Verses to review today: 1 John 2:11-2:23
New Verse: 1 John 2:24
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. (ESV)
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. (KJV)
Greek: Ὑμεῖς ὃ ἠκούσατε ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, ἐν ὑμῖν μενέτω. ἐὰν ἐν ὑμῖν μείνῃ ὃ ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς ἠκούσατε, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν τῷ υἱῷ καὶ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ μενεῖτε.
Transliterated Greek: Hymeis ho ēkousate ap’ archēs, en hymin menetō. ean en hymin meinē ho ap’ archēs ēkousate, kai hymeis en tō huiō kai en tō patri meneite.
Literal Word for Word Translation: You! What you have heard from the beginning, must remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.
Vocab: ἠκούσατε, ēkousate, you have heard; ἀρχῆς, arches, beginning; μενέτω, menetō, it must remain/abide; μενεῖτε, meneite, you will remain/abide.
Commentary: Here the literal translation is important. Notice it starts with “You!” John is stressing that “You,” the ones, plural, who have been anointed, not the ones who have left, but those collectively who believe, must abide in the word that they heard from the beginning. In the English translations it is easy to be misled to think that “you” is each individual. But if we are thinking individuals, then we have a conditional salvation based on our effort to stay in the gospel. Such a gospel is not the gospel of the Bible!
1 John 2:19-21 indicate that the Gnostics did not remain with the believers because they were not of them in the first place. Those who believe were anointed by God and know the truth – they will remain. If there are some who could fall away, it wouldn’t make sense for John to say “you ALL have knowledge” of the truth (20-21). Also, we can turn to verses like John 10:27-29, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. And, John 6:37, All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. These verses and others indicate that those who are true disciples of Jesus cannot become lost. They cannot permanently drift from the gospel. If anyone does, they weren’t sealed by the Spirit! Eph 1:13-14, In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. So, it is important to see that 1 John 2:24 is a collective “you.” Because, even though individuals who have been sealed with the Holy Spirit cannot lose their salvation, churches can apostatize, or turn away from the faith. When a church stops preaching the gospel, stops abiding in the gospel, the people do not hear and in time the church dies. We see that in America today!
The other emphasis John is making is by placing the Son before the Father at the end of the verse. We remain in the Father only be remaining in the Son, which only happens by remaining in the gospel.
What does this mean for the individual? A true believer will persevere in the gospel. Those who think praying a prayer one day and living like the world the next means they are saved, then they are misled and are still in the darkness if indeed the verses we have already covered are true!