Summary: A message from Christ to believers on the importance of abiding in him.
Abiding In Christ
This chapter is directed towards those who are in Christ. It is speaking to believers. And the subject of this chapter is without question. The lesson of Jesus to his disciples, and we as believers is the need to "abide in Christ".
The word abide is used at least 15 times in this chapter, but is not always translated abide. It is translated "continue" in V 9, remain in V11, 16.
Now hear me good on this.....Christ is not saying that believers must remain with him in order to be saved or to keep themselves saved. The scripture is clear that we are saved by grace through faith, and that we are kept by the power of God. We can no more keep ourselves saved as we can save ourselves. Someone has said that "fellowship is fragile". In other words, fellowship can be broken, but relationship cannot ! Christ is not speaking about sonship, but fellowship.
Let me share three things with you that I believe the Lord wants us to know about abiding in Christ.
I. The Importance Of Fellowship.
The word "fellowship" is found at least 20 times in the N.T.
a. Fellowship involves communion.
The word "fellowship" is also translated "communion" in the N.T. When we hear the word "communion", our first thoughts are of the Lord’s supper. And that is communion, but the Lord wants us to have communion with us each day. The word communion from our English dictionary means closeness as achieved by being in harmony. It is a peaceful existence. We commune with the Lord as we walk in oneness with him each day.
2 Cor 13:14 "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."
b. Fellowship involves communication.
The word "fellowship" is also translated "communication" in the N.T.
Philemon 1:6 "That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus"
Hebrews 13:16 "But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."
Fellowship involves communicating with God, and communicating with others about God !
c. Fellowship involves contribution.
The word "fellowship" is also translated "contribution" in Romans 15:26 "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem."
One of the ways that we have fellowship with Christ is when we contribute to his work. What a great blessing, and opportunity to be able to give !
d. Fellowship involves cooperation.
The word fellowship means "partnership"
1 Cor 1:9 "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."
1 John 1:3 "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
When we are saved, we are called to partner with God in his word. Is there a greater calling than the call to partner with God in his work ?
Christ is not only speaking about the importance of fellowship in this chapter, but he is also speaking of.........
II. The Importance Of Faithfulness.
Jesus is speaking to those who are in Christ, and he is encouraging us to be faithful. We are urged to abide in him, to remain, to continue, to stay !
I’ve heard it said, and I believe rightly so that "God measures success through our faithfulness." If that be the case, using faithfulness as a guage, then how sucessful are we ?
a. We Need Faithfulness In Our Attendance.
I know I speak often of the importance of attendance in church. And some might think that I’m just doing my job my doing so. But, I speak on the importance of being faithful in attendance not because it’s my job to do so, but because it is important. It is important for the church that you be here. It is important for you as a believer that you be here ! It is important for your growth as a Christian, and it is also important for others that you be here !
b. We Need Faithfulness In Our Adherence.
As believers, we need to be faithful in our reading, study, and obedience to the Bible.
Look at the words of Christ in Jn 15:3 "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
Quote: The Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible !
c. We Need Faithfulness In Our Assistance.
In whatever tasks God has given us to do, we are assisting him in his work. Paul describes it this way.........1 Cor 3:9 "For we are laborers together with God:........"