Monday, December 4, 2017

The Practice of Abiding

One thing about grapes is that they are highly perishable and they have a limited lifespan once they are removed from the vine. That's a great illustration of our need as followers of Christ to abide in the vine. Let's take a look together at what the Scriptures say about abiding.

Abiding in Christ
First there is the need not only to enter into a relationship with Christ, but to abide in Him and in the Father. He said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love."  (Joh 15:4-10)

The Greek word for “abide” is “meno,” meaning “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for).” (Strongs)

Jesus also said, "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him." (Joh 6:56)

The apostle John said, "The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked."  (1Jn 2:6)

"As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father."  (1Jn 2:24)

"As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming." (1Jn 2:27-28)

"No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him." (1Jn 3:6)

"The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us."  (1Jn 3:24)

"By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit."  (1Jn 4:13)

The Father Abiding in the Son
Jesus said, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works."  (Joh 14:10)

The Holy Spirit Abiding in Us
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."  (Joh 14:16-17)

God Abiding in Us
"No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us."  (1Jn 4:12)

"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."  (1Jn 4:15-16)

God’s Seed Abiding in Us
"No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1Jn 3:9)

God’s Word Abiding in Us
"I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one."  (1Jn 2:14)

Abiding Forever
"The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." (1Jn 2:17)

Abiding in the Light
"The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him." (1Jn 2:10)

Those Who Do Not Abide
"They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us." (1Jn 2:19)

Abiding in Death
"We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death." (1Jn 3:14)

Putting it All Together
Jesus always abides in the Father and the Father in Him. The Father abiding in Jesus does His works.  We must abide in Christ, and He in us. You cannot bear fruit unless you abide in Christ. You can do nothing apart from Him. If you abide in Christ and He in you, you will bear much fruit. If anyone does not abide in Christ, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Christ, and His words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

He who eats the flesh of Christ and drinks His blood abides in Him, and Christ in him. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. Abide in Christ’s love by keeping His commandments. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. Abiding requires you walk in the same manner as Jesus walked. No one who abides in Him sins. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin.

The one who loves his brother abides in the Light. If we love one another, God abides in us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. He who does not love abides in death. Let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.

The word of God abides in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.  The anointing which you received from Him abides in you. Abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.  The one who does the will of God abides forever.

We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. You know the Holy Spirit because He abides with you and will be in you.

Those who do not abide with us are not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us.

Notice the repetition of the word “if” in these verses.  The word “if” occurs six times in the Bible in connection with abiding.  That means it is a condition that must be met.  Some of the conditions are: IF you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. IF you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.  IF we love one another, God abides in us. IF what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.  IF they had been of us, they would have remained with us. IF anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

Jesus said, "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mat 5:48).  In order for your walk with God to be perfect, these conditions must be met.  Eternal life in heaven is not automatic but conditional.  It is conditional upon our abiding in Christ and in His love, upon eating His flesh and drinking His blood, and upon our loving one another, and upon His Spirit in us, and upon doing the will of God, walking in the same manner as Jesus walked, and keeping His commandments. Let this be an encouragement to us all to do these things.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB

Author's Note:  If you enjoyed this post, please check out David Wilkerson's message on A Conspiracy of Interruptions!  You may also like the other articles of mine, such as The Conditional Security of the BelieverAs the Still, Fair Court, Practicing the Presence of the Lord, In the Shelter of the Most High, The Lord is Near, and Walking in the Light of His Presence, which are available through the Home page of this blog. I also recommend Eudoxia Varga Testimony of Heaven and Hell, One thing, Fruit in Every Season, Led by the Spirit, For the Glory of God Alone, The Obedience of Faith, The Knowledge of the Holy, and Ask for the Ancient Paths. Also see my daughter's poems called God Will Meet You There, Connected to the Vine, and The Glory of God, as well as this song about His presence by Mercy Me, called Here with Me. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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