1 John 2:1-11
1 My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous one. 2 He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world. 3 This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: 6 The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked. 7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the word you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. 10 The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. — 1 John 2:1-11
Christ in Us – The Source of Every Disciple
by Melodie Tunney
If we’re honest, we look at some of the commands and instructions for being a disciple of Jesus and we say to ourselves, “I can never do this!” And without Christ alive and working in and through us, we would be exactly right. Jesus’ own words, as He described us being branches attached to a vine, were these: Apart from me, you can do nothing (John 15:5).
John Stott was an British Christian leader who was voted one of the top 100 influential people in the world in 2005. Read his words describing Christ at work in us:
"When we meet some people, we know immediately and instinctively that they are different. We are anxious to learn their secret. It is not the way they dress or talk or behave, although it influences these things. It is not that they have affixed a name tag to themselves and proclaimed themselves the adherent of a particular religion or ideology. It’s not even that they have a strict moral code which they faithfully follow. It is that they know Jesus Christ, and that he is a living reality to them. They dwell in him and he dwells in them. He is the source of their life, and it shows in everything they do."
Not merely in the words you say,
Not only in your deeds confessed,
But in the most unconscious way
Is Christ expressed.
Is it a beatific smile?
A holy light upon your brow?
Oh no! I felt his presence
When you laughed just now.
To me, ’twas not the truth you taught,
To you so clear, to me still dim,
But when you came you brought
A sense of him.
And from your eyes he beckons me
And from your heart his love is shed,
Till I lose sight of you and see
The Christ instead. (John Stott)
One of the verses in today’s passage says this: “The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6). This truth is also found in other places in God’s Word:
For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you. (John 13:15)
Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. (John 15:4)
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His footsteps. (1 Peter 2:21)
So, who is a disciple? Who is a Christ-follower? Is it someone who is perfect and does everything with the right intentions and flawless results? I think we all know the answer to that last question. As we daily determine to follow Jesus, remain in Him, and answer the call He has placed on our individual lives, may we remember this truth: I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me). I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. (Philippians 4:13, Amplified)
- What does it mean to be “in Christ”? Look up this phrase on a Bible website and read the many times it is stated throughout the New Testament.
- How can we live our lives with the daily realization that apart from Jesus, we can do nothing?
- How can we disciple other believers and point them to their absolute need of Christ?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.