1 John 2:3-6
How is your abiding? In Sunday’s sermon this is the question Pastor Monty said his friend asked him. It is indeed a great question to ask ourselves! In 1 John 2:5-6 John says the following:
By this we know we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
So what does it mean to be “in Him”? Are we able to say that we “abide in Him”? The Apostle John gives an interesting account of Jesus explaining what it means to abide in the Gospel of John. In Chapter 6 (which I encourage you to read right now) we have Jesus feeding the 5000, walking on water, and engaging people in a discussion about the true bread from heaven. In verse 35, Jesus declares himself to be the bread of life – one of the seven great I am statements found in John’s gospel. Then Jesus gives one of the most difficult teachings of his ministry.
He says “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you have no life in yourself.” (vs. 53) And in verse 56 Jesus says, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in Him.” After this teaching many who had been following Jesus abandoned Him. Jesus even confronted the twelve apostles and asked them if they wanted to leave Him as well. (vs. 67) The crowd did not understand the spiritual nature of what Jesus was telling them. They understood this teaching literally – and took it to mean cannibalism!
This is not what Jesus was trying to convey. He was not physically offering up His body for us to consume, although he did offer up His body for us to be spiritually nourished and filled through faith. His sacrifice for us was brutal in nature. He did have his flesh literally ripped from his body as he endured the scourging at the hands of those professional Roman soldiers. His blood was literally spilled by that scourging, when the crown of thorns was placed on His head and when the nails were driven through His flesh to secure Him to the cross.
We cannot abide in Christ and not recognize the sacrifice He endured in order to make our abiding possible. As Jesus himself said, it is only the one who eats His flesh and drinks His blood who can abide in Him. This is not a physical eating and drinking but a spiritual eating and drinking. Jesus teaches this same truth at what is known as the Lord’s Supper. He takes the bread, breaks it, and gives it to his disciples saying, “this is My body which is given to you.” (Luke 22:19) Then He takes the cup and said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” (Luke 22:20)
There is much that can be said about our abiding in Christ but the first step is to remember His sacrifice for us. Isaiah 53:5 tells us that, “by His scourging [some translations say stripes] we are healed.” Have you placed the full weight of your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ? It is impossible to abide in Him without recognizing His great sacrifice for us. Jesus came to demonstrate His Father’s love for all people. Let us abide in His sacrifice and walk as Jesus walked by demonstrating God’s love in some tangible way today. Make a difference by making a sacrifice! Abide in Jesus and live the abundant life for the glory of God.
God Bless and I hope to see you Sunday.
This blog is the second in a series of posts that will follow up to Pastor Monty's Sunday sermon series, "Faithful Living in a Fallen World". You can listen to the companion sermon to this post here.