A pair of imperatives


Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us —eternal life. I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.—1 John 2:24-27  

John Piper, in a sermon,”Let What You Heard from the Beginning Abide in You

In this long text there are only two imperatives. One is in verse 24: “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.” And the other is in verse 27 at the end: “As his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.”

Let the Word abide in you!

Abide in the Spirit!

I can’t help but recall a similar pair of admonitions in Paul’s letters:

  • Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you . . . sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
  • Ephesians 5:18–19, “Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks.

“Let the word dwell in you!” is like John’s “Let the word abide in you!”

“Be filled with the Spirit!” is like John’s “Abide in the Spirit!”

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