Friedens Bible Chapel

Abiding in Christ: What does it mean?

In the Gospel of John chapter 15 the Lord commanded His disciples to abide in Him. What does it mean? Some of the mystique needs to be removed from the passage. We don't use the word abide very often anymore, but the Greek word does not have the same mystique. It is a common Greek word meaning to stay or remain. The Lord would soon be crucified. He was telling His disciples to stay or remain in Him.

Abiding in Christ: Why is it important?

The Lord said that the only way his disciples would bear fruit would be if they would remain in Him. Through the years this passage has been important to Christians because we want our lives to be fruitful. We want our lives to count with God. In no uncertain terms the Lord makes abiding in Him is a condition of fruitfulness. He 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. I am the true vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:4, 5

Abiding in Christ: How would the disciples have understood it?

The Lord's physical earthly presence was drawing to a close. The disciples would have understood that even with the removal of His physical presence, they were to continue with a personal relationship with the Lord. They were still supposed to continue to look to Him for guidance. They were to continue to trust in situations that they had trusted Him. Their trust and obedience to the Lord was to continue when the Lord was physically withdrawn from their presence.

Abiding with Christ: How would they have done it?

Obedience to God's Word and prayer would be the way that they continued to receive direction from the Lord and have trusted the Lord. The Lord said, "If ye abide in me, and my workds abide inyou, ye shall ask what you will and if shall be done unto you." John 15:7

Abiding in Christ: How do we do it?

The great thing about this passage is that it is not mystical relationship nor is it something that only the apostles could do. We are to trust the Lord and obey Him just as if He was physically present with us. The Gospels tell us how the disciples did and could trust the Lord. We can do the same and receive the same promise of being able to bear fruit that will have eternal rewards.

Dennis VanEtten
Friedens Bible Chapel

This article represents my position as pastor, but does not necessarily reflect a doctrinal position for Friedens Bible Chapel.

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