What does it mean to abide in Christ?

The wonder and beauty of “abiding in Christ” is that it is a dual abiding. Jesus said in John 15:4, “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.” In this passage from John 15, Jesus gives the analogy of the relationship between the vine and a branch. The oneness between them in this light is remarkable. Before becoming a Christian, we are not a part of the Vine. Once we get saved, then we are grafted into the Vine, Jesus. When grafting, one must cut into the vine and place the branch onto the wounded area of the vine and seal it. Once the branch is sealed in, the vine begins to nourish the branch and grow into it, and the branch grows into the vine. After a time, you cannot tell branch from vine in the area where the grafting took place. Now, the vine did not need the branch to survive, but the branch did need the vine to survive. It is the power of the vine abiding in the branch that allows the branch to abide in the vine. Without the Vine, Jesus, and the sealing, the Holy Spirit, we, the branches, cannot produce fruit. However, abiding is a choice the branch must make. If the branch refuses the sap from the vine, it will begin to wither and die. The need for the branch to remain in, abide in, the vine is no different than our need as believers to abide in Christ in order to bear fruit. The way we abide is by pursuing holiness through a personal and growing relationship with Jesus. The first way we pursue a constant abiding is through prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” This is a life lived with the mindset that God is always at work around you, wanting to do a work in and through you. It’s involving Jesus in every part of your everyday thoughts and actions along with interceding on behalf of others. The second way we pursue a constant abiding is by utilizing His Word in our prayers, study, thoughts, and discussions with others. Psalm 1:2 reminds us, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 119:15 says, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” These verses tell us that the Lord and His Word are to be at the forefront of our daily thoughts, something we spend time in, getting to know well so that His Word and His presence naturally come out in our dealings with others. The third way we pursue a constant abiding is in the area of worship and service: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting (encouraging) one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25, parenthesis added). As the time (the Day) approaches for Jesus to call His people to their eternal home, we who are saved need to be loving each other, encouraging each other, serving each other, and worshipping with each other as much as possible!! Since Jesus came to lovingly serve, when we do the same, we create intimacy with Him. Therefore, to abide in Christ is a daily surrender to mimicking His life, His love, and His sacrifice for others—all for God’s glory.