How to Abide in Christ
How to abide in Jesus Christ
How do we know if we are abiding in Jesus Christ? In John 15 the whole chapter is devoted to this subject. As Christians we want to make sure we are abiding in Jesus Christ because our relationship with Him determines if we are walking with our Lord the right way.
John 15:1 says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” Here we see that Jesus represents the vine. A vine that is on a tree is big and strong. The branches that grow out of the vine are not strong. We are the branches and Jesus is the vine. We need to embrace Jesus Christ because He is strong and we are not.
John 15:2 says “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring more fruit.” Every Christian who is not bearing fruit for Jesus just gets pushed aside and thrown out because it has no eternal value. When we bear fruit for Jesus our Lord purgeth it so we can bring forth more fruit.
Bearing fruit for God is doing something of worth for the kingdom of God with the right motive. If we do what we are doing for the right reasons we will be glorifying and serving Jesus Christ to minister to other people in one capacity or another. We serve a God of abundance. He wants us to bring forth much fruit so He may be glorified as He observes us living in obedience to Him.
When we are bearing fruit God will add so much more (multiply) so it will be well pleasing to Him.
John 15:4 says “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye. except ye abide in me.” Jesus is telling us that if you are not in Him (Vine) you can not produce fruit because you are not connected to Him in fellowship. The Apostle Pauls' favorite term was, "In Christ." We need to stay close to Jesus because we are just branches and they are weak. When you go outside how many branches do you see on the ground?
Verses 5 and 6 in John chapter 15 say if we are not abiding in Jesus Christ we can do nothing for God. Everybody does something but it won't be for the kingdom of God if we have no fellowship with Jesus Christ which includes loving people.
Christians can not do anything on their own and expect to be blessed because apart from Jesus Christ it is just a matter of good works on our own. This is not acceptable to our Lord and just like verse 2 says the branch will be taken away. I often think of Jesus Christ as my God who measures perfect. Everything we do is seen for what it is and it is either thrown out or purged which can be painful but we don't grow without hurt in our lives.
John chapter 15 verses 7 and 8 talk about the words of Jesus Christ abiding in us. If we are walking with the Son of God we can petition the Lord our needs. If it is in His will Jesus grants this for us and the Father will be glorified. God does hear the requests of His children and He answers but in His timing.
John 15:9-10, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue in my love: if ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
At this point in the chapter Jesus is getting into the meat of His word. He gives us the commandments of love. First to love God with all our heart and the second is to love our neighbor. Look at the order. We can not love our neighbor unless we love God.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1st John 4:8.
In verse 10 of John chapter 15 obeying God is connected to abiding in the love of Jesus Christ. Our Lord then explains that this is the relationship He has with His Father and as a result Jesus is abiding in the love of Him. Not to repeat myself but this is what we are to be doing with Jesus Christ.
When we continue in the love of God we can expect, “And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7.
In John chapter 15:11-14 these verses are saying if we keep the commandments of God our joy will be full and reminds us that He was going to die for our sins. This is the ultimate sacrifice especially in the way Jesus died for us (crucifixion).
Jesus explains even deeper that no man has greater love than this so remember my sacrifice as you obey me. Jesus calls us friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. Once again the issue of obedience is raised so Jesus is repeating Himself with multiple purposes in mind. We serve a great God and is full of love. He wants to impart this to us but it is through our obedience to Him. This is where the connection is made with God.
In John chapter 15:16 the Bible says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it to you.”
God in His foreknowledge knew who would come to Him because He is God and knows everything. We have a saying in our house, "There is not one thing that God does not know."
The Holy Spirit mentions both predestination and free will in the Bible and I teach both but just because I can not reconcile the two together as one does not mean that I am not called to believe the Bible. God gives us the choice in our will to choose because He will never force anybody to come to Him. I am called to believe these two subjects on earth that on the surface seem to be a paradox (A seeming contradiction) but the reconciliation comes in heaven. Contrary to popular belief we were never told to understand these two opposing subjects as one as we walk through life.
God desires our fruits to remain because we can drift away and lose our reward. When we have needs or desires we can go to the Father and ask Him. If it is in the will of God He will give it to us by praying the request in Jesus name.
In John chapter 15:17-19 these verses give us the great command that we love one another. He tells us that we are not of the world because He has chosen us out of this world; therefore, some people may hate you because you are not one of their own or recognizable in the kingdom of darkness. Jesus Christ was hated by the world and makes it clear that we may also get the same treatment.
In John chapter 15:20-22 Jesus tells us that because they have persecuted Him we also will be persecuted and go through many trials. Notice Jesus says these things after a long lengthy discourse on obedience to Him.
The world system hates Jesus Christ and is doing everything they can to destroy Christianity. True believers in Jesus Christ
are being slaughtered by the thousands all over world. We need to pray for these people.
In John chapter 15:23-25 these verses in the most basic sense say if a person hates Jesus then he or she hates the Father. Many people believe in the Father but deny the deity of Jesus Christ. The Bible does not teach this because it is taught in many verses but John 14:6 is one of the most popular. I am sorry I can not quote many of these verses but due to space I am limited. I need to go over this whole subject and Jesus has much to say in John chapter 15.
If we are abiding in Jesus Christ we will love one another and it is inevitable that we will have a devotion to God with all our heart. Jesus Christ is love.
This is what He expects because He died on the Cross for us and paid the ultimate price for our sins. He did not have to do this but He loved us so much that He made the supreme sacrifice so we can abide in Him. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord come to Him today because this is how much God loves you through His Son Jesus Christ.
Why not follow Jesus Christ and abide in Him? It is sometimes hard to love the Son of God especially in a world like this but we do this in obedience to Him. God loves you and has plans for your life and eternity through His Son Jesus Christ.
We should strive to be holy. “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1. God does not make it difficult for us to abide in Jesus Christ. The main theme in the whole chapter is love through our obedience in Jesus Christ.
The more time we spend with our Savior and Lord to have a relationship with Him the more Jesus Christ Himself will draw close to us
and our love for brothers and sisters in Christ will grow. Jesus is waiting but the real question is are we willing to abide in Him?