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The First Epistle Of John by Augustus Neander

1 John ii. 28

Pausing upon the thought thus suggested, the Apostle now turns to them again with a personal appeal. In a father's tone he exhorts them to steadfast perseverance in this direction of the life, till they attain the final goal. |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.|

As the coming of Christ was, from causes already mentioned, then expected as something close at hand, and the eye, overleaping all that lay between, fixed itself upon that event; so the Apostle here overlooks all which is to follow immediately after death, and turns at once to the day of final decision. This he calls the appearing of Christ. In this it is necessarily implied that Christ now lives in his glory with the Father, he and his glory still hidden from the world and manifest only to believers; that, in his appearing, what is now thus hidden shall be revealed. Christ in his glory shall then become manifest to all, as now he is manifest, through the medium of faith, to the believer. Placing this goal before the eye of believers, the Apostle exhorts them to abide so faithfully, through the direction of their life, in that fellowship with Christ to which they have been admitted, that they may be able in that day to appear before him their Judge, with a quiet and assured conscience. The word here employed in the Greek, indicates an absolute unshaken confidence, as between friend and friend. In such a relation should believers stand to Christ. Conscious of remaining ever faithful to him, and standing in this relation, they will not need to be ashamed in the presence of him to whom their whole life is manifest. But the Apostle here passes from the second to the first person; for involved as he still is in the conflict of the earthly life, he feels himself the necessity of watchfulness. Hence, when speaking of the direction of the life towards this final goal, he does not exalt himself above other christians, but speaks as one who is on a level with them.

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