What you heard from the beginning

As for you, 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)

As new Christians, we are experts on grace. We sing, “Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.” We say, “Thank God for grace!”

But time passes and we start hearing messages that distract us from grace. “You need to pray more, give more, work more. You need to produce and perform for Jesus.”

Heed these messages and you’ll fall from grace.

It doesn’t help that some hijack this verse to frighten God’s children. “If you don’t abide, God will kick you out of his family.”

It can’t happen. Since you were not saved by your good works, you cannot be lost through your bad works.

Yes, there are consequences to straying. Get distracted from Jesus and you’ll be tossed and turned by every wind of teaching (Eph. 4:14). You’ll start striving in the flesh, and your conscience will condemn you (1 John 3:20).

The remedy is to stick with what you heard in the beginning, namely the unfiltered message of grace.

It’s grace from start to finish.

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By Paul Ellis

Author of award-winning Bible commentaries


  1. Perfectly stated, Paul, and 100% agree! Years of striving to be perfect & follow every rule & law did nothing to bring me closer to the Lord Jesus nor did it make me a better Christian… only the true revelation of His grace began the transformation journey that made the difference in my life. All praise to our wonderful Lord & Savior! 🙌❤️☺️

  2. As I read this my heart swelled and I began thanking Jesus. I was raised Pentecostal, not judging, but I had real fear of God. If I argued with my mother over chores and I had a bad attitude, I thought I was going to hell. Every time I did something wrong I imagined hell then I gave up on praying and reading my bible because I could not be good enough for God plus it was too dang hard. So to me the gospel of grace is a drop the mic moment like….wait…what? That’s not what I learned…so much better to see the truth of the word. The really good news. Makes me feel loved and not condemned. 😄

    1. Amen, Shelley! Very similar here! In the church I grew up in & the non-denom one after that, literally ANYTHING (including the “wrong” color clothing) could send you to hell! Burnt out on all the rules & resulting stress, I too gave up on prayer bc I couldn’t possibly keep all of them. Praise God for Jesus & this amazing gift of grace! 👏❤️🙌

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