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[a]—eternal life.” (I John 2:24-25)
What is it that the church and the believers to whom the Apostle John was writing had heard from the beginning? What was the message that was to abide in them? The answer is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not a message just for our justification but also our sanctification which ultimately leads to our glorification.
The Gospel is not just about the believer’s past conversion. The Gospel is also about the believer’s current transformation into the holy character of Christ. This is the message which is to continue in the believer’s life.
To abide (μενέτω; meneto) means to remain or to persevere. The first occurrence of this word in today’s text is in the form of a command. God commands the church to persevere in the message, truth and proclamation of the Gospel.
For argument’s sake, what exactly is the Gospel? I submit for your benefit and edification, the following outline. This should be familiar.
- God Exists. The God of the Bible. The One, True God. Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 45.
- Sin Exists. Sin is any lack of obedience or conformity to the person and character of God. Sin is a debt, a crime and an estrangement from God. Romans 3:9-20; 23; Ephesians 2:1-3.
- Salvation Exists. Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 2:4-10.
- One Savior Exists: Jesus Christ. John 14:1-6; Romans 3:21-26; I Timothy 5:1-2.
It is this core message in which the individual believer, and the collective church, must continue to abide and remain. To fail to do so is heresy and will result in tragic consequences.
The Gospel’s ultimate promise in the Gospel is eternal life. This is life not only in length but also in the character of the holiness of God.
Dr. John MacArthur explains that, “The gospel that cannot change. Let it remain; do not follow false teachers (cf. 2 Tim. 3:1, 7, 13; 4:3). Christian truth is fixed and unalterable (Jude 3). If we stay faithful to the truth, we continue to experience intimate communion with God and Christ and persevere to the full eternal life (cf. 1 John 5:11–12).”
Take the time and make the effort to memorize the basic points of the Gospel. May they be ingrained into your mind and memory. May you share these truths with those you know who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!