Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father (1 John 2:24).
Do you remember everything you hear in church or in school? Does it automatically “stick”?
Not with me.
I usually have to hear something over and over again before I absorb it. I have to be diligent about learning. If not, I easily forget.
And that goes for Christian teaching, too.
John was well aware of the challenge. In 1 John 2:24-25, the Apostle referred to two kinds of abiding.
To abide (menō) means “to stay, remain, or continue.” Remain in what?
First, there is the abiding of Christian teaching in you. As John writes, “If what you heard from the beginning abides in you” (v 24a). What John’s readers heard was doctrine or teaching about Christ, e.g., that Jesus is the Christ (v 22). Some false teachers denied that, and John’s readers were exposed to their false teaching. Which teaching would stick—the truth or the lies? There was no guarantee the truth would remain with them, but John hoped it would. That’s why he says, “if.”
Second, there is the abiding of the believer in the Son and the Father. If the teaching about Christ abides in you, then something happens: “you also will abide in the Son and in the Father” (v 24b). Notice this second abiding is also conditional, depending on the first. That is, you will have fellowship with them (fellowship is the theme of 1 John). You will know them more intimately. And that makes sense, because how could you claim to know the Son and the Father intimately if you don’t even believe that Jesus is the Christ?
If you want to abide in the Son and the Father, then you need to become a student of good teaching, especially about Christ. If you stick with it, you’ll also stick with the Father and the Son.