Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 John 2:6
“The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” – 1 John 2:6
What does John mean here when he says, ‘ the one who abides in Him’, namely Jesus. This phrase means to lives and to continue and remain in Him. When a person is truly saved, they are described as being in Christ. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1-2. And we read also in 1 Corinthians, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 1 Corinthians 5:17.
The idea of abiding in Him pictures an intimate, close relationship and not just a superficial knowing or acquaintance. Jesus spoke of abiding in Him as the means of bearing fruit for the kingdom. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:4-7. Jesus is telling the disciples that drawing life from Him is necessary in order to bear fruit. Using this analogy of branches united to the vine, He says ‘abide in me and I in you’. The picture is of a branch attached to (abiding in) the vine. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can we unless we abide in Him. And through the life we derive from the vine, we are able to bear much fruit. However, if we do not abide in Christ (attached to the vine), then we will not bear fruit. Now note verse 7. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7. Because when we are in Him and He is in us, which denotes an intimate and close relationship, this provides the synchrony needed to work as one together in bearing fruit.
Now to our focus verse, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2:6. If we not only profess to abide in Christ but also spend time with Him and are in communion with Him, the proof of this is that we walk in the same way He did when here on earth. And that is living a life of true and pure devotion to God, as well as having true love for our neighbor. Jesus said this to the rich young ruler. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31. Jesus lived these two commandments out during His time here. And He is calling us, as those who abide in Him, to live also as such.
However, we must also look at verse 4. “Whoever says I know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4. This is clearly stated in the gospel of John when Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15. If we truly love Him, we will abide in Him and He in us. Keeping His commandments does not provide us salvation but proves we have salvation, and this shows our relationship with Christ is strong. And this is the relationship we have when we are in Him and He in us.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.