In order for the Father to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29), we must abide in Christ. What does it mean to abide? It means to remain, rest, stay, wait, and continue. (See the concordance definition) Abiding in Christ, then, involves waiting upon the Lord and entering into His peace. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without [separately, apart from] me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Just as a branch draws its life-source from the vine, believers must stay connected to Christ for His life to flow through them and produce spiritual fruit. Branches “live and move and have their being” (Acts 17:28) only by the life of the vine.
Abiding in Christ is a patient expectancy; it is neither wasteful idleness nor anxious striving. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him”
(Psalm 62:5). Abiding in Christ, therefore, means to draw supernatural strength from the presence of the Lord and walk moment by moment in the leading of His Spirit.
Abiding in Christ means the following:
- Bearing spiritual fruit — “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ … Give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (II Peter 1:8-10).
- Hearing the Word and keeping it in your heart — “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15).
- Loving Jesus and doing what He says — “Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him'” (John 14:23). “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:6).
- Loving others — “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (I John 2:10-11).
- Trusting God and making Him your refuge — “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2).
- Hating the world’s system — “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (I John 2:15-17).
- Remaining steadfast in the faith of the Gospel — “Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God” (I Corinthians 7:24). “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” (I John 2:24).
Next I will dive into “Bearing Spiritual Fruit” Stay tuned.