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Mar 15

Session 7 Recap: Anyabwile, “Contentment Through Communion With Christ”

2014 | by Clint | Category: Clarus 14

Editor’s Note: Clint M. is the Missions Pastor at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Thabiti Anyabwile’s message from Saturday evening at Clarus, March 15, “Contentment Through Communion With Christ,” from 1 John 2:28-3:3.

•••••

This evening Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile gave a short devotion from 1 John 2:28-3:3.  He shared from the text three reflections on the contentment we find from our communion with God in Christ.

1) The Basis of Our Communion With God: Our Status as Adopted Children.

First, from 1 John 2:28, we learn that our communion is based on our adoption as children of God.  It would be remarkable enough that God call us his children, but that is what we actually are. As human fathers ought to love and adore their children, God loves and adores us as His.  Our being in God’s family, though a miracle, is no fairy tale; it is not make believe.  It is the reality of our new identity because of rebirth by God’s grace and Spirit.  And therefore, we do not come to God as a servant, but as his children.  Because of our new identity as a child of God, we ought to live this identity, or “abide in him,” staying close to him, trusting Him, relying upon Him, and knowing Him, and all of this in and through Christ.

2) The Result of Abiding in Him: Confidence

Second, John says that we abide in him “so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame” (1John 2:28b).  We abide in Christ through understanding our identity and obeying him as a child of God.  If we do not, we cannot approach God in confidence.  Like a child who has disobeyed their parent, we have shame and fear when we do not abide in Christ.  But when we abide in Him, we have confidence because of His work and promise.  And where fear once was, hope and joy replace it, so that we confidently await the return of Christ.

3) The Fruit of Communion With God: Right Living

Finally, 1 John 2:29 tells us that if God is our father, we ought to have a spiritual family resemblance.  Proof of our rebirth is our increasingly rightous living in obedience to God’s Word.  Though always imperfect, our righteousness is a kind of rebirth certificate in Christ, a faternity test, an affirmation of our new identity.  And in 3:1, John helps us understand that this is not the love of food, or stuff, or animals that we may know, but rather a deep familial love that is to be discovered and marveled at only by the children of God.  This love is none other than the love given to those who deserve wrath instead.  A love that meant the agonizing, fellowship-breaking, wrath-absorbing, body-breaking crucifixion of Christ on our behalf.  And the love that couldn’t leave Him there, but instead raised Him from the dead, defeating death for us, and raising us in Him forever.  This is the kind of love we want and the kind of communion we want.  And this is the kind of love that leads to true contentment in any and all circumstances. We are called to know this love, to enjoy this love, and to be changed by it.

We come to know this love by the means of grace of taking in God’s Word both individually and corporately as a church.  And we are reminded of it regularly through the observing of the Lord’s Supper together.