is to receive Christ by faith and then continue in Christ by faith. Last week we considered the fact that the church in Corinth and the church in Galatia had struggled to abide in the message that they had heard. The Corinthians tended to believe anyone who preached a different Christ, a different Spirit, or came with a different gospel. The church in Galatia received Christ by faith but then they tried to perfect themselves by adding a law.

This week our Plethos discipleship group finished our last class. That last study was important. It began with these words, “Salvation comes entirely by the grace of God. It is important to note however, that just as we are righteous in Christ by grace through faith, so in the same way do we live out our righteousness: by grace through faith. Eternal life and the abundant life are both experienced by grace through faith.” (Plethos, p.120)

In regards to these things we can begin with two questions.

  1. First, Have I truly believed in Christ? Have I trusted in Him as the provision for my sin and do I live in total dependence upon Christ for my salvation? Can I say that I ha e a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

  2. Secondly, are you a believer who is continuing to walk each day by the grace of God through faith (Galatians 2:20)? Or have you begun to trust in yourself or something else other than Christ for your sanctification?

The second way that a believer can ‘abide in Him’ is to continue in His Word. We saw this last week in 1 John 2:24, “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He made to us – eternal life.

We are to abide in the teachings, the promises, the commands, the correction, rebuke and admonishments of the Scriptures. The scriptures are spiritual food for our souls and we need to take it in every day to grow and remain healthy.

The third way that a believer can ‘abide in Him’ is to be dependent upon the Holy Spirit who has been given to believers. We read in 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing that you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But His anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie – just as it has taught you, abide in Him.

This past week I listened to a wonderful sermon by Pastor David Ellis on Galatians 5:16-26. In it he brought out four main points concerning walking by the Spirit.


  1. The Christian who walks by the Spirit will experience an inner struggle with indwelling sin,

  2. The Christian who walks by the Spirit will experience positive change (fruit of the Spirit).

  3. The Christian who walks by the Spirit will experience a long process of sanctification.

  4. The Christian who walks by the Spirit will receive an invitation to submit to His work in our life.

The fourth way that a believer can ‘abide in Him’ is to abide in the fellowship of the church. John has already mentioned that there were some who had left the church in 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

However, consider what John will say to these believers in 1 John 3:14-18, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees His brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth.

It should be one of our greatest joys to gather together among other believers to fellowship, to worship the LORD, to sit under the ministry of the Word and the sacraments, and to see the LORD use each of us to minister and serve the body with the grace that the LORD provid