abiding in Christ

In John 15, Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” What was He talking about?

To abide is to dwell or live, or to stay, or settle in. It is to remain, to endure, to continue, to stand fast. It is a close bond of unity, like between parent and child or husband and wife. Think about how easy it is to get distracted in this world; how many things of this world are competing for your time and love and affection? How many things are dragging you away from Jesus or keeping you from Him and abiding in Him? Jesus calls you to abide in Him, to turn from the things of this world and live in a close and deep day-to-day relationship with Him. He is the one who provides comfort, love, forgiveness, strength, grace, guidance, and victory; the things of this world won’t do that for you. Abide in him and trust in Him today.

Abiding in Christ is to live and depend on the cross every moment. It is to carry your cross, to lose your life in order to gain greater, eternal life, to present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1). If you abide in Him today, you will abide with Him forever. We commit all things to Jesus and we trust him, regardless of circumstances. We encourage others to walk in these ways and we share this good news with those who don’t know Him and we pray they will trust in Him so they won’t be thrown away and burned up.

Abiding in Christ and dependence on Him produces fruit. This is the obedience and good works He requires; producing fruit doesn’t save you, but it is the outcome of being connected to Him, the vine. How much fruit are you bearing for Jesus? How close are you walking with Him? How deeply are you abiding? And unless Christ is abiding in you, you will do nothing that is truly and spiritually good and acceptable in the sight of God. You can do nothing without Him. Spurgeon said, “Apart from the Lord Jesus we know we cannot be holy, but joined to him, we can overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. And we walk in garments unspotted by the world. We read that the fruit of the Spirit is ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control’ (Gl 5:22–23). We cannot produce this fruit ourselves, and yet by faith we say with Paul, ‘I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me’ (Php 4:13).”