Abiding In Christ...What's It All About? (Part 3)

"Abide In Me, and I in You..." (John 15:4a)
In this series, we've looked at several aspects of "Abiding in Christ." Last week, we looked at the requirements of abiding. You can read that by clicking here. This week, we're going to look at the flip side of that. What are the benefits of "Abiding In Christ?"

Benefits of Abiding

Jesus not only taught us what is required of our abiding in Him, but He also shared with us the benefits of abiding. He knew that, weak human beings that we are, we would want to know, "What am I going to get out of this?" I'm going to give a few answers to this question here and in the next blog post, but suffice it to say that we will get exponentially more from abiding in Him than we ever put in!

We Get To Be Called Friends of God

One of the greatest benefits of abiding according to Jesus is that we get to be His friends. Jesus said this to His disciples in the upper room:
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)
Think about that! Jesus says that when we abide in Him, we are no longer slaves or servants (as the Jewish nation was under the old covenant), but that He now considers us His friends! Now, as we abide in new covenant fellowship with the Father and the Son, the Son makes known to us the heart of the Father. This was only available under the old covenant to the "big names" (such as Moses, Joshua, and David). Now, all of us get into this kind of relationship with our God!

We Get Fulness of Joy

Jesus also said in the upper room,
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. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:10-11)
God really wants us to have fullness of joy...and we can have it! The way to a life of joy (what Peter would call "Joy unspeakable and full of glory" 1 Peter 1:8 KJV) is through abiding in His love and keeping His commandments. As Christ's joy was made full as He obeyed His Father, so our joy can be made full in our obedience to Christ!

We Receive Answers To Prayer

Jesus made these astounding statements to His disciples that night:
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
 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, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. (John 15:16) 

Jesus is telling us here that as we abide in Him, He will answer our prayers. For almost two thousand years, man has been trying to explain away these breathtaking statements of Christ. Yet, I believe that we should receive them as He gave them. Look at it this way...When we are truly abiding in Him, we only want what He wants. Our will becomes lost in His will. So when we pray, we are truly praying the things that are His own desire. How then could it be that He would not answer those prayers? He must answer them! We know from elsewhere in the scriptures that this does not mean that He will always answer them immediately. We also know that He will never answer a prayer that could be harmful to us or to others. Yet, let us not lessen the impact of the statement that Jesus is making. When we pray as we abide, we should expect answers to our prayers!

We Receive God's Anointing

John would say this in His first epistle:
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. (1 John 2:27)
To have God's anointing is have His approval. To have His anointing means that we have His presence with us always...even when we aren't aware of it. Moses received the anointing of God when he encountered Him on the mountain. When He came down, he didn't realize that his face was shining with the Shekinah glory of much so that he had to put a veil over his face to talk to the people! (See Exodus 34:29-35) In like manner, when we are walking with God, people notice it! They may not say anything to us, but they will indeed notice that we don't "march to the same drummer" as everyone else.
In addition, as our text above says, the anointing itself will be our teacher. This is none other than the presence of the Holy Spirit of Christ in us.  As we wait on Him and trust in Him, He will teach us where to go, what to do, and how to respond in any given situation. We just need to take time to listen!

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