Read: 1 John 2:24-28
As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us: eternal life. (1 John 2:24-25)
John gives a direct command here to his readers. He tells me I must ensure that what I “have heard from the beginning” stays in me. I am responsible.
What is this message that reached my ears? It is the gospel, the good news.
In words of one syllable, it is this: Christ died to save me from my sins so that I may be right with God.
The Big Words version: The gospel of salvation told me that the forgiveness of my sins (justification) and imparting of Christ’s righteousness (imputation) was made possible by God’s free gift (grace) to me, through my faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ in my place (substitution), which turned away God’s wrath (propitiation).
So how do I ensure that this message “remains in me”?
I study and learn more about this gospel message (so I understand all those Big Words that End in SHUN). I read the Bible closely and see Christ’s death on my behalf portrayed throughout its pages. I partake in Holy Communion. I celebrate Easter, gathering with my local church body. I talk about the gospel with my husband, my children, my fellow believers, my co-workers, my friends. Through prayer, I talk about the gospel with my God.
I take responsibility for loving God with all my mind and soul as well as with all my heart and strength.
Blessedly, all this learning, remembering, celebrating, meditating and talking has a flow-on effect, according to John: it ensures that I stay in Christ and in the Father. Christ promised me eternal life, and I have it now as I remain in him.
I remain in Christ because I remember the Christian gospel.
LORD God Almighty,
May your name be praised in all the world.
You saw my horrible sin and were justly angry at me. Yet you expended your wrath not on me but on the body of your Son, Jesus Christ, as he hung crucified, bearing my sin and shame in his body.
You are just – terribly, fearfully just.
You are merciful – wonderfully, generously merciful.
You are Sovereign, Saviour and Spirit, Three in One, the Holy One.
I acknowledge you. May I always remain in you, and in so-doing enjoy eternal life.
Thank you for this eternal life which you have birthed in me through the hearing of the gospel and faith in your Son. Keep me in your Son always, eternally alive because I am eternally in him who grants me life.
May I continue to live in Christ, so I may be confident and unashamed – confident in Christ’s sacrifice and unashamed with Christ’s righteousness – before Jesus when he comes.