A Few More Thoughts On…Abiding In Christ…

When we abide in Christ there are realizable results.  When we are abiding in Christ our lives reflect the Truth and we honor our Savior, our Lord.

There is a spiritual fruitfulness.

John 15:5

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.

Jesus speaks to us.  He is the vine in which we find our life’s blood.  It is Christ Jesus Who sustains us.

This is a two way street.  First is the requirement that we choose to abide in Him.  By making that choice He then abides in us.  Because of His grace He will lead us to bear much fruit.

God owns the vine.  God maintains the vine.  God’s purpose is to tend His vine so that it bears much fruit.  He prunes away unproductive branches and He splices in productive branches.  He is forever looking over His vine and He is consistently making it stronger and fruitful.

Let’s look at Christ’s Disciples.  The young men He chose were naturally green.  Under His teaching they flourished.  Israel as God’s chosen people were once green and fruitful.  But, the Source of life was some how cut off.

Judas Iscariot was in the vine, but even while he sat at the Lord’s feet he was plotting against the Messiah.  The Israelites having first hand knowledge of God eventually chose to turn to idols and false gods.

There are some among us, friends and family, who began a good work in belief and have chosen to fall away.   They have taken for themselves the spirit of antichrist.  It’s a sad thing to say, but God has or will cut them away from the vine.  They will be thrown into the fire to be consumed.

There are some who live a “church” life.  Their substance, their life blood, comes from their social position in the church.  They have allowed themselves to become hardened to the faith for the sake of their position.  They have become legalistic.

There are some who have leaned unto themselves.  They have selfish interests, unconfessed sins, a careless regard for the truth.  There are some who possess an unforgiving spirit.  They are bitter.  They block the flow of Christ’s sustenance.  Eventually their branch dies.  It, too, will be
consumed by fire.

When we are abiding in Christ we have the assurance of answered prayer.

Joh 15:7

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish,
and it will be done for you.

Because we have made the conscious decision to live in Christ; that is to abide in Him then His words live in us.  He is the Word.

His words are His doctrines.  His word is His Gospel.  His words are the Full Counsel of God.

His words are our example in daily life.  We love because He first loved us.  We treat others with dignity and respect because of His words.  We advance the Truth that is His Gospel because His words are in us.

This assurance of answered prayer is relative and is applicable as long as we are living by the faith that He gives us.  When we keep His commands and adhere to His doctrines we can be rest easy in knowing He will keep us.

John 14:13-18

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.   If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.  If you love me, you will keep my commandments.   And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

We won’t pray for the unthinkable.  We won’t be praying for that new car or barrels full of cash.  We will be praying for perfection in our lives and in the lives of others.  We will be praying the Spirit leads us to honorable conduct.

Albert Barnes wrote:

We learn from it that it is only when we keep the commandments of Christ – only when we live by faith in him, and his words are suffered to control our conduct and affections, that our prayers will be heard. Were we perfect in all things, he would always hear us, and we should be kept from making an improper petition; but just so far as men regard iniquity in their heart, the Lord will not hear them,

Psalm 66:18, 19

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.  But truly
God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

When we are abiding in Christ we are assured peace.

John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

In the verses previous to this Jesus declares His Disciples will abandon Him.  They will all scatter and leave Him to stand alone.  These men spent the past three years with Him, learning from Him, praising Him.  John leaned on His breast.  Peter declared he would never forsake his Lord.

John admits his cowardice here.  Later, he returns and is with Jesus while Jesus is on the Cross.  Jesus hands his mother to John to care for her.

Jesus, however, is not alone.  The Father is with Him.

In this single verse we have the gift of comfort, and joy, and peace.  Christ Jesus has overcome the world and He carries our burden.  We know we will suffer the ways of the flesh.  We know the world will bring us trials.  But there is nothing we cannot overcome as we abide in Christ.

Abiding in Christ is a new life.

 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

It is vanity to say “I am in Christ” but live according to the flesh.

Our hearts are changed.  A believer’s heart is dead to sin.  An unbeliever’s heart is dead in sin.  A true Christian whose heart is committed to Christ is changed.

The old man once a child of Satan is now a child of God.

The old man once a slave to sin is now a slave to Christ.

The old man seeking works for salvation finds the Truth of salvation in the Gospel of Christ.

The new man; the Christian man is free from sin.  He bears fruit for His God.  He knows he has everlasting
life.

The old man once prideful is now humble.

The old man once hungry for the things of the world is now hungry for God’s Word.

The old man lived for the carnal.  The new man knows and thinks of things eternal.  The old man as passed away.

We have turned away from the idolatrous to the Spiritual.  We have turned our backs on religion for religion’s sake and turned to that which honors our Father.

James 1:27

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

By abiding in Christ we have His righteousness.

 Php 3:8-11

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from
the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith– that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Knowing Christ is the greatest knowledge we can possess and that knowledge; that faith, is a gift from God.  That faith leads to righteousness and depends on that faith!  They are inseparable.

 Rom 3:21,22(a)

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it– the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.

My beloved friends Abiding In Christ is the honor our Lord deserves.

Worship and praise on Sunday mornings, although good, is insufficient.  Teaching a Sunday School class or preaching a sermon is good and pleases the Lord, but He deserves so much more.  Paying a tithe or giving a gift is remarkable and good, but does not fill the bill.  None of these alone or even all together meet that honor He deserves from each of us.

Recall Jesus’ words:

 Mar 10:17-31

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal
life?”

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'” 

And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 

Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 

And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 

And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 

Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.”

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

To abide in Christ is to give all to Him.

About Jim Barnes

A man seeking to please the Lord. A man striving to abide in Christ Jesus. A man whose hope is to see just one more come into the fold.
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3 Responses to A Few More Thoughts On…Abiding In Christ…

  1. Pingback: Back to work with Jesus! « Kirukals Blog

  2. Pingback: How to synchronize your family, and your church. « Inspired Ministries

  3. Pingback: If Anyone is in Christ, He is a New Creation Pt. 2 « Kevin Nunez

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