“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth…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, abide in Him,” 1 John 2:20-21, 27.
Continuing our reflection on the word “abide” in John’s first letter:
2:27: Here we see the Anointing abiding in us and us abiding in God; just as or even as is a theme in John’s writing, we are to love as Jesus loves, walk as Jesus walks, be in unity as the Trinity is in unity; we are to abide in Him as He abides in us – our lives are to be lived in union with God.
The context of verse 27 is the contrast between truth and deception, indeed a theme of the letter is the contest between light and darkness, truth and lies, love and hate, antichrist and Christ – the gyroscope, the stabilizer, for the believer in the midst of deception is abiding in Jesus Christ. So long as we abide in Christ we will be safe from the myriad counterfeits produced by the enemy, so long as we abide in Christ we will be delivered from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. As the Father lives in the Son so the Father and Son and Holy Spirit live in the believer, keeping the follower of Christ in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91).
Is it too much for us to consider that the Holy Spirit lives in us and acts upon us in order to teach us to abide in Christ? When we begin each day the Holy Spirit greets us and hovers over us in order to partner with us in our abiding in Christ. If we will but allow the Holy Spirit to lead us around the dance floor He will lead us into all truth, deeper and deeper into Jesus. But when we back lead we break the experiential connection and insist on our own way rather than the Way, when we back lead we assert our will over and above His will.
Everyday the Holy Spirit beckons us into renewed koinonia with Christ, every moment the Holy Spirit desires to unfold the glory of our Father to us and in us, every heartbeat the Holy Spirit yearns for us to be vessels showing forth the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Abiding in Christ is to be transformed from an idea to a reality, transformed from a momentary experience to a way of life; rather than a sense of abiding in Christ being something unusual, the heart’s desire of our Father is that the unusual should be when we are out of step with Jesus – the unusual should be when our abiding is disturbed.
Impossible? If such things are impossible then the words of Jesus are unrealistic; if such a life is impossible then John Chapters 13 – 17 are a cruel tease to the hungry heart. If such a life is beyond our grasp then Romans Chapter 8 are the words of a man drunk on delusion.
But abiding in Christ is assuredly possible when He abides in us, when He is our all in all (1 Cor. 1:30-31). When we look to Jesus as our source of all then we can approach each day as a day of renewed abiding in Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Col. 2:1-3; Heb. 12:1-3). What we think is the exception God desires to be the norm – what tragedy that it is not.
However, take heart and be encouraged for if you will but trust Him and submit to Him and believe Him, Jesus will draw you into intimate and sweet relationship with Himself and with His Father; the Holy Spirit will be your faithful guide into all truth and into a life of abiding in Christ. Mediate on John’s words to Christians of centuries ago for those words are as alive today as they were then, for hearts and minds are the same today as they were two millennia ago, and more importantly the passionate love of God for mankind is as bright and fervent today as it was when He sent His Son to live and die and rise again for you – the Son of God loved you and gave Himself for you (Gal. 2:20). Receive His love, let Him teach you to abide in Him.