Summary: This sermon reveals what it means to abide in Christ and its importance.
Abiding in Christ
This concept of “Abiding in Christ” is one of the most important aspects we can learn. The word itself is a verb. Abiding is therefore an action and means to continue, remain, dwell, live, or to lodge. We can then say that to abide in Christ is to remain and continue in, to live and dwell in Christ.
When Jesus tells us to abide in Him, there’s a very good reason. So let’s take a look at this section of Scripture.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 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. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My word. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:1-8 NKJV)
Let’s take a moment and look at why abiding is so important.
“He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5b NKJV)
• Here our abiding in Christ directly affects our work and responsibilities
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6 NKJV)
• Here our abiding in Christ, or lack thereof, directly affects our eternal life
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7 NKJV)
• Here our abiding in Christ directly affects our communication with God
“Whoever abides in Him does not sin.” (1 John 3:6a NKJV)
• Here our abiding in Christ directly affects our walk with God
A proper understanding of what it means to Abide in Christ is therefore critical.
We find that it was such an abiding relationship that Jesus had with the Father, which energized and defined His ministry. When confronting the religious leaders who said He was blaspheming by calling Himself the Son of God, Jesus said,
“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10:37-38 NKJV)
When Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus said,
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:10 NKJV)
Speaking of the coming resurrection of believers, Jesus talks about how vital this connection with His Father is.
I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30 NKJV)
Jesus had an intimate abiding relationship with the Father, and if this relationship was necessary for His ministry, then such an intimate abiding relationship with Jesus is needed if we’re going to live fruitful, effective lives here on earth.
This is actually Jesus’ prayer for us.
“That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21 NKJV)
Going back to our text, Jesus says that just as a branch needs to be vitally connected to the vine, so believers need to be vitally connected to Him. Just as Jesus could do nothing outside the Father’s will, we can doing nothing on our own. We need this vital connection, and then we can say like the Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
Therefore, when we learn how to abide in Christ, He will provide life and strength so that we can live productive and effective lives. But even more, we can experience intimate fellowship with God and become part of His family.