1 John 2:28 28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
Themes The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ Exhortation Moral accountability
AND NOW… Κα ὶ ν ῦ ν The force of Kai nyn An emphatic cry from the author John that JESUS IS COMING SOON! Refer to 1 John 2:18
1 John 2:18 18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, EVEN NOW many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. EVEN NOW and AND NOW (kai nyn) are the same words
The Importance of “And now…” “The use here has somewhat of a resumptive (resume) force and picks up to the reference to the “last hour”. That we are in the last days and “history is at hand”, and believers should live as if Jesus Christ might appear at any moment.” (W. Hall Harris III)
…abide in Him A change in mood (verb tenses) An imperative (authoritative, commanding) verb tense here, while (v.27 was an indicative (suggestive) verb tense.
1 John 2:27b – 28a 27b: but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide (suggestive) in Him. 28a: And now, little children, abide (imperative) in Him.
“But now, the author wants to forestall (prevent) the possibility that they might abandon the apostolic eyewitness testimony about Jesus and adopt the opponents teaching at some point, and so he begins this section with an exhortation to remain in Christ. (W. Hall Harris III)
“…that whenever He appears…” The original language supports the thought of using the word: WHEN. Can be read “when He should appear” This part of the verse does not indicate and uncertainty whether He will return, but rather WHEN He will return.
Whenever He appears - Who will appear? -phanerōthē (phaneroo): I make clear (visible, manifest), make known; make plain, in open view; to become apparent ("graspable"). Jesus will be literally and clearly visible.
Jews recognize God as “indivisible and invisible”. I Timothy 1:17: Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
“This avoidance (of God appearing) is consistent with Johannine (John) theology, as God has never been seen by human beings except as He is revealed in the person of His son, Jesus Christ.” (W. Hall Harris III)
that we may have confidence… (parresia) παρρησία: freedom, openness, especially in speech; boldness, confidence. Refers to the attititude, characteristic and reaction that believers should (will) have upon His return. They will not “shrink back away” from him in shame, but will have confidence to stand before him.
The word parresia is used 4 times in 1 John, and always refers to the confidence the believer has before God or God’s Son: At the Judgment: (here and in 4:17) “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
In Making Requests: (1 John 5:14) “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Or Both the Preceding Ideas: (3:21) “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.”
Hebrews 10:19: “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence (parresia) to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus.” (NLT)
“Here the idea is, that before Christ died and entered into heaven, there was no such access to the throne of grace as man needed. Man had no offering which he could bring that would make him acceptable to God. But now the way was open. Access was free for all, and all might come with the utmost freedom. The entrance into the most holy place was forbidden to all but the high priest; but now access to the real "holy of holies" was granted to all in the Name of the great High Priest of the Christian profession.” (Barnes Notes on the Bible)
Ron Daniel Commentary We Have Confidence The Veil – His Body Full Assurance
…and not be ashamed before Him at His coming A stark contrast of the opposite regarding parresia: John 3:17-21 Revelation 6:15-17
John 3:17-21 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Revelation 6:15-17 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
“Real judgment by Christ will be in view. The author’s mention of Christ’s return here would serve as a reminder that a future accountability for one’s moral behavior still remains for Christians and non-Christians alike.”
1 John 2:29 29 “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.”
“Even before making his dramatic transition to Ch 3 to the subject of the Children of God, John’s mind has already moved to that realm of through, and he declares by way of anticipation that God’s children will be recognized by their righteous conduct – the standard of conduct being the character of God Himself, and therefore expressed in obedience to His will.” (F.F. Bruce, New International Bible Commentary)
1 John 2:29 “If you know that He is righteous, you also know everyone who practices righteousness is fathered by Him.”
Themes of 1 John 2:29 John here is exhorting his audience Righteous living is an expectation of all believers Any teaching to the contrary is false Some thought that specific sins were acceptable
The Initial “if”-Clause Deals not with whether Jesus is righteous or not, but with whether the readers of the letter have realized this fact. Therefore the third-class conditional phrase does not refer to whether Jesus is righteous or not, but rather whether the readers have realized that Jesus is righteous.
The uncertainty does not concern the fact of Jesus’ righteousness, but the readers’ knowledge of that fact. For example: “Everyone who has any true acquaintance with God, must have the fullest conviction that he is a righteous Being.” (Barnes Notes on the Bible)
The statement he is righteous refers to Jesus (comparative with 1 John 2:1). My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
When used in reference to people or their deeds, the word indicates righteous or just behavior, particularly as demonstrated by obedience to God. Again the author is stressing ethical behavior as important for the Christian, in contrast to the teaching of the opponents who appear to have been moral indifferentists who argued that a person’s moral or ethical behavior was unimportant as a Christian.
The expectation reflected here is that all those people who are truly God’s children (fathered by him) will practice righteousness. “That everyone that doeth righteousness is born of him - Or rather, is begotten of Him; is truly a child of God.” (Barnes Notes on the Bible)
For the Author of 1 John, Ultimately Conduct is the Clue to Paternity how one behaves provides a reliable indicator of who one’s father is. Romans 8:15 (NKJV) – "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.'"
Galatians 4:6 (NKJV) – "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!'“ “If we are not truly righteous, (then) all visions and rapture, all zeal and ardor though in the cause of religion, all that we may pride ourselves on in being fervent in prayer, or eloquent in preaching, (all) is vain.” (Barnes Notes on the Bible)
“When this test is applied to the secessionist (withdrawing) opponents, it will be seen that their failure to practice righteousness indicates they are not fathered by Him, regardless of what they may claim.”
Because we are Fathered by Him (the proof of sonship): “If we are righteous, in the true and proper sense, doing that which is right toward God and toward people, to ourselves, to our families, to our neighbors, to the world at large, to the Saviour who died for us, then we are true Christians; (con’t)
(con’t) and then, no matter how soon He may appear, or how solemn and overwhelming the scenes that shall close the world, we shall not be ashamed or confounded, for we shall hail Him as our Saviour, and rejoice that the time has come that we may go and dwell with Him forever.” (Barnes Notes on the Bible)
Righteous: δίκαιός = dikaios Impartial, just; especially, just in the eyes of God; righteous; (not necessarily defined as Holy)
Righteousness: δικαιοσύνη, ης, ἡ = dikaiosuné Justice, justness, “justiceness” of which God is the source or author, but practically: a divine righteousness.
Matthew 6:33 “Seek you however first the Kingdom of God and the righteousness (justness) of Him and these things all will be added to you.” (Read in the order of original language) Righteousness manifests itself in beneficence (charity, goodness, generosity, magnanimity, benevolence)
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
“It intends such an one (individual) who with the heart believes unto righteousness, and lays hold by faith, and lives upon the righteousness of Christ for justification (justice); and who performs good works in faith, and from a principle of love, not to obtain a justifying righteousness, but because he is justified by the righteousness of Christ.” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)
“This is the sum of the argument: God is the fountain of all righteousness, and therefore they that give themselves to righteousness are known to be born of Him, because they resemble God the Father.” (Geneva Study Bible)
“He who lives a holy life, following the commandments of God, is born of him, Begotten of Him - is made a partaker of the Divine nature, without which he could neither have a holy heart, nor live a holy life.” (Clarkes Commentary on the Bible)
The Christian Life as Divine Sonship “Knowledge of God’s righteousness leads to an inevitable corollary (outcome): God’s children bear the Father’s likeness. Spiritual paternity is established not by a blood test but by moral resemblance. Members of God’s family are marked by Holy living. (Zondervan King James Version Commentary: New Testament)