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)
By nature, we are often attracted to something just because it is new. We almost always think of new as better. But when it comes to truth, new is rarely better. That which you heard from the beginning is better. Paul put it well in Galatians 1, where he told us that even if an angel from heaven should bring us a new gospel, we are to reject the angel. It isn’t easy to do this, because we are tempted to be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14). We sometimes itch for something “new” and “exciting” even if it departs from that which you heard from the beginning.
But which you heard from the beginning doesn’t describe whatever teaching any Christian might receive when they just begin to follow Jesus. The beginning, for John’s first readers, described the time when they were under the teaching of the apostles, which is now recorded for us in the New Testament. It is the message of the Bible in general, and the New Testament specifically.
Simply said, we abide in what is from the beginning when we stay close to our Bible. If that was your environment when you were a young Christian, that is wonderful. But if it was not, then put yourself in that environment now. This is John’s point when he wrote, let that abide in you. It doesn’t mean just knowing it, but living in it. When we live in the simplicity of the truth of Jesus Christ, then we will abide in the Son and in the Father. Our world is filled with people searching for God, some sincerely and some insincerely. But if someone wants to really live in God, John tells us how to do it: let the message of the apostles (which you heard from the beginning) live in you.
John didn’t say “if you know God’s word, you know God,” because someone can have a bare, intellectual knowledge of God’s word. But he did say, “if God’s word lives in you, God lives in you.” We can come to a living, growing, relationship with God through His word.
Abiding in Jesus (living in Jesus) is not a passive thing; it is active. We must give ourselves, mentally and spiritually, to living in Jesus. Charles Spurgeon said, “We abide in him, not by a physical law, as a mass of iron abides on the earth; but by a mental and spiritual law, by which the greatness of divine love and goodness holds us fast to the Lord Jesus.”
Where are you living today? Live in His word, and you will live in Him.