Thursday, October 25th, 2018
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.“ John 15:4
It is imperative for God’s elect to understand that Christianity is about far more than holding right beliefs or adopting right behaviors. At salvation, God’s elect enter into a union with God through faith in the baptism, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This spiritual union changes the legal status of God’s elect from a sinner to a righteous person by faith in the working of God. God’s elect have a right standing with God by being justified freely by grace through faith in the righteousness of God. Phil 3:7-9; Rom 3:21-26
God’s elect also have communion with God when they abide in Christ. They have access to a life-giving, soul-thrilling and joy-producing communion with God through abiding in Christ. The Christian faith is about union and communion with Jesus. The hearts of God’s elect ought to desire this intimate relationship. Do we seek to abide in Christ like this? Do we desire God in this manner?
Jesus wants God’s elect to abide in Him. In John’s Gospel, Jesus teaches His disciples about this union. Jesus informs them that He has already made them clean during the upper room foot washing. John 13:10-11 This ceremony wasn’t pointing to Jesus’ hyper-aversion to dirty feet, it was a symbolic display of His incarnation, baptism, atoning sacrifice, burial, resurrection, ascension and Second Coming. This is why Jesus declared them clean with the exception of Judas. Jesus says about this ‘hour’ before going to the cross to bear their sins and make them clean. God’s elect need to have inward cleanness for Christ to abide in them. John 15:3
Jesus follows this with the command “abide in Me and I in you” John 15:4a. To ‘abide’ is a verb. It is active. Abiding in Christ is not a feeling or a belief but something we do. It means to ‘remain’ or ‘stay’. In fact, it entails far more than the idea of continued belief in the Savior. John 15:5 further illustrates this abiding relationship with a parallel relationship of a Vine and a branch. We the branches are to be connected to Him (the Vine) for our life and sustenance. Only in Him can we bear fruit.
How Do We Abide?
Abiding in Christ means hour by hour trusting Him to meet all our needs and be all our treasure.
To abide in Christ means to keep up a habit of constant close communion with Christ – to be always leaning on Him, resting on Him, pouring out our hearts to Him and seeing Him as our fountain of life and strength.
More so, to have Christ’s words abiding in us is to keep His sayings and precepts continually before our thoughts in order to make them the guide of our action, conduct and behavior.
Three Keys To Abiding
To abide in Christ daily requires dependance upon the Holy Spirit in which we do these things :
- walk by faith
- spend focused time
- engage in intentional actions
God’s elect ought to daily preach the Gospel of God’s righteousness to themselves, plan to abide throughout the day, read Scriptures, pray and live in community with others. Fight sin (intentional actions). We do this as we live dependent upon the Holy Spirit in order to abide in Christ. To be ‘in-Christ’ means to have a new legal standing and a new relational orientation. We do not solely want to be made right with God rather we want to be with God. We are new creations in Christ, freed from sin and worldly pursuits to abide in Christ. At NCCkl let us yearn with holy urgency for our faith to be rooted in the depth of our heart, to be steadfast and to have hearts that seek so that we may taste and see the goodness of God in order to abide in Christ. This has been our focus for the month of September.
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