Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleAbide In Him
Bible Text1 John 2:28
Synopsis By abiding in Christ we shall have confidence and not be ashamed when Christ returns. Listen
Series 1 John 2018
Article Type Sermon Notes
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc
Audio HI-FI Listen: Abide In Him (32 kbps)
Audio CD Quality Listen: Abide In Him (128 kbps)
Length 41 min.

Series: 1 John
Title: Abide in Him
Text: 1 John 2: 28
Date: October 25, 2018
Place: SGBC, NJ

1 John 2: 28: And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

“Little children” tells us this is addressed to believers.  Those sanctified by the Spirit of God are given a new heart wherein and made teachable as “little children.”

Matthew 18: 3: [Christ] said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

App. Before we can obey verse 28, we must repent from every vain refuge and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  We cannot abide in Christ until we are in Christ.  If you do not believe on Christ then you are not in Christ and if you are not in Christ then you are yet in your sins.  Believe on Christ now!

·       He said, Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else.” (Is 45: 22)

·       This is the day of grace—Isaiah 55: 6: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.


But for you who are in Christ by the grace and power of God, the apostle John declares three things: 1) a blessed truth that every believer should keep ever in remembrance—our blessed Redeemer is coming again.  2) He gives us an exhortation that we must heed—now, little children, abide in him;”  3) He gives us the reason/encouragement to abide in Christ—"that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

Subject: Abide in Him


Proposition: By abiding in Christ we shall have confidence and not be ashamed when Christ returns.

I. THE TRUTH—Our blessed Redeemer shall come again and receive his people to himself. (Turn to John 14) 


A. We have this promise of his coming-again from our Savior himself. The night before our Lord was crucified, he comforted John and the other apostles with this promise—he comforts us with this promise.

John 14: 1: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

1. The apostles believed in Christ but he dwelt among them.  After his crucifixion, he ascended to the Father where they would not see him with the eye. 

·       So he says, “Ye believe in God” who you see not. 

·       “Believe, also, in me”, though you will not see me after I ascend.  I will still be with you always, guiding you, protecting you, even though you see me not.

·       This is how our hearts are not troubled—"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Pet 1: 8)

John 14: 2: In my Father’s house are many mansions: [permanent dwelling places] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

2. In God the Father’s house are many permanent, eternal dwelling places—the exact number that God the Father chose in Christ before the foundation of the world and there shall be no vacancies—Christ shall lose none!


3. Christ said to us, “I go to prepare a place for you!”

·       Christ went to the cross and by his death and resurrection he prepared a place just for those God the Father entrusted to him—just for you, who believe on him.

·       By putting away the sin of his people,

·       By bringing in everlasting righteousness for us

·       By entering heaven as our great High Priest with our names on his breast  


John 14: 3: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4. Our great Savior is not going to send for you, believer.  He, himself, is coming again—“I will come again!”

1 Thessalonians 4: 16: For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.


5. He said, I am coming, “To receive you unto myself. That where I am, there [you] may be also.”

To the dying thief he said, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”


John 12: 26: If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am there shall also my servant be.


John 17:24: Father I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.


App. Brethren, Christ’s word is our assurance and his return our blessed hope.

Titus 2: 13: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

This is our consolation when we groan in this body of sin in this world of sin. 


He is coming again, he is coming again

The very same Jesus rejected of men

With power and great glory

He is coming again


II. THE EXHORTATION—1 John 2: 28: And now, little children, abide in him;

A. No doubt, John addresses them as “little children” because of his great love for those begotten through his preaching. A pastor has the love of a father for those begotten through his preaching. A pastor can give no more loving exhortation than to “abide in Christ.”

1. But also it appears from the context that John addresses them as “little children” because this is how Christ addressed John and the apostles the night before his crucifixion and John is declaring what Christ declared to them that night. (Turn to Jn 13)

John 13: 33: Little children, yet a little while I am with you, Ye shall seek me:…Whither I go, ye cannot come;… [Drop down to]…14: 18: I will not leave you COMFORTLESS, I will come to you.

·       The margin: “orphans.”  Christ said, “I will not leave you orphans, but my little children, I will come to you, by the anointing of the Spirit.” If you read John 13-15 you will see where John got the things he declares in 1 John 2, especially concerning the unction abiding in us and us in him.


2. John’s intent in chapter 2 of his epistle is to show believers how deeply indebted we are to Christ:

·       V1: Christ is our Advocate with the Father (verse 1).

·       V2: Our Righteousness and the Propitiation for our sins (verse 2).

·       V6: Our Example to walk as he walked

·       V12-14: The reason we have blessings: forgiveness, overcoming the wicked one, we knowing the Father.

·       V20-27: From Christ we have the unction/anointing, to know the truth and believe on him.

So in v28, it is from this relationship of Christ our Everlasting Father with us as his little children, that John exhorts us,  1 John 2: 28: And now, little children, abide in him;


B. Note: “To ‘abide,’ is translated other places ‘continue,’ ‘dwell,’ ‘remain’ in Christ — it means to abide as our permanent dwelling place.


Illustration: In Magnolia, Arkansas I will not be abiding in that hotel room; only lodging.  When I come back to my house with my bed, my chair, my wife, my children, there I abide.  Do not lodge in Christ; abide in Christ as your permanent dwelling place.


1. To abide in Christ is to abide in the truth of the gospel of Christ—1 John 2: 24  Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

·       This is how John began the epistle—we must continue in the Word of life, in the Light of the truth of God in Christ.

1 John 1: 1: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard,of the Word of life; 2  (For the life was manifested,…that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3:…declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light,[truth] and in him is no darkness at all. [no lie] 6: If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: [abide not in the truth] 7: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, [continually abiding in the truth of Christ] we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

App. We should grow in knowledge of Christ.  We should know more of sound doctrine than we did in the beginning.  But we must abide in the same truth we heard from the beginning.

2. To abide in Christ is to continue in Christ as all our salvation alone!

·       We need reconciliation with the Father—Christ said, “I am the way

·       We need illumination—Christ said, “I am the Truth

·       We need regeneration—Christ said, “I am the Life

·       Christ said, “no man comes to the Father but by me.”

·       But it is only by Christ! Christ alone is our Advocate with the Father, the Propitiation for our sins and our Righteousness and our Holiness!

·       Your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake

·       “Christ is All!”—"Ye are complete in him!”

·       Christ is our heaven!  The one we look for! Our eternal Life! To abide in him is to actively set all our affection on him alone


Illustration: Believer, abide in Christ as the only thing you have like the first hour you believed when Christ was the only thing you had—before you had experiences or works or graces—continue abiding in Christ only!


3. To abide in Christ is to live upon Christ in utter dependence for everything.  Little children” also reminds us of our utter weakness.  Christ said,

John 15: 4: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5: I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

That is weak: “without me ye can do nothing.”  So we must be like the cony—a tiny, mountain mouse.

Pro 26: The conies [tiny mouse] are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses [abiding places] in the rocks;


Illustration: We need Christ for all strength, else all is vanity—vapor.

I need thee every hour

In joy or pain
Come quickly and abide

Or life is vain


4. To abide in Christ is to obey Christ, living for him, his gospel and his people. Christ said, “He that keepeth my words [that obey me], I and my Father will come to him and make our abode with him.”

1. This is why John speaks so much about loving our brethren—that is Christ’s command to us.

·       Love not the world but love your brethren.  The devil and our sinful flesh would turn us from Christ and our brethren with enticements of this world

·       To do without personal wants in life so we can provide for the needs of brethren, to set aside hurt feelings and bear shortcomings of brethren—so they can have the gospel in truth and together we can send it forth—that is love of brethren.


Illustration: Spurgeon said when you get too old and feeble so that all you can do is lay in your sick bed and cough then cough for Christ!


5. To abide in Christ is to persevere unto the end, ignoring those who would seduce you into error, so that you do not fall away like so many anti-christs have.  We are to persevere, watching, for that day!

Matthew 24: 36: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37: But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38: For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39: And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40: Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41: Two…grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42: Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.


Illustrate: Abide in Christ like Noah and his family abode in the ark and for the same reason.


III. THE REASON—1 John 2: 28: that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

A. John included himself.  We all need Christ alone!

1. Plus, John, had to give account to Christ for those to whom he ministered.  This is one reason John said, 3 Jo 1:4: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

·       Paul said, Philippians 2: 16…that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

·       This is why believers are exhorted to “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief ” (Heb 13:17)

·       It is why the pastor has this charge, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2Ti 4:1-2)


B. I love how it speaks of Christ appearing.  He is present now, we simply cannot see him.

Illustration: Melinda and I talking on cell phone. Then we see each other. If we knew the joy a believer enters into with Christ the moment he closes his eyes in death and Christ appears, we would never again weep for our departed brethren.


1. If you abide in Christ only—with only Christ’s righteousness—then you will have confidence at his appearing and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Philippians 3: 9: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:


2. There will be no confidence, only shame before him, if we are found like the foolish virgins that had no oil for their lamps? 

Matthew 25: 10: And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11: Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12: But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13: Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.


Luke 12: 35: Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36: And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37: Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38  And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39: And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 40  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.


App. Are you ready?  Abide in Christ and you shall be ready! What a day that shall be!


O blessed hope!
O blissful promise!

Filling our hearts with rapture divine

O day of days! Hail Thy appearing

Thy transcendent glory forever shall shine!