In this verse, the apostle John addresses the believers as "little children," expressing his affection and concern for their spiritual well-being. He encourages them to abide or remain in Christ, emphasizing the importance of a close and ongoing relationship with Him.
The phrase "remain in him" signifies the need for believers to maintain a continual connection with Christ. It implies a steadfast and intimate union with Him through faith, trust, and obedience. It involves abiding in His teachings, following His example, and seeking His presence through prayer, worship, and study of the Word.
The purpose of remaining in Him is twofold: to have boldness and to not be ashamed at His coming. John's desire for the believers is that they would have confidence and assurance when Christ appears in His second coming. By abiding in Christ, believers can have boldness and security in their relationship with Him. They can approach His coming with confidence, knowing that they have a genuine, abiding connection with Him.
On the other hand, the phrase "not be ashamed" conveys the idea of avoiding regret, disappointment, or a sense of failure at Christ's coming. It speaks to the importance of faithful living and obedience to God's commands. When believers remain in Christ and walk in alignment with His will, they can stand before Him with confidence and without shame.
This verse carries a sense of both assurance and responsibility. The assurance lies in the fact that abiding in Christ provides confidence and security in our relationship with Him. It assures believers that they can have boldness and not be ashamed because of their union with Christ.
At the same time, the verse conveys a responsibility for believers to actively remain in Christ. It highlights the need for ongoing commitment, intentional choices, and faithful obedience. Believers are called to persevere in their relationship with Christ, ensuring that their lives reflect His character and teachings. This responsibility is rooted in the understanding that Christ's return is certain and believers should be prepared for that day.
1 John 2:28 echoes the broader theme of abiding in Christ found throughout John's writings. In John 15:4, Jesus says, "Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can't bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me." This call to remain in Christ emphasizes the vital connection between believers and the source of their spiritual life and fruitfulness.
In summary, 1 John 2:28 calls believers to remain in Christ, fostering a steadfast and intimate relationship with Him. By abiding in Christ, believers can have boldness and assurance at His coming, avoiding shame or regret. This verse combines the assurance of our union with Christ with the responsibility to actively remain in Him, walking in obedience and reflecting His character. It reminds believers of the importance of a close and ongoing relationship with Christ, grounded in faith, love, and obedience.
1 John 2:28. Now, little children, remain in him, that when he appears, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.