How to Abide in Christ and What That Means for You – Unfolding Faith Blog
We can hear from the Lord through His Word, which is alive and active and reveals our deepest thoughts and aspirations, if we are still in front of Him. Cynthia Heald writes a guest post for us. Her book, The Faithful Way: Remaining Steadfast in an Uncertain World, contains the following excerpt: I’m the vine, and you’re the branches on which I grow. Those who stay in me, and I in them, will bear abundant fruit in the years to come. Because apart from me, you are powerless.–John 15:5 New Living Translation What is the process via which the branch bears fruit?
Nothing is required of it; it simply abides in the vine in peaceful and undisturbed connection, and blooms and fruit arise as though by chance.
What do you mean by exerting effort and battling to achieve something that is freely given?
Harriet Beecher Stowe is credited with inventing the term “feminist.” When I give a conference presentation, I frequently tell the story of Jesus visiting the family of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.
- Martha, who was preoccupied with her serving, went to Jesus and expressed her dissatisfaction with Mary for not assisting her.
- There is just one thing that is important to be worried about.
- “There is just one thing worth being worried about,” Jesus declares in His response, which I find astonishing.
- Immediately following this, we see the Lord providing us with a crucial component of walking with him: sitting at His feet and listening to His Word.
- Our ultimate aim should be to pursue first and foremost the Kingdom of God, in order to develop Christlike characteristics and serve at the urging and direction of the Almighty God.
- Making sure that you have a secure connection with the Lord is of the highest spiritual importance.
- That is why our devotional life is so important; it is the one decision we must make on a daily basis to be successful.
Investigating the Word When it comes to the importance of God’s Word, Peter writes, “No prophecy in Scripture ever originated from the prophet’s own insight, or from human initiative.” The prophets, on the other hand, were stirred by the Holy Spirit and spoke directly from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
119:105 (Psalm 119:105) 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (New International Version) Learning to Live Faithfully is a lifelong process.
Christians, on the other hand, must be completely dedicated to abiding—that is, to focusing our thoughts and emotions entirely on Christ.
A parable of the farmer dispersing seed brought this point home: “The seed that fell amid thorns depicts people who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is swamped out by the anxieties of this life and the temptations of money, and no fruit is produced.” (Matthew 13:22; Mark 10:45).
Many days have passed in which I have let the worries of this world to choke out the Word.
“I don’t want to waste my life away doing nothing for the Lord,” I reasoned, “so if there is just one thing to be worried about, and that is abiding in Christ, then I want to make that the top priority in my life.” My concept of abiding is continuously sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His Word, and responding with a heart ready to do what He has spoken.
- The teachings of Jesus must be studied and devoured, allowing them to sink deeply into our thoughts and hearts, to be retained in memory, to be obeyed continually in our lives, and to mould and mold our everyday lives and actions.
- ” Making use of a Bible reading schedule has really aided my efforts to maintain consistency in my devotional practice.
- Take heart from what Samuel Gordon wrote: “Set aside daily time to read alone with a book; this should be unhurried time.” “There is enough time to not think about time.” The thought of trying to live a loyal life without the benefit of abiding makes me dizzy.
- It is at this period of stillness that we are less engaged with the world and more susceptible to hearing from God and seeking His guidance for the faithful path ahead of us.
- Maintaining Trustworthiness I can’t think of a better strategy for producing fruit than just sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His Word, and growing in intimacy with Him over time.
- What would you say is the most important thing about remaining in your relationship with the Lord?
- Father, may I appreciate your Word and devote daily time to sitting at your feet so that whatever fruit I grow may bring you recognition and blessings as well as blessings to others.
- We merge with Him and become one with Him.
- As acclaimed Bible-study instructor Cynthia Heald guides readers through the truths God has taught her via His character, His Word, and His saints, The Faithful Wayis a 31-day devotional study that is both cautioning and comforting at the same time.
A. Torrey’s How to Pray (Chicago: Moody, n.d.), 59. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Power, 168.
What does it mean to abide in Christ?
QuestionAnswer To “abide” is to live, continue, or remain; hence, to “abide in Christ” means to live in Him or remain in Him at any point in one’s life. People who have been rescued are defined as being “in Christ” (Romans 8:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17), and they are held secure in a long-term connection (John 10:28–29) when they are saved. Because of this, dwelling in Christ is not a unique level of Christian experience attainable to a select few, but is instead the position held by all true Christians.
- Abiding in Christ is taught in 1 John 2:5–6, where it is used as a synonym for “knowing” Jesus (verses 2 and 3).
- The terms “staying in,” “remaining in,” and “knowing” Christ all relate to the same thing in the Bible: they all refer to salvation.
- In John 15:4–7, Jesus informs His followers that getting life from Him is necessary, and He illustrates this point with the image of branches joined together to form a vine.
- It is I, the vine, who yields much fruit, and it is you, the branches; he who abides in My and in me bears much fruit, because apart from Me you can accomplish nothing.
- If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you may ask for everything you desire, and it will be granted to you.” There can be no life or production until one is united with Christ in a crucial way that only redemption can offer.
- Christians are always in risk of losing their salvation, according to some interpretations of John 15:6 (which states that branches that do not abide in the vine are cast away and burnt).
- However, this could only be true if “abiding” were considered a distinct concept from salvation, referring to a condition of connection with Christ that we must seek to achieve after salvation.
Aside from that, if a branch could somehow separate from the vine, resulting in the forfeiture of one’s salvation, other, very explicit passages of Scripture would be in direct contradiction (see John 10:27–30).
The branches that “abide” in Him are those who are genuinely saved; they have a genuine and vital connection to the Savior via Christ.
For a time, it appeared like Peter and Judas were walking in the same direction in their Christian lives.
“They went forth from us, yet they did not actually belong to us,” John explains the withered-branch theory once more.
Perseverance, or a continued staying in Christ, is one of the evidences of one’s salvation.
In other words, they will “abide” or remain in Him throughout their lives.
The absence of saving faith in those who fall away, turn their backs on Christ, or fail to abide demonstrates a lack of saving faith.
One’s obedience to Christ’s commands (John 15:10; 1 John 3:24); following Jesus’ example (1 John 2:6); living free from habitual sin (1 John 3:6); and the awareness of a divine presence within one’s life are all examples of abiding in Christ (i.e., proofs that one is truly saved and not just pretending) (1 John 4:13).
Questions concerning the Christian Life (return to top of page) To what extent does it mean to be a part of Christ?
Subscribe to the
Get our Question of the Week emailed to your inbox every weekday morning! Got Questions Ministries is a trademark of Got Questions Ministries, Inc., registered in the state of California in the year 2002. All intellectual property rights are retained. Policy Regarding Personal Information The information on this page was last updated on January 4, 2022.
Three Keys to Abide in Christ
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” (See also John 15:4) Christianity is about far more than simply possessing the correct ideas or engaging in the correct activities. When we are saved, we enter into a relationship with God that alters our legal standing. We are in good standing with God at this point. We have a righteousness that is based on faith, and that faith is what makes us justified (Philippians 3:7-9; Romans 3:21-26, 5:1). However, we have more. We also have a relationship with God.
- The Christian religion is about being united with and in community with Jesus Christ.
- This personal partnership should be a deep longing in our hearts.
- When David prays, “O God, you are my God; anxiously I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a parched and thirsty desert where there is no water,” he is expressing this attitude (Psalm 63:1).
- His soul yearns for the presence of God.
- There is a sense of urgency.
- Do we pursue God in this manner?
- Is there any portion of David’s scream that you can identify with in your own heart?
Jesus Invites You to Abide
In the Gospel of John, Jesus instructs his followers on the subject of communion. He informs them that he has already cleansed them (John 15:3), and that he has proclaimed them clean at the upper room foot washing (John 15:14). (John 13:10-11). This ceremony was not intended to draw attention to Jesus’ distaste to unclean feet; rather, it was intended to serve as a symbolic demonstration of his incarnation, atoning sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension. This is why, with the exception of Judas, Jesus declared them to be free of sin (a clear indication dirty feet was not the idea).
As a result, Jesus’ proclamation in John 15:3 is a declaration of legal standing.
“Abide” is a verb that means “to remain.” It is now operational.
It literally means “to continue” or “to remain,” and it encompasses much more than the concept of continuing to believe in the Savior.
A analogous relationship between a vine and a branch is depicted in John 15:5 to further explain this enduring bond. We (the branches) are to be intertwined with him (the Vine) in order to sustain our lives and well-being. We can only yield fruit if we are rooted in him.
What the Saints Say
But how do you do it? What does it look like to be a daily disciple of Christ? We can gain a better image by reading the following descriptions from other saints:
In the words of John Piper, “Hours by hours of dwelling in Jesus entails hours by hours of trusting him to fulfill all of your wants and to be all of our treasure.”
“To stay in Christ” implies, according to J.C. Ryle, “to maintain a habit of continual intimate communion with Him–to be constantly leaning on Him, resting on Him, pouring out our hearts to Him, and utilizing Him as our Fountain of life and strength, as our greatest Companion and best Friend.” We must keep God’s words and precepts constantly in front of our memories and minds in order to make them the guide of our actions as well as the rule of our daily conduct and behavior.” “To have His words abiding in us is to keep God’s words and precepts continually before our memories and minds,” says the Bible.
If a soul could continually gaze upon His everlasting tenderness and compassion, His thoughts of kindness that have existed for a long time in the past, and His present gracious acceptance, it would not be able to bear even an hour’s separation from Him; whereas now, perhaps, it would be unable to watch with Him for even one hour.
Three Keys to Abiding
Abiding is characterized by a continuous, hour-by-hour nature, as well as a persistent gaze toward Jesus via the Scriptures. If we could escape gospel amnesia and recall his grace, we would be able to withstand even one hour apart from him without breaking a sweat. These saints provide great definitions to assist us in grasping the concept of staying in Christ. Here’s what I came up with: To remain in Christ on a daily basis necessitates a reliance on the Holy Spirit, which manifests itself in three ways:
- Walk by faith
- Devote concentrated time
- Take activities with intention
- And so on.
Engage in intentional activities; walk by faith; spend concentrated time;
John Piper sermon “The New Commandment of Christ” John Charles.Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: St. John, Volume 3.p.104Owen, John.The Works of John Owen, Volume 2. p.32
- 1Recognize your need on Christ: He stated, “I need Christ.” “I am the vine, and you are the branches that support me. There is no branch that can produce fruit on its own.” You must be “willing to be made willing” in order for Jesus to be able to assist you. Allow Jesus to work through you by humbling yourself to do God’s good and perfect will in your life. On humbling yourself, “How To Be Like The Publican (in the Bible)” offers some advice. 2 Respond with faith to Jesus’ call to repent and alter your viewpoint. Admit that Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, in order that people who put their confidence in him may have eternal life and be free from the wicked era we are living in-accept His free gift of salvation from God. Admit your wrongdoings to God and beg for God to transform your inner being and life as a result of your confessions. The only way to maintain a daily contact with your Heavenly Father is to turn away from sin and toward the immense love of God shown in Jesus. Advertisement
- s3 Pray. This is not just a significant opportunity, but also a critical requirement. We must have a continual connection with our Lord and Savior. While on earth, Jesus prayed, and he taught us how to pray as well. Why should we be surprised that Jesus felt the need for prayer, and how much more do we need to pray? God is concerned about you and everything that occurs in your life – from the simplest appeal to the most pressing need
- What an incredible opportunity. He is constantly listening and aware of your needs, despite the fact that it may appear that He is not. It reads in Psalm 55:22 that if you “throw your load on the Lord,” he will “provide for your every need.” Prayer is both a communication with God about your life objectives and a request for him to transform you into someone more like Jesus. Because of this, you would be wise to pray for God’s blessing before reading Scripture. 4Read the Bible in its entirety. According to Psalm 119:9, “What is the best approach for a young man to clean up his act? By paying attention to what You have to say.” It is critical to set aside time every day for reading and studying the Bible. Try to keep your thoughts focused on it, and allow your heart to be grafted into Christ and shaped by him. When we look at the Bible, we see God’s message, and through it we see the story of God’s redemptive activity in our world! As you begin to understand your role in God’s story, you will begin to understand why your life is important and where it is headed. By reading the Bible, you train your ear to be more receptive to God’s voice. “Sanctify them by your word, for your word is Truth,” the Bible states in John 17:17.
- s5 Don’t forget to give gratitude and joy! God informs us in James 1:17 that “every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father, and no good and perfect gift is from within.” That implies we have hundreds of reasons to express our gratitude to God! For breathing, for food, for work, for friends, for God’s family, for forgiveness of sins, for the ability to combat evil, and for many more reasons! We should always celebrate and thank God because, if we put our faith in Jesus, we shall be raised from the dead on the final day to live an eternal existence in the New Heavens and Earth, in which God will dwell with us. This is the most important reason to continually rejoice and thank God. There is no other alternative
- 6 God delights in providing satisfaction to his children via Jesus! We can scream out to God and say things like, “We yearn to know you more, to be filled with your Spirit, and to be free from the consequences of our sin! We desire Jesus, who is more satisfying than even the best cuisine!” Fasting is a method of putting your faith in God rather than on your own bodily well-being. Not because it is a religious necessity, but because knowing Jesus implies that we need to find contentment in him more and more each hour, Christians are obliged to fast. 7 Invoke God to provide you with the strength to follow His directives. “If you fulfill My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s instructions and abided in His love,” says Jesus in John 15:10, “just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” No one is capable of accomplishing anything for God just on his or her own strength: God is our power. We won’t be able to do anything significant without him! It might be difficult to stay away from sin, but with God’s assistance and His grace, we can try our best. You may put your trust in Him.
- Realize that there is liberty in Christ Jesus, to live in the Spirit, to not be tempted beyond what you can bear, to no longer be a slave to self, as pride of life – putting away habitual deeds of the flesh, such as lust of the eye, envy, greed, judging others, prejudice, and hatred
- And to not be tempted beyond what you can bear.
- 8 Examine the statements of Jesus as recorded in the four gospels. Read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as the books of Acts and Romans, and any other texts that you have time for. Prepare yourself by being more alert and conscious of God’s quiet little voice, as described in the Bible. And if you have God’s life in you, and God’s love is in you, then “understand” that your thoughts should be in line with Jesus’ teachings and His commands, such as “loving one another.” Follow what He has instructed us to do in His word. Realize your God-given authority and use it to preach the gospel and heal the sick. However, if you have the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwelling within you, the same God who raised Christ from the dead will also enliven your mortal bodies by the Spirit of him who resides within you. Advertisement
How to Abide in Jesus
This text about staying in Christ has been read to you, and you have a general understanding of what it means. However, it’s possible that you’re just not sure where to begin when it comes to abiding. I believe that our rushed and over-scheduled style of life does a poor job of promoting the notion of being in the present moment. In addition, if abiding is not something that is common in our life, it might be difficult to comprehend, let alone do. It is no longer acceptable or accepted to be quiet and silent in today’s society.
- The ability to complain about how busy we are is far more difficult to get than the ability to delete items from our calendar.
- It’s no surprise that we have no idea how to Abide in Jesus in the first place.
- The youngest two children are enrolled in gymnastics lessons, and they also participate in youth activities at our home church at least once a week.
- Because our eldest has been wounded in a working accident, we are now responsible for transporting her to and from physiotherapy appointments, medical visits, job, young adult events, and everywhere else she has to go.
- But here’s the thing: my husband and I have made a conscious effort throughout the years to avoid being overburdened with work and family responsibilities.
- That’s when we’d make the necessary adjustments.
But first, let’s talk about some practical ways to begin abiding in the Lord – and sure, following these techniques will almost certainly need the elimination of some other tasks from your calendar, or at the very least the revision of your current plan.
I’m aware of this since I’ve experimented with them myself throughout the years.
I had to quit making excuses and coming up with reasons why I couldn’t spend time in His word.
During my commute, I listened to an audio commentary on His word (I loved Ephesians and Esther by Chuck Missler).
It was true that the children were little and that they were running about the house as I listened, but God is trustworthy when we put aside our excuses and put some effort behind our obedience.
Previously, the studies were referred to as Busy, Busy.
Furthermore, she provided lesson plans that could be used with the children.
It implies to remain, to be retained, and to be kept continuously – to never leave or abandon one’s home or one’s family.
It means that when hardship arises, I swiftly turn to His word for guidance, I rely on His word for truth, and I place my faith in His word above everything else.
What exactly does it mean to worship the Lord look like?
It is through this process that we develop a personal relationship with the Savior.
The list might go on forever.
Worship is defined as everything that is done to bring honor to God’s name.
True adoration originates in the depths of one’s being.
He has a keen sense of what is going on in the heart.
It is a tyrannical evil that is laced with lethal poison.
Blessings and curses are both issued from the same open mouth.
We are unable to complete this task on our own.
We may, fortunately, invoke the assistance of the Holy Spirit of God to help us grow more and more like Jesus.
It’s only natural for us to behave in ways that are similar to people with whom we spend the majority of our time.
Yes, Jesus hung out with thieves, prostitutes, and other dubious individuals during his life.
I don’t believe it.
They should not be seen as the self-righteous!
However, I must continue to exercise extreme caution in selecting the people with whom I spend the most of my time.
The fact that Jesus spent time with people of dubious reputation does not diminish the fact that He had a small number of loyal followers.
They had heard the truth and yearned to conduct their lives in conformity to God.
This is your ministry – simply allowing God to operate through you.
It is possible that you are praying with a buddy.
Alternatively, you might share your testimony with a single individual or with a bigger group of people (or even in front of hundreds of people).
Giving to the local food bank or hosting a meal for a single mother and her children might be among your charitable endeavors.
It’s possible that your ministry will change from time to time.
Our hearts have become more receptive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and we minister where He directs us to service.
Keep an open mind to the Lord directing you to where He wants you to go in order to carry out His task.
Accept it as a fact of life.
My flesh often tempts me to do something that is in direct conflict with my desire to obey God’s commands.
And every time I try, they fall flat on their faces.
Rather than succumbing to my body, it is preferable to obey His word.
Being a follower of Jesus entails doing what He says.
Please don’t ‘cherry-pick’ the Scripture passage that you wish to follow and ignore the rest of the Bible.
Don’t change the meaning of Scripture to suit your needs.
So, really, I am reminding myself of this truth!
He knows we can’t obey on our own.
Give in to sin or turn to Him.
We can still run back to Him.
I thought that because I was already indulging in sin, I was on my way to hell and there was no way of turning back.
This is a list I know I will need to keep coming back to. I need the reminder! I need to continuously refocus my heart on Him. What are your thoughts? If this post encouraged you today, please consider sharing it with a friend or on social media.
What Does It Mean to ‘Abide in Christ’?
Transcript of the audio Everyone had a wonderful Friday. The question for today comes from Kasey in the state of Oregon. “Dear Pastor John, I’d want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your service. For many years, I have been a practicing Christian, a Bible student, and a Bible teacher. But, to be quite honest, I’m sometimes perplexed and — if I’m being completely honest — a little disturbed by John’s teaching on ‘abiding.’ The start of John 15 and most of the content in the epistle to 1 John come to mind as specific highlights for me.
- For example, what is the relationship between this and the idea of perseverance?
- Please provide a concise, APJ-length review of John’s theology on dwelling in Christ.
- I’m referring to the issue of presenting a theology of abiding in ten minutes or less.
- I’m going to summarize what John 15 has to say.
- I am the actual vine, and my Father is the one who tends the vines.
- Because of the word that I have spoken to you, you are already free of impurities.
- “Just as a branch cannot grow fruit on its own unless it abides in the vine, so can you bear fruit on your own unless you abide in me,” says the Lord.
First and foremost, I believe that the most fundamental meaning of our active abiding is the act of receiving and placing our confidence in everything that God is for us through Christ. It is a depiction of what John means when he says that believing or trusting Jesus is like a branch that continues or abides tied to the vine in such a way that it is getting everything the branch has to offer. In John 1:12, he states, “To everyone who received him, who believed in his name, he granted the right to become children of God.” Believing is a receiving of Christ into the soul, a welcome of him, a trusting of him, a drinking and eating and enjoying of him, in a sense, as it were.
Being a believer involves a commitment to Jesus, as well as a coming to Jesus and accepting Jesus’ gift of salvation.
Abiding is the first step: believing, trusting, enjoying, relaxing, and receiving are all aspects of abiding.
Cherishing His Words
Second, Jesus is extremely clear about the substance that is flowing between the vine and the branch of the tree. He speaks about words – his own words — as well as his love and delight. The Bible states in John 15:7, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.” “Ask whatever you wish,” says the Bible. John 15:9 says, “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you.” “Remain in my affection.” In addition, John 15:11 states, “These things I have spoken to you in order that my joy may be in you and that your pleasure may be complete.” “If we do not remain linked to the vine, nothing of permanent worth will emerge from our efforts.” Abiding in the vine entails absorbing, believing, and putting one’s confidence in the teachings of Jesus.
That is, receiving Jesus’ love for the Father and his people as well as the joy that Jesus feels for the Father and for us is what it means to be saved.
This is quite close to Paul’s statements in Galatians 3 and 5, in which he says that the fruit of the Spirit is love and joy when we hear and believe the promises of Christ (Galatians 3:2; 5:22–23), which is very similar to this.
Third, nothing of spiritual or everlasting value is conceivable apart from this continual living in the vine of the Word of God. He who abides in me and I in him is the one who yields much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. “Whoever abides in me and I in him is the one who bears much fruit” (John 15:5). In other words, we are not dealing with something that is minor or elective in nature. If we are not joined to the vine in such a way that Christ’s life is pouring into us, then his words, his love, and his joy will be completely and utterly inert and without meaning.
Our Fruit Confirms Us
When it comes to determining if the vine is alive and thriving or whether the attachment is artificial and external, staying is the most important factor. In John 15:8, Jesus says, “By this, my Father is exalted, since you yield abundant fruit and demonstrate yourselves to be my followers.” The fact that we are disciples is demonstrated by our ability to live in the present moment with life, love, and pleasure surging through us as a result of the link between us and the vine (John 15:7–8). That is, our existence is confirmed by the fact that we bear fruit.
When someone does not abide in me, the Bible says, “He is withered away like a branch,” adding that the branches are gathered and put into the fire, where they are burnt.
Can We Lose Our Salvation?
This is the event that prompts Casey’s inquiry regarding persistence or eternal security in the first place. Can we be born of God — can we be honestly, in a live sense, joined to Christ, and really Christian — and still lose our salvation? Is it possible to be born of God and lose our salvation? For the time being, according to John’s interpretation of abiding, the answer is no. No, we are unable to do so. This is something I believe for two reasons. It is “the core purpose of our active abiding” to receive and trust in everything that God is for us in Christ, says the author.
I believe John is referring to broken-off branches for a second purpose, and this is the explanation for what is going on with the broken-off branches.
This is what it says: “But they were not of us; for, if they had been of us, they would have persisted,” which means they would have continued to be with us.
A pointless, empty life with no sap running through it might ensue, and they are broken off — that is, they fall away from the church — but they were never a part of us in the first place.
Fifth, the branches are being cared for both inside and externally by the life of Christ that is pouring into us, as well as by the vinedresser who prunes the branches as needed. This is incredible. This was something I didn’t realize until a few years back, when I was preaching on it at one of the conferences. The actual vine, according to Jesus, is John 15:1–2, and my Father is the vinedresser, according to John 15:1–2. In me, he prunes and removes every branch that does not give fruit, and he prunes and removes every branch bearing fruit so that it may bear even more fruit.” “It never changes when God picks someone and they hear his voice, and he adopts them as his children,” says the author.
The branches are being cared for (in order to make them maximally fruitful) by both internal life flowing to us from the vine and by a vinedresser, who with his extremely painful scissors or saw cuts and hurts us, so that we may experience the fullest possible impact of the inner life of Christ through these painful providences in life.
The Glory of God
Finally, the glory of God is the ultimate purpose of staying. “By this, my Father is exalted, since you yield abundant fruit and demonstrate yourselves to be my followers,” says John 15:8. The entire purpose of our not being the vine, but rather being entirely reliant branches grafted onto the vine, is to bring glory to God via our lives. The entire purpose of relying on a vinedresser to control the outer shape of our vine structure and branch structure is to ensure that God receives all of the credit for bringing it all about in the first place.
What Did Jesus Christ Mean When He Said “Abide in Me”?
The image of the vine and branches is one of Jesus’ most vivid and dramatic images of the believer’s connection with him, and it appears in several places in the Bible. It is only through abiding in Jesus that believers may bring glory to God via their productive lives. This is analogous to how branches can yield fruit only by being rooted in the vine. The teaching may be found in John 15, when Jesus prepares his followers for his impending death and departure by informing them on their calling and role as his disciples, as well as emphasizing their complete and utter reliance on him, among other things.
Because you can do nothing apart from me, whomever abides in me and I in him is the one who yields great fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
What the Vine and Branches Metaphor Means
This image is a complex metaphor that requires further exploration. The vine is represented by Jesus, while we (believers, disciples) are represented by the branches. The Father, according to Jesus, is thevinedresser(v. 1) – that is, the gardener who cares for the branches of the grape. (2) He prunes the productive branches in order for them to yield even more fruit (v. 2), and he removes the unfruitful branches, burning them in the fire (v. 3). (v. 2,6). In the beginning, the unfruitful branches appear to be nominal disciples: people who outwardly follow Jesus for a period of time but do not produce any fruit.
Consider the case of Judas Iscariot, for example. Fruitfulness in evangelism as we bear testimony to Jesus and his work is likely included in the fruit of changed character (which is akin to “the fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:222-23) and the fruit of transformed character.
What Does it Mean to Abide?
That much appears to be unambiguous. As branches in the vine, however, what does it mean for us to remain in Jesus’ company? I feel three things are implied: a connection, a reliance, and a continuation of the relationship. Think of these as three intertwined characteristics of abiding rather than three tasks to be completed one after the other. 1. A personal relationship with Jesus First and foremost, being a follower of Jesus entails maintaining a vital connection with him. An individual branch is connected to a vine, and a vine is connected to a branch.
- Take note that this connection, this togetherness, is a two-way street.
- This component of enduring, as contrast to connecting, does not need reciprocity.
- Because of the vine, the branch is able to sustain life and power.
- Sap runs from the vine to the branch, feeding it with water, minerals, and nutrients that allow it to flourish and thrive.
- We are fully reliant on Jesus for anything that qualifies as spiritual fruit in our lives (v.
We are powerless in the absence of him (v.
In reality, the word “abide” (Greek, meno) translates to “remain,” “stay,” or “continue” in English.
Staying is the same word that was used to translate “abide” in John 15.
To abide is to continue, to stay, and to remain in one’s position.
This simply implies that we will continue to trust, that we will continue to rely, and that we will never cease believing.
This is what Jesus is referring to in John 8:31-32 when he says, “If you abide in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “If you dwell in my word, you are truly my disciples,” Jesus is saying.
Abiding’ Is for All Believers
This raises another question: for whom is this intended? In one sense, Jesus’ depiction of staying appears to be a binary choice between everything or nothing. The fact that someone chooses to remain steadfast in him, his love, and his truth demonstrates that they are his followers. A disciple who does not abide in him (and in his love and message) demonstrates that they are not truly a disciple at all. As a result, to be a believer is to obey. “Abide,” on the other hand, is a spoken directive (v.
- Jesus urges us to remain in him and to remain in his love, and we are to do so (v.
- It’s something we have to do for the sake of the children.
- This has been made excessively difficult by certain streams of Christian theology, which are listed below.
- And it is then argued that Christians can be divided into two groups: those who “have” and those who “do not have” material possessions.
- However, I believe it is more straightforward and more accurate to argue that abiding, like faith itself, is a reality shared by all Christians, as well as an experience that we develop gradually through time.
- In Jesus, if you believe in him, you are one with him.
- You are intertwined with the branch that provides life.
You have the ability to increase your productivity.
Not only does the scripture mention bearing fruit, but it also mentions yielding “more fruit” (v.
“These things I have spoken to you in order that my joy may be present in you and that your joy may be complete,” Jesus says in Matthew 5:16.
You can also become more like Jesus.
While all Christians enjoy oneness with Christ on a theological level, all believers can also experience communion with him to varying degrees (in either direction).
How Do You Abide?
This leads to the final question: how do you maintain your composure? What does it look like to be a follower of Jesus if it means being in constant daily dependent on him? This is what Jesus himself says. We remain in Jesus by allowing his words to remain in us (v. 7) and by remaining in his love (v. 8). (v. 9-10). To put it another way, staying in Jesus does not need a move beyond the gospel to another area of belief. It does not need a life-altering choice or a magical experience. It simply means that we must maintain the words of Jesus in our hearts and thoughts so that they might continue to rejuvenate and revive us, shape and sanctify us, fill and mold us.
Currently serving as the lead pastor of Fulkerson Park Baptist Church, Brian G.
Brian and his wife Holly have four children and reside in the city of South Bend, in the United States.
Photograph courtesy of Unsplash/Amos Bar-Zeev
What does it mean to abide in Jesus Christ?
There are several analogies that may be used to represent the vital and relatively obscure theology of oneness with Christ:
- A marriage (Romans 7:1–4
- 1 Corinthians 6:15–17
- Ephesians 5:22–32)
- The body of Christ (Romans 12:4-5
- 1 Corinthians 12:12–27
- Ephesians 4:11–13
- And so on)
- And the church (Romans 12:4-5
- And so on). A temple and a building (1 Corinthians 3:16–17
- Ephesians 2:21–22)
- New clothing (Romans 13:12–14
- 1 Corinthians 15:51–54
- Colossians 3:9–12)
- A vine with branches (John 15:1–11)
- A new covenant (Romans 13:12–14
- A new covenant (John 15:1–11)
- A new covenant (
The metaphor of the vine and branches tells us that we must abide in Jesus Christ, the True Vine, just as branches must abide in and receive life from a vine in order to be saved. The vinedresser is none other than God the Father (John 15:1). Throughout this essay, we’ll look at what it means to “abide in Christ,” how to “abide in Christ,” and the consequences of “abiding in Christ.”
Definition of Abiding in Christ
‘Abiding in Christ’ involves letting His Word to “flood our thoughts with His truth,” Sinclair Ferguson explains. “It means enabling His Word to control our wills and alter our emotions.”
Relevant Scripture Passages on Abiding in Christ
- New Testament background on the metaphor, Israel as God’s vine and means of giving fruit in the world: John 15:1–11
- Also also John 8:31–32, John 6:56, and 1 John
- Old Testament context on the metaphor, Israel as God’s vine and means of bearing fruit in the world: Psalm 80:8–16
- Isaiah 5:1–7, 27:2–6
- Jeremiah 2:21, 12:10–13
- Ezekiel 15:1–8, 19:10–14
Characteristics of Abiding in Christ
While the following traits are interconnected, studying the issue from a variety of perspectives allows us to have a more complete understanding of the concept.
1. Abiding in Christ means believing in Jesus Christ.
He who consumes my flesh and drinks my blood becomes one with me, and I become one with him.” 6:56 (John 6:56) Throughout the book of John, Jesus refers to Himself as the Bread of Life (John 6:25–29; notice notably verses 32–40) and compares believing in Him with partaking of His flesh and drinking of His blood. One must first accept Jesus’ word that He is the only one who can supply spiritual nourishment that will satisfy and live water that will quench our deepest need in order to remain in Christ (see John 4:13; 7:37-39).
Each of the attributes listed below is likewise underpinned by faith.
2. Abiding in Christ means living in humble dependence on Him for life and vitality.
It is impossible for us to yield fruit on our own or to accomplish anything else unless we have the vitality of Jesus, the True Vine, coursing through us. Dependence on God entails surrender to Him and His will, as well as humility before Him. Abiding existence is not without its difficulties, since God’s pruning hand cuts off any branches that are not bearing fruit, leaving us feeling wounded and vulnerable.
But our heavenly Vinedresser knows exactly what He is doing, and we can be assured that His gentle snipping will be for our benefit as well as His own glory.
3. Abiding in Christ means abiding in Christ’s Words.
The truth will set you free if you follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. “If you stay in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth,” says the Lord. John 8:31–32 (KJV) “If you continue to abide in me, and my words continue to abide in you.” 15:7 (John 15:7) It is necessary to emphasize Christ’s teachings as the “words of eternal life” in order to remain in Christ (John 6:68). The words of King Jesus serve as reminders of His love for them, as well as marching orders for their work in His kingdom.
Because of this, we are exhorted in other Scripture verses, such as Colossians 3:16, to “let the word of Christ dwell in you fully, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual melodies, with gratitude in your hearts to God.” You must make His Word a priority in your life if you want to experience deeper communion and more joy with Him.
You will never be the same again, and you will be able to enjoy all of the blessings of dwelling in Christ.
4. Abiding in Christ means obeying Christ’s commands.
“He who possesses my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.” My Father will love him as well, and I will love him in return by manifesting myself in his presence. Anybody who truly loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him in return. Then my family and I will come to him and make our home with him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21–23 We will not be able to abide in Christ or His words until we first obey His commands. When we follow His instructions, we have a greater experience of God because He will present Himself to us more frequently.
That magnificent cycle leads to more worship and joy in God as a result of the experience.
5. Abiding in Christ means abiding in Christ’s love.
“I have loved you in the same way that the Father has loved me. Be still and know that I am with you. As long as you follow my commandments, you will be able to abide in my love, just as I have followed my Father’s commandments and been able to stay in his love. John 15:9-10 (KJV) It is clear that there is a relationship between obedience and abiding once more. In order to remain in Christ, we must pursue a relationship with our Father through His Spirit, and we must avoid quenching His Spirit.
To put it another way, Warren Wiersbe says, “The more you dwell in Christ, the less you love the world system and the greater your love for Christ and His people.” Contrarily, the less you abide in Christ, the more affection you will get from others and the less comfortable you will feel among the people of God.”
The Results of Abiding in Christ
Six times in the first eleven verses of John 15 is the concept of producing fruit mentioned. It is possible that Jesus’ words are a reference to the Old Testament, where Israel is referred to as God’s vine and instrument in the world through which God would bear fruit, alluding to God’s purposes in creation (the first commandment of Scripture, given to man in Genesis 1:28, is to be ‘fruitful and multiply’). God has provided a New Covenant means through which all fruit will be grown in the earth, and Jesus is that way.
The central mandate of the chapter is to abide in Jesus, and the outcome will be a great deal of fruitfulness in one’s life.
Fruit, on the other hand, will come spontaneously if you remain in the Vine.
2. The abider’s prayers become more natural and effective.
When you have put your trust in me, and my words have put your trust in me, you may ask for everything you want and it will be done for you. (See also John 15:7, as well as verse 16) Having God’s Word “flood our thoughts, shape our wills, and alter our emotions” allows us to pray in accordance with God’s will and, as a result, to pray more effectively than we would otherwise (see 1 John 5:14). “In the Christian life, prayer serves as both a thermometer and a thermostat,” argues Warren Wiersbe.
As a thermometer and thermostat in the Christian life, prayer serves two functions.
Theologian Charles Spurgeon described prayer as “the natural outgushing of a spirit in touch with Jesus.” “Just as the leaf and the fruit will come out of the vine-branch without any conscious effort on the part of the branch, but simply because of its living union with the stem, so prayer buds, blossoms, and fruits will come out of souls abiding in Jesus without any conscious effort on the part of the soul.” As brightly as the stars shine, so do the prayers of abiders.
It is something they are accustomed to and consider second nature.”
3. The abider lives in joy, peace, and freedom.
When asked why he chose to teach on the metaphor of the Vine and Branches, Jesus said, “so my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). The goal of Jesus’ teaching is revealed later in the Upper Room Discourse in John 14–17, when He says: “I have taught these things to you in order that you may have peace within yourself.” You will have difficulties in this life. But don’t lose heart; I have triumphed over the world” (John 16:33, emphasis added).
Another benefit of living a life of abiding is freedom. For example, according to Jesus’ teaching in John 8:31-32, “If you continue to abide in my word, then you are really my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
4. The abider glorifies God the Father.
In this way, my Father is exalted, because you yield abundant fruit and demonstrate to others that you are my followers. (See also John 15:8) As long as we remain in Christ, we produce fruit, and when we produce fruit, we bring glory to God the Father. The glory of God is the ultimate goal of man, and it is the ultimate reason for our being. The following is how Wiersbe explains the changing power of dwelling in Christ: “The greater your love for Christ, the greater your willingness to obey Him.” You will find that the more you obey Him, the more you will find that you will abide in Him.
Please accept my gratitude for giving Jesus, the True Vine, to this earth.
Help me to value Your Word more and more each day, and to allow it to mould my affections so that I might love You much more in return.
I want to live my life in such a way that everything I say and do brings tremendous credit to Your name.
Make the 15th chapter of John your prayer.
Doing so will bring sanctified grief into your life, but it will also bring pleasure, fruit, and a deeper connection with the Father as a result of your decision.
Abide, a little book written by Wiersbe that includes this and other quotes from him, is available for purchase on Amazon.