Abideth in him - He who not only professes to have known Christ, but also that he has communion with him, and abides in his favor, should prove the truth of his profession by walking as Christ walked; living a life of devotion and obedience to God, and of benevolence and beneficence to his neighbor. Thus Christ walked; and he has left us an example that we should follow his steps.
To be in Christ, 1 John 2:5, is to be converted to the Christian faith, and to have received the remission of sins. To abide in Christ, 1 John 2:6, is to continue in that state of salvation, growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He that saith, he abideth in him - Greek, “remains” in him; that is, abides or remains in the belief of his doctrines, and in the comfort and practice of religion. The expression is one of those which refer to the intimate union between Christ and his people. A great variety of phrase is employed to denote that. For the meaning of this word in John, see the notes at 1 John 3:6.
Ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked - Ought to live and act as he did. If he is one with him, or professes to be united to him, he ought to imitate him in all things. Compare John 13:15. See also the notes at 1 John 1:6.
Christ came to do His Father's will. Are we following in His steps? All who have named the name of Christ should be constantly seeking for a more intimate acquaintance with Him, that they may walk even as He walked, and do the works of Christ. We should appropriate the lessons of His life to our lives. Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Here is the work of self-denial upon which we must enter with cheerfulness, in imitation of the example of our Redeemer. The Christian's life must be one of conflict and of sacrifice. The path of duty should be followed, not the path of inclination and choice. 3T 538.1
When the family of Brother I see the work before them, and do the work God has left them to do, they will not be so widely separated from Brother and Sister O and Sister N, and those who are working in union with the Master. It may take time to attain perfect submission to God's will, but we can never stop short of it and be fitted for heaven. True religion will lead its possessor on to perfection. Your thoughts, your words, and your actions, as well as your appetites and passions, must be brought into subjection to the will of God. You must bear fruit unto holiness. Then you will be led to defend the poor, the fatherless, the motherless, and the afflicted. You will do justice to the widow and will relieve the needy. You will deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God. 3T 538.2
We must let Christ into our hearts and homes if we would walk in the light. Home should be made all that the word implies. It should be a little heaven upon earth, a place where the affections are cultivated instead of being studiously repressed. Our happiness depends upon this cultivation of love, sympathy, and true courtesy to one another. The reason there are so many hardhearted men and women in our world is that true affection has been regarded as weakness and has been discouraged and repressed. The better part of the nature of persons of this class was perverted and dwarfed in childhood, and unless rays of divine light can melt away their coldness and hardhearted selfishness, the happiness of such is buried forever. If we would have tender hearts, such as Jesus had when He was upon the earth, and sanctified sympathy, such as the angels have for sinful mortals, we must cultivate the sympathies of childhood, which are simplicity itself. Then we shall be refined, elevated, and directed by heavenly principles. 3T 539.1Read in context »
God bids you with one hand, faith, take hold of His mighty arm, and with the other hand, love, reach perishing souls. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Follow Him. Walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Walk even as He walked. This is the will of God, even your sanctification. The work you have to perform is to do the will of Him who sustains your life for His glory. If you labor for yourselves, it can profit you nothing. To labor for others’ good, to be less self-caring and more in earnest to devote all to God, will be acceptable to Him and be returned by His rich grace. 2T 170.1
God has not apportioned you your lot to merely watch over and care for yourselves. You are required to minister to, and watch over, others, and in this exercise you will manifest those evils in your character which need correcting, and will strengthen those weak points that need strengthening. This is the part of the work we have to perform; not impatiently, fretfully, unwillingly, but cheerfully, gladly, in order to reach Christian perfection. To remove from us everything which is not exactly agreeable is not imitating Christ. You should be very jealous for the honor of God. How circumspectly should you walk, where now your course is not as it should be. If you could see the pure angels with their bright, searching eyes intently fixed on you, watching to record how the Christian glorifies his Master; or could you observe the exulting, sneering triumph of the evil angels, as they trace out every crooked way, and then quote Scripture which is violated, and compare the life with this Scripture which you profess to follow but from which you swerve, you would be astonished and alarmed for yourselves. It takes the entire man to make a valiant Christian. Oh, what blind, shortsighted creatures we are! How little do we discern sacred things, and how feebly do we comprehend the riches of His grace! 2T 170.2
One thing I wish to impress upon your minds. You have the special mediums of Satan closely connected with you, and their power and influence have a manifest effect upon you, because you do not remain near enough to God to ensure the special aid of angels that excel in strength. Your union is altogether too strong with your Lord's enemies, and you perceive not that you are in danger of making shipwreck of your faith. If you encourage, in the least, the temptations of Satan, you place yourself upon his battleground, and then the conflict will be long and sore before you obtain the victory and triumph in the name of Jesus, who has conquered him. 2T 171.1Read in context »
17 (John 1:12, 13; 3:5-8). Grace Not Inherited—The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again (The Review and Herald, April 12, 1892). 6BC 1101.1
(1 John 2:6; Revelation 3:14-17.) Pure Religion an Imitation of Christ—Pure religion is an imitation of Christ. A religion that is built on self-confidence and selfishness is worthless. The true Christian is a follower of Christ. This following means walking in the light. The heart must be opened to receive the heavenly guest. As long as the heart is closed against His entrance, there can be in it no abiding peace. No sunshine can flood the chambers of the soul temple, breaking through the mist and cloud. 6BC 1101.2
God makes no compromise with sin. A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. The religion of God is a firm fabric, composed of innumerable threads, and woven together with tact and skill. Only the wisdom which comes from God can make this fabric complete. There are a great many kinds of cloth which at first have a fine appearance, but they cannot endure the test. They wash out. The colors are not fast. Under the heat of summer they fade away and are lost. The cloth cannot endure rough handling. 6BC 1101.3Read in context »
6 (see EGW on 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 14:4). Walking as Christ Walked—Those who walk even as Christ walked, who are patient, gentle, kind, meek and lowly in heart, those who yoke up with Christ and lift His burdens, who yearn for souls as He yearned for them—these will enter into the joy of their Lord. They will see with Christ the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. Heaven will triumph, for the vacancies made in heaven by the fall of Satan and his angels will be filled by the redeemed of the Lord (The Review and Herald, May 29, 1900). 7BC 949.2
The Imitation of Christ—True religion is the imitation of Christ. Those who follow Christ will deny self, take up the cross, and walk in His footsteps. Following Christ means obedience to all His commandments. No soldier can be said to follow his commander unless he obeys orders. Christ is our model. To copy Jesus, full of love and tenderness and compassion, will require that we draw near to Him daily. O how God has been dishonored by His professed representatives (Letter 31a, 1894)! 7BC 949.3Read in context »