Recently, Alean and I were introduced to Abide, a daily meditation, always under three minutes, and quite good. You can investigate it here: Abide. You will find their meditations well-produced, thought-provoking, and very relaxing.
Abide is somewhat of an archaic term – not one we use today in casual conversation. To abide is to live or reside. We abide in our abode, thus to “abide in Christ” is to live in him. Repeatedly, scripture describes those of us walking with Christ as redeemed men and women as being “in Christ,” abiding in him.
The call to abide in Christ is a call to non-believers. I say that because if you are a Christ-follower, a believer, you’re already abiding in Christ. Conversely, through his Spirit, Christ abides in us. There can be no more intimate connection.
Abide – Spiritual Fruit
Jesus said that those who abide in him, the branches, will produce fruit.
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. – John 15:5, ESV
As we abide in Christ, we are the branches and as such we produce fruit. The vine “empowers” us to do so. Apart from the vine, we die of malnutrition.
Bear in mind that the branches of the vine do not consume the grapes they produce. Those grapes are consumed by others. Thus, our fruit is intended to be for the spiritual nourishment of others.
A few passages on bearing fruit:
- Romans 1:13
- John 4:35-38
- Romans 15:28
- Galatians 5:22-23
- Colossians 1:10
- Hebrews 13:15
Abide – Answered Prayer
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, ESV
Note the conditional if in this statement from Jesus. If number one is that we abide in Christ. If number two is the words of Christ abide in us. When those two things are in place, our prayers will be in alignment with, and in submission to the will of God. His will becomes our will.
The purpose of our fruit-bearing and the answered prayer is not to gratify us, but rather to glorify the Father.
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. – John 14:13, ESV
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. – John 15:8, ESV
As Christ-followers, life is never about us. It is always about the glory of God.
Abide – Peace
As Jesus’ final hour draws near, he becomes increasingly candid with the disciples, and some of the things he is telling them are quite blunt and difficult to swallow. Having just said some hard things to them, Jesus says this:
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. – John 16:33, ESV
Earlier, in this same discourse, Jesus told the disciples . . .
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 16:33, ESV
The context in which those words are spoken makes them astonishing. This man is on his way to die! The next twenty-four hours are going to be beyond brutal, yet he offers his disciples peace! That can happen only in Christ, abiding in him.
Abide – Newness of Life
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV
The “therefore” in this verse points back to verses 14-16 where Paul reminded the Corinthian church that all Christ-followers have died with Christ and no longer live for themselves. We died to sin and no longer live in it (Romans 6:2). We buried that life in the watery grave of baptism “so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
So profound is the change in the life of one truly converted from self to Christ that it is described as a new birth!
Jesus answered and said to [Nicodemus], “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – John 3:3, NASB
It is closer to the original text in 2 Corinthians to say the one in Christ is “a new creation” rather than “creature.” Verse 18 makes it clear that this is God’s work in us, rather than our own doing. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ…”
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. – 1 John 2:28, ESV