ABIDING IN CHRIST
The New Testament urges the need for Christians to remain living in Christ, by the reality of close personal relationship with Him which can be expressed in continued obedience to His Word. Obedience and love go together.
The definition of abide is to stay, remain, continue firm and stable, lasting. Abiding also means keeping close. Jesus Himself requires this of His followers. Remaining In Christ depends upon holding to His teaching, living like Him and receiving The Holy Spirit's anointing, which aids the believer.
Christlikeness is not achieved by people's imitation of Jesus, but by God renewing believers and making them more like His Son through the process of sanctification by The Holy Spirit.
A living union with Christ is absolutely necessary and without it, the reason for existence has no purpose. Just as in nature, a branch detached from the vine dies, so a believer separated from Christ looses life. A branch ( true believers) out of contact with The Vine (Christ) is lifeless.
TLB John 15:1 "I am the true Vine, and my Father is the Gardener. 2 He lops off every branch that doesn't produce. And he prunes those branches that bear fruit for even larger crops. 3 He has already tended you by pruning you back for greater strength and usefulness by means of the commands I gave you. 4 Take care to live in me, and let me live in you. For a branch can't produce fruit when severed from the vine. Nor can you be fruitful apart from me. 5 "Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can't do a thing. 6 If anyone separates from me, he is thrown away like a useless branch, withers, and is gathered into a pile with all the others and burned. 7 But if you stay in me and obey my commands, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! 8 My true disciples produce bountiful harvests. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Live within my love. 10 When you obey me you are living in my love, just as I obey my Father and live in his love. 11 I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your cup of joy will overflow! 12 I demand that you love each other as much as I love you".
Christ abides in believers and believers abide in Christ. It is a personal life-giving relationship.
Believers remaining in Christ and Christ in believers is a union that is closely connected. Because of Christ, the indwelling of The Holy Spirit enables Christians to continue to live as level-headed disciples and as they do so the reality of His indwelling presence is deepened.
Abiding in Christ arises from trust and belief in His promises. Love for Christ and the worship of Him accompanies God's own commitment to His people. Salvation goes from strength to strength from when it is first received.
Jesus desires joy that is complete for His redeemed. Living with Christ is a daily experience as believers grow and mature in love and obedience. Remaining in Christ means to continue to do what He says to do. God and His Kingdom is glorified when people remain in a strong relationship with His Son, who also receives glory and honour as a result of His own abiding in The Father.
A Christian's life is to be intertwined with Christ always, this keeps their life stable regardless of the circumstances.
The certainty of a present relationship with Christ gives and is the assurance of the secure future hope centred on the promises of God The Father. Rewards and blessings promised are a free gift.
The result of abiding in Christ is fruitfulness which covers many aspects of a believer's life, but also their development of the character to maturity, effectively in service, or mission ministries. These disclosures are not from human effort, but from the fruition of remaining in Christ. Love and Joy are Perfected.
Answered prayer is an outcome of abiding in Christ, as is freedom from persistent sin. Christians cannot be absolutely sinless, but have the possibility of living a life in which sin is not the normal habit. Sins in a Christian's life are lessened as the believer abides in Christ.
Remaining in Christ leads to expectancy, hope, trust and patience. The continuing commitment of The Lord Jesus Christ to The Father is the example for believers in faithfulness.
There are Scriptural warnings to remain firm in Christ.
There is judgement upon those who refuse to produce a godly life. John 15:12.
If a believer does not remain living firmly with Christ, the faith is groundless and empty, it cannot save and thus is not the faith of a true believer. 1 Corinthians 15:2
It is impossible for those to repent, having once been enlightened in the Word of God, shared in The Holy Spirit and have known of the goodness to come in The Father's Kingdom, if they have turned against Christ. Hebrews 6:4-6
Not remaining in Christ brings complacency to a believer's spiritual life and a false security. It is spiritual laziness which degenerates into sin and finally luke-warm faith and apostasy.
The Bible gives clear caution to those who fail to abide in Christ. To continue remaining in Christ is the purpose for which believers are saved until being made complete when they share in Christ's glory at His return.
Benefits of staying close to Christ are, living qualified to share His inheritance, being in His Eternal Kingdom, being rescued from the domination of darkness, being free from God's wrath and His judgement upon sin.
Confidence in the Last Day. 1 John 2:28 "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming". Christ's return will inevitably cause one of two reactions. For the believer, the response is confidence, in contrast to the silent terror and shame of those who must tremble before Him at His return.
Living in Christ establishes a stable and unwavering victory in situations, whether emotional, personal or political. Stability, an important element of life, depends upon holding on to the firm and solid of belief which gives resistance to natural and spiritual assaults.
To stay living in Christ throughout life, brings humility and gentleness. Christ upholds the believer, guides, provides joy, strengthens, gives hope, gives forth light, broadens understanding of The Father, shows God's will, builds up, confirms the right, comforts the heart, produces fruit in a believer's life, cleanses the conscience and convicts of sin.
Remaining in Christ is for the benefit of the believer.
Christ has been and is continually faithful for the sake of believers, therefore consistency in love, trust and obedience on the believer's part is expected.
Contentment is a result of remaining in Christ as well as the eternal values that He offers. Contentment grows out of love and devotion to Christ. It is also a gift from God and having His perspective on life and the living of it.
Abiding in Christ requires sincere and genuine believing.
Christ's purposes become the believer's priorities and purposes.
|SCRIPTURES John 15:1-12.
QUESTIONS 1] What does abiding in Christ depend upon? 2] What are the benefits and results of abiding in Christ? 3] Is abiding with Christ a daily experience?
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