And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him. (1 John 2:28-29)
The English Standard Version has “shrink from him in shame.” I think the Greek words for “have confidence” means something like “be frank” or “be artless.” Abiding in him, we need not shrink away from Jesus when he is revealed for all that he is, but rather we can simply, naively, frankly stand in his presence. It has to do with our literal posture: will we cower in shame, or stand in confident delight when he appears? The more we “abide in him,” the more confident delight we will feel.
Further, we should, over the long haul, be seeing some progress in righteousness.
Some good people may still cower who feel their sins deeply. But I wonder about this–perhaps Jesus will enfuse them with this confidence, that the delight of seeing him will draw themselves out of themselves. It will be wonderful to see. How happy every child of grace who feels his sins forgiven!
The title of today’s post is from Cold Comfort Farm; in it, a congregation of “Quivering Saints” gather together to hear how they are doomed to the fires of hell; it is the opposite of what John hopes for his “Confident Saints”.