Staying the Course
1 John 2:24-27
The Disciple’s Enemies Pt. 2
NIV (New International Version)
i. 24 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. 25 And this is what he promised us—even eternal life. 26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 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. 
ESV (English Standard Version)
i. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. 26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
i. Written by the Apostle John.
ii. Most likely John wrote from Ephesus, the intellectual center of Asia Minor. (***Ephesus Picture 1***)
iii. A number of church fathers such as Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria, and Justin Martyr all support this possibility. (***Ephesus Picture 2***)
iv. John was older in his years as he wrote and was the last of the apostles. John was a man of intense passion in both his ministry and in his writing. (***John Picture***)
v. Remember that John was one of three others who knew Jesus here on this earth better than any other person. He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus…John knew Jesus with great understanding and firsthand experience. Because of this deep walk and experience with Christ, we see much of John’s writings reflecting concepts, imagery, and statements made by Christ while he was on earth.
vi. The book of 1 John was penned in order to encourage the church and to protect her from the assaults of Satan and his devices.
b. Continuity of 1 John (Review)
i. 1:1-4; John writes to showcase the Christ that actually lived. He wasn’t giving a Christ that had been fashioned by man; John was writing to show the real Christ and the truth of his message.
ii. 1:5-10; John calls believers to a true walk before God. The disciple’s walk must reflect his master. The disciple must walk in the light as Christ is in the light.
iii. 2:1-6; John writes to show how people ought to walk in righteousness as Christ himself walked.
iv. 2:6-11; He continues to encourage believers to walk a genuine faith that is after Christ.
v. 2:12-14; John writes to show that believers must endeavor to grow into spiritual maturity by pursuing God with all of their heart.
vi. 2:15-17; John admonishes and encourages the church to not put their love and allegiance in this world system. The believer should not have even a little of his devotion to the world; the believer cannot serve two masters but must be wholly devoted to Christ and Christ alone.
c. Antichrists and Savage Wolves (Review)
i. John then begins to warn the church that there will be antichrists, savage wolves, who will look to distort the truth of Christ.
ii. They are looking to destroy, divide, and subvert the people of God.
b. A ship on stormy seas (***Ship slide***)
i. (***VIDEO; after video go back to ship slide***)The ships of the northern seas; fishermen, ice breaking ships; naval shipshave to navigate the dangerous seas of the North; very unforgiving; navigational error could mean disaster as the ship could then be plunged into icy water where survivors from the wreck would quickly perish.
ii. Staying on course in such conditions is a battle. Each member of the crew must do his part to keep the ship sailing on the right heading. If they were to simply “not care” or take their job seriously, the ship would be swept away by the raging currents and be 9destroyed.
I. STAYING THE COURSE (v.24a)
a. ESV – 1 John 2:24, 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.
i. Abiding in Truth
1. The truth must remain and abide within us. What truth? The truth that was given at the beginning. We are in a culture where new is better. We are looking for some new key some new truth instead of the Word of God that was handed down to us.
2. John emphatically puts the “you” at the beginning of the sentence to contrast with the antichrists. Do not give way to false theologies but “you” instead be constant and remain.
3. The Greek word here for abide/ remain connotes a continual action of remaining. Unlike the antichrists, we must continually remain and abide in the truth that has been handed down to us.
4. Abiding carries with it the sense of remaining, dwelling, and enduring.
ii. Course Correcting
1. In the currents of this world we may begin to drift one way or the other. We must continually course correct in order to stay on the right heading.
2. Abiding in truth is not passive. If you do not fight to abide in truth, then the currents of compromise will sway us. Abiding requires constant attention, effort, and course correcting.
3. Compromising truth life is a natural flow. If we are not fighting against the current we will naturally be swept away with it. Our hearts our deceptive and wicked and if we just do what feels good or not take this faith in Christ seriously, you will slide into compromise.
4. The reason that the church and Christians are in the state they are in today is because the faith was not a priority. When the abiding in truth is not an active pursuit, the lusts and ignorance of our sinful nature will cause us to drift. That is an absolute certainty.
a. Our lives and our churches are in need of constant course correcting. Our heading doesn’t change but we have to continually make sure that the bow of our ship is heading in the right direction.
b. As a father, I must continually make sure that my family is where it needs to be and continually adjust and make corrections in order to stay on the right heading.
II. ABIDING IN CHRIST (vv.24b-25)
a. ESV – 1 John 2:24-25, If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
i. If you continually abide in the truth, then you will abide in the Son and the Father.
ii. Note that abiding in the Son and in the Father requires abiding in the original truth. Departure from that truth that was given at the beginning means a departure from the active fellowship with the Son and the Father or it may mean that the person was not really abiding in Christ in the first place and therefore someone who never was saved.
iii. The truth that we abide in is the promise of eternal life in God. It can never be forgotten that God made a promise of eternal life and that it is a wonderful truth and promise that is foundational to the truth that has been handed down to us.
1. The promise of God is eternal life, an eternal life that was given only after Christ paid our transgressions and satisfied the wrath of God by spilling His blood on the cross.
2. It is interesting that it is always this that people want to hold onto while at the same time changing and reshaping Christ into what they want God to be. This reveals the depth of the man-centeredness in their thinking. They want all of the benefits without having to submit to God as he is revealed in the Bible.
iv. Truth drawn from the lips of Christ
1. ESV – John 15:5, I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
a. Illustration of the Vine
i. A common sight in ancient Israel
b. John lives out the reality that truth derives from Christ alone. The truth that he gives reflects the very words of Christ.
c. The branches cannot exist apart from the vine for it is the vine that imparts life. If the branches are not in the vine, they cannot bear fruit. But if the branch is in the vine, they can bear fruit because they are attached to the life of the vine.
i. The Christian cannot bear righteousness in his life if he is not in the vine of Christ.
ii. Apart from Christ, the Christian can do nothing. Now that is a wake up call! We can do NOTHING apart from Christ. Yet we are in a mad scramble in life to do everything humanly possible to be good Christians and it is all in vain because we are wrestling against the forces of darkness in our own strength. Remember the words of Christ that apart from Him the Christian is lifeless. The branch is lifeless from the vine and so is the Christian apart from Christ.
iii. Likewise the church is lifeless when it is unattached to the vine of Christ. There are many churches that are attached to good programs, entertaining services and feel good teaching. Even at Heritage we might be tempted into thinking that it is in our own wisdom, strength, and power that we will impact the world.
iv. Heritage Baptist Church, it is only within Christ that we are able to do anything that brings Him glory.
2. ESV – John 15:7-9 If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
a. To abide in Christ is to be connected to the wellspring of his presence through the power of His revealed Word.
i. The fellowship that exists to be able to make requests of God comes only within the context of His truth abiding within us and us abiding in Him.
ii. Abiding in Christ necessitates the transforming presence of His Word in our life.
b. The revealed truth of God as given in scripture has a transformative effect on its listeners.
v. Old Testament Wisdom
1. The concept of letting the riches of God’s truth dwell within us is not a new concept. The Psalmist writes explicitly about his earnest desire to lay hold upon the commandments of God. To the psalmist, to lay hold onto the riches of God’s commandments meant drawing closer to God himself.
a. Psalms 119:10-11, With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
b. Psalms 119:15, I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statues; I will not forget your Word.
c. Proverbs 3:1-4, My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the table of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
vi. The power of God’s truth
1. How is it that God’s word plays such a crucial component in our abiding in Christ?
2. Paul described the Gospel of God as a shattering force
a. Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
b. God’s Word changes lives and it is this powerful living force that has the power to destroy sin and cause us to abide in dynamic fellowship with God himself. The word of God is that conduit that connects us to the vine that is Christ. You cannot abide in Christ apart from the Word of God.
i. The reason that we have so many churches and Christians that are not abiding in Christ is simply because we have become ashamed of the Gospel. We are ashamed and it is evident all across the American church and among Christians. We have dumbed down the Gospel message.
ii. Staying on course means that we must stand unashamedly upon the Gospel.
vii. Straining Towards Abiding
1. Paul reveals throughout his writings that this existence of abiding is not a passive exercise. To the contrary, abiding in Christ and living in Him is a constant straining forward, pursuing, fighting, and enduring. Like the ship that must fight to maintain its course, the Christian has to fight to maintain his heading in this world. In order to live in Christ, one must fight for that end.
a. Philippians 3:14, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
b. We have to be a people that abide in Christ and to abide in Christ means a constant fighting to maintain that course heading.
c. Once again, this life is a battle. We cannot simply take an easy going attitude of life.
III. EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (vv.26-27)
a. ESV – 1 John 2:26-27, 26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
i. Writing with a purpose
1. Paul is writing to remind the believers against those who are trying to deceive them. Note that they are actively in the present tense “trying” to subvert the church.
2. John is actively fighting to make sure that the ship of the church remains on course.
a. The three persons of the Trinitarian godhead are represented in vv.24-27. Purposeful inclusion by John to reinforce the doctrine of the Trinity.
3. This goes back to what we talked about last week, that there are enemies of the cross and the Gospel of Christ and they are out to subvert the Gospel and the church.
a. Their active indulgence in and perpetuation of false teaching reveals that they are a destructive and a dangerous influence. Joel Osteen, Rob Bell, Brian McClaren, TD Jakes, and many others have brought great confusion and spiritual complacency into the church.
< Return to Studies List