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October 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.”—1 John 2:24-25 (NKJV)
The apostle John opened his gospel with the words “In the beginning.” Later, in his epistles, he repeatedly uses the word “beginning” as well as “truth.” That’s compelling. I don’t think it points to his limited vocabulary but rather urgency to remember the truth that has been with us from the beginning—the Word of God and Jesus Christ.
Equally compelling is that John directed these words to the newly established Church, which evidently needed to be reminded to abide in the truth they learned upon conversion. Already seeds of new doctrine were taking root, threatening to choke out the seeds of truth that had been sown. But the idea reverberates, and in this present age we are wise to take John’s counsel to heart.
John’s counsel is to walk and abide in the truth in order to deflect the growing deception of false teaching. At the time of John’s writings, the heretical Gnostic movement was infiltrating the church, preaching a doctrine that was contrary to Jesus’ teachings. More recently, we observe heresy in any church or individual who would add or detract from God’s Word, misrepresent the gospel message, or subjugate truth by deceptive means. What’s frightening is that false doctrine has no boundaries—it’s not just outside the church, but within it (2 Corinthians 11:13). Satan is a determined adversary who will disguise himself as an angel of light in his ceaseless desire to debase truth, impede our growth in Christ, and cast us down.
Yet John encourages us! The true power of our lives is the Spirit of Christ who dwells within us—“greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NASB). Like any circuit, to keep that power flowing we have to stay connected to the source. So, John writes to abide in Christ, keep His commandments, keep His Word, and walk in the same manner as He walked (1 John 2:3-6). And that was not new doctrine but the very words Jesus taught to His disciples. It was what John learned from the beginning of his walk with Christ.
Christian, be wary of any new gospel, prophecy, or testament. Be a Berean and examine the Scriptures to see if what you hear is truth (Acts 17:11). God invites us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God” (1 John 4:1 NASB). His Word is your knowledge base and the armor given to you to protect your family and yourself.
DIG: When we abide in what we have learned from the beginning, what does that mean?
DISCOVER: Do you abide and walk in an environment of truth? Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
DO: Take note of what Alan Redpath wrote: “My fellow Christians, I want you again to catch a glimpse of Jesus. Look back and remember the pit from which you were saved, look back at the peace that came into your life, and remind your heart that your faith is founded on the bedrock conviction that ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.’”
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.