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Continue in Christ

1 John 2:28
And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. (NIVUK)

Starting is often easier than continuing through difficulty and hardship. It is a tough lesson for every child and yet with encouragement and love the child can learn to overcome the obstacles and develop essential life skills. The same is true for the children of God. That was why John wrote his letters … so that God's children, who were so dear to him, would learn to keep trusting the Lord resisting worldly temptations, fleshly lusts and false teaching.

Every Christian is not only following Jesus, and has Christ within; they are also described as being 'in Christ'. Like a baby who is 'in the womb', so the Christian is 'in Christ'. The womb is the environment in which the baby can grow and without it the infant will perish. So it is with Christ: all those who are in Him have life, safety and nutrition; He is the only environment in which the developing believer can grow, by responding to His Word, into his or her full potential.

Continuing 'in Him' is the only way to remain in eternal life. Unlike the baby which has little choice, the child does have choices and can either agree to stay within the loving constraints of Christ, or rebel. Obedience, which is a response of love for all Christ has done for us, will enable us to be confident as we anticipate the second coming of the Lord Jesus. No wise Child of God would want to be ashamed on that day. Therefore it is essential to continue in trusting obedience, and resting dependency on Him; because apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

The pressures of the world, the lusts of the flesh and the attacks of the devil will all conspire to encourage us to take a different path, back pedal or even stop our walk with the Lord. But none of those are options for the believer. We have to continue in Him, bathed in His love. We have to keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). The Lord is on the move in this world and we must move along with Him. Our only security and purpose-base is to continue in Him – whatever our friends, false teachers, persecutors and our fleshly appetites may demand. It is the only way to look with confidence to His return.

Father God. Thank You for giving me life through the death of Jesus Christ, and for including me as one of Your children. Forgive me for those times when I have struggled and rebelled against Your loving authority. I know I need to continue in Christ for He alone is able to carry me through to glory. Help me to stay inside the parameters You have measured out for my life and to keep up with You as You carry me through the adventure of trusting Jesus. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams