Abiding In Christ...What's It All About?

Abiding in Christ...What's It All About? (Part 1)

"Abide in Me, and I in you..." (John 15:4a)
Most Christians are familiar with these words of Jesus as quoted by his beloved disciple John. John was given by God the revelation of abiding in Christ, and he wrote of it extensively both in his gospel and in his epistles. The Greek word for "abide" or "abiding" (also translated "remain" in some versions) is "menos.."  This word appears 33 times in John's gospel and 20 times in his epistles. It seems that John majored in this concept of "abiding!" With all these passages about "abiding" in our Bibles, it must be important! However, I'm afraid it is seldom taught today. 

What Is Abiding?

The best definition of abiding in Christ was the one I heard my pastor Mike Douglas give a number of years ago. It was so simple and straightforward yet on the mark that I wrote it in my Bible. He said that abiding is "a steady, faithful divine connection to Christ." Pretty simple, huh! Yet, there is so much in these few words.

It is a connection to Christ...That is exactly how Jesus described it Himself when He said, "I am the vine, you are the branches..." (John 14:5a) and "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." (John 14:4b). We are connected to Him as a branch is connected to the main trunk of a grape vine.... or like a tree limb is connected to the trunk of a tree. The branch or limb is useless without the vine or the trunk. Its value is only as good as its vital connection. So too with us. Our fruitfulness, our spiritual prosperity... indeed, our very lives are only of any real value when we are connected to Him.

It is a steady connection...Our abiding in Christ cannot be here or there. It is only valuable in that it is continuous. In the same manner, it is a faithful connection. God is indeed faithful in maintaining the connection on His side, but what about on our side? Is our connection to Christ steady and faithful? Or is it only as stable as the last time we were feeling blessed?  Another of Pastor Mike's sayings is, "We need to be the same whether we are blessed or tested!" Is our connection to Christ as strong when we are being tested as when we are being blessed in some way? That's something to think about!

It is a divine connection. This connection to Christ does not...indeed, cannot, originate in ourselves. It is only as He has sovereignly chosen to bestow it on us that we can have this blessed relationship with Him. Look at what Jesus said in John 15:16, 
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, ...
It is through His divine choice that we are able to have a relationship with our Redeemer! Yet, the greatly overlooked second part of this appointment is that we must maintain that relationship on our end. We are not passive in this relationship! 

In addition, I'd like to share with you the definition of the Greek word for "abide" as it appears in Thayer's Greek Dictionary:
To remain
To tarry
Not to depart
To continue to be
To last
To endure
Not to become another or different
To wait for

Who knew there was so much in this little word?
There is not time or space here to delve into each of these meanings, but I would encourage you to meditate on these...there is a wealth of spiritual help in each of these!

Next time (Lord willing), we will look at the requirements and also the benefits to abiding...
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1 Comment

Brian Cecil - September 7th, 2022 at 10:38am

Praise the Lord.. may this be the help and encouragement to all who read this and meditate on it's absolute truth as it has been for myself... In Jesus Name!