“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 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. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” John 15:1-6 (ESV)
The last few weeks, I have shared two messages from the above passage on the idea of abiding in Christ. In this passage, Jesus offers a metaphor to describe the relationship between believers and our Savior. This relationship posits that Christ is our source of life and strength without which we could do nothing. In light of this relationship, Jesus commands us to abide in Him. What does he mean by abiding in Christ?
So, what is abiding in Christ?
Abiding in Christ means at least two things:
- Declaring Christ as my Life. This means that I’m daily preaching the Gospel to myself. The goal behind this daily declaration is to remind me of who and whose I am. I am a sinner whose been redeemed and adopted through the death, burial and resurrection of King Jesus. While everything around me pulls me to find my source of life and strength in something else, abiding in Christ means I’m reminding myself of my true identity, my identity in Christ. Abiding in Christ is first a daily commitment to declare to myself that my faith, hope, joy, and peace are in Christ alone.
- Depending on Christ as my Life. This is an action I engage in everyday through fellowship with God. This fellowship happens primarily through time in the Word and prayer. We look to the Bible first for this source of fellowship because it is God’s living and active words to us (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16). Abiding in Christ causes me to see daily time reading the Bible not just as a time for learning, but also as an expression of my need for the nourishment the Word provides.
So, are you abiding in Christ?