There is some good reason for THE SON being named before THE FATHER in the above Scripture.
The whole verse reads, “As for you, let that which ye have heard from the beginning abide in you: if that ye have heard from the beginning abides in you, ye also shall abide in the Son and in the Father” (N.Tr.). The preceding verse says, “whose denies the Son has not the Father either; he who confesses the Son has the Father also.”
There is a constant restless activity which carries the mind beyond what is revealed. It often goes with the pride of advanced thought. So in the Second Epistle of John we read, “whosoever goes forward and abides not in the doctrine of the Christ has not God” (v. 9, N.Tr.). On the other hand, “He that abides in the doctrine, he has both the Father and the Son.”
It is by the Son the knowledge of the Father has been brought to us. We should have been still in ignorance of Him otherwise; for He said, “No man comes to the Father, but by Me.” He also said, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father”; and, blessed be His holy Name, “Henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.”
To bless us with that disclosure, however, a stoop of marvellous grace was necessary—a coming down from the glory He had along with the Father “before the world was!” down into fallen man’s circumstances! Matchless love and grace indeed it was! His great love brought Him here! He was the one Person in the glorious Godhead who came into the world as Man amongst men! And with what ignominy and shame they treated Him. To what depths of sorrow and suffering He went; bearing sins and being made sin upon the cross, where, in love unspeakable, He bore our judgment, and made atonement. But shall all this be overlooked? That were impossible. We are told, the Father “hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which has sent Him.” God will see to it that He receives the honour due to Him. How solemn then to share in any presumptuous activity, which detracts from the honour of such an One in the slightest degree. May we rather uphold his honour in a becoming and reverent manner in every possible way; rejoicing in the wonderful love that brought Him down so low, to make its His own righteously for ever; rejoicing, too, in His present glory on high with the Father.
There is this subtle activity always energizing against the Son, as we have said. John tells us of the lying denial of the proven fact that He is “THE CHRIST”; but also of the subtle “antichrist” denial of “THE FATHER AND THE SON” (1 John 2:22). The unction given to us from the Holy One maintains us in the truth; teaching us to “abide in Him” by whom the Father is made known. Good and healthful is the word already quoted—“If that ye have heard from the beginning abides in you, ye also shall abide in the Son and in the Father.” As we “abide in Him” by whom the revelation is made, we shall abide in Him who is revealed; and this explains why the Son is named before the Father. Only by Him do we come to the Father. “I am in My Father and ye in Me,” He said.
He received honour from the excellent glory upon the holy mount from God the Father. He is glorified by the Holy Spirit now, He has ascended as Man to His Father and our Father, His God and our God. ALL are to honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. Praise God, the earth-rejected One is honoured in heaven, and we may well sing:
“O God, Thou now hast glorified
Thy holy, blest, ETERNAL SON;
The Nazarene, the crucified,
Now sits exalted on Thy Throne!”
Who would have it otherwise? In the creation “the Son of the Father’s love “has the Firstborn’s pre-eminence “because by Him all things were created” (Col. 1:16). The salvation of the world is in His hands, for “the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world” (John 4:14). Eternal life is the portion of each one that believes on THE SON, for John 3:36 tells us, “He that believes on THE SON has LIFE ETERNAL” (N.Tr.). And that life is ours in Him, who is Himself made known as “the eternal life.” How great are the grace and love that have brought us even now into that which is “ETERNAL!” by the effectual work of “THE ETERNAL SPIRIT.” “The anointing which ye have received of Him abides in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, ye shall abide in Him. And now little children ABIDE IN HIM” (1 John 2:27-28). In faith and affection, along with deepened spiritual understanding, we shall thus “continue in the Son and in the Father.”