1 John 2:28-29
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence…
The apostle passes to a new thought or theme; a new view of the fellowship in which he would have us to be partakers with himself and all the apostles. It is "fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." He has viewed it as a fellowship of light. He now views it as a fellowship of righteousness. To be born of God implies community of nature between Him and us. I cannot be really His child unless I am possessed of the same nature with Him. So the Lord Jesus Himself teaches in two remarkable passages (Matthew 5:43-45; John 8:38-44). John may have had these words of his Master in his mind when he wrote the brief and pithy maxim, "God is righteous, and everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Him." His object is to supply a searching test by which our abiding in God may be surely tried. It is a mode of proof which may, without irreverence, be applied in the first instance to the Son Himself. We have His own warrant for so applying it (John 15:9, 10). It is by keeping His Father's commandments that He, as the Son, born of the Father, abides in the Father's love. As the Father is known by Him as righteous, so He, doing righteousness, is proved to be born of Him. He doeth the works of His Father, and so evinces His Sonship. All through, the stress is laid on righteousness. That is the distinguishing characteristic which identifies Him that is born of God: the common quality connecting what He does as born of God with the nature of Him of whom He is born. You who believe are born of God as He is. I speak of His human birth; in which you, in your new birth, are partakers with Him, the same Spirit of God being the agent in both, and originating in both the same new life. His birth was humiliation to Him, though it was of God; your new birth is exaltation to you, because it is of God. His being born of God by the Spirit made Him partaker of your human nature — your being born again of God by the Spirit makes you partakers of His "Divine nature." You, thus born of God, come to be of the same mind with Him who is the first begotten of the Father; especially as regards your knowing that God is righteous, and that it is, therefore, and must be, the impulse and characteristic of everyone that is born of Him to do righteousness. For if you are thus born of God must you not be as thoroughly on His side, as unreservedly in His interest, in the great outstanding controversy between His righteousness and man's sin, as is His well-beloved Son Himself? First, in Him, and with Him — born of God into fellowship with Him in His birth — you enter into that doing of righteousness on His part which was the main design of His being born; which brings into perfect harmony, not God's righteousness and man's sin, but God's righteousness and man's salvation from sin. Ah! what an insight into the righteous nature and character of God; what a measure of cordial oneness of principle and sentiment with Him, entering into His very mind and heart, does all this involve! How far removed is it from that loose, easy going sort of Christian virtue which would not itself do iniquity, but is very tolerant of those who do it; not, like Lot's righteous soul, vexed with evil; nor, like Lot, preaching righteousness; but rather prone to look on sin with indifference or complacency, and to let the sinner go on, without warning or entreaty to his doom. If you know that God is righteous, and make conscience of doing righteousness accordingly, you cannot be thus tame and acquiescent; thus cold and callous. To you righteousness, God's righteousness, is not a name, but a reality. To be confirmed to it, to submit to it, is life.
(R. S. Candlish, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.