What It Means to Abide in Christ

Romans 11:29(NLT) gives us an assurance that is a great comfort to all those who want to live a fulfilling life. It tells us, “For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.” Our Heavenly Father will not give up on us. This verse backs up His constant and unconditional love, because although we may vacillate and fall short in our commitment to God, He will never vacillate and fall short in His commitment to us. He will not withdraw or revoke the gifts that He’s given us. James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from our Heavenly Father, and these include His divine grace, the pardon of sin through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and all the empowerment of His indwelling Holy Spirit. It includes all the gifts that allow us to live life in all its fullness. Psalm 84:11(NLT) says, “For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” God loves to bless us, and there is indeed no good thing that we have received that did not have its origin in our Heavenly Father.

God will not do a ‘take-back’ when it comes to our salvation or the gifts that He’s given us. Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us that even before God made the world, He loved us and chose us to be His very own. Before He made us, He already had redemption’s plan, and knew that He would send His Son to be the Savior of the world. Through Christ, God made us a part of His family, and this gives Him great pleasure. He chose us on which to lavish the wealth of His riches. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 7:11(NLT), “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” We have been so enormously blessed that it is unfathomable to think that someone would turn away from the goodness of God, but many do, and it is an unspeakable loss to them.

In John 15:4(NKJV), our blessed Lord said, “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.” This is truly a golden invitation from Jesus Christ, and it also points to the reality that there are those who have been saved by him but will choose to fall away from him somewhere down the road. They may start out with enthusiasm and zeal for the things of God, and may be very encouraged in Him, but they do not adequately nourish their souls with God’s Word. Jesus said about these in Matthew 13:21(NLT), “But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.”

To abide in Christ is an invitation to remain close to him, and we need to know that this is a choice every believer must make. God has given us the gift of free-will, and He will not overstep or withdraw this gift. He has made you and me responsible for renewing our minds and changing our hearts according to the example of Jesus Christ. Some individuals have felt that this level of intimacy with God through Christ is beyond them, but it is not. Surrendering ourselves to God and becoming all that He desires us to be will yield unspeakable blessings, because all good things flow from our relationship with Him.

Jesus Christ said in John 15:5(NLT), “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.” Many people, including believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, are feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled in life. Some are emotionally depleted because they have tried everything and searched everywhere for contentment, but only found disappointment. There are no magic solutions in life and abiding in Jesus Christ doesn’t mean a life without problems; it’s a life of purpose. It’s feeding your soul in the way it was always meant to be fed. It’s being grounded in the reality of your identity, and absolutely nothing compares to that.

Our blessed and powerful Savior tells us that he is the vine and we are the branches. Our life comes from him, and the connectedness we share with Christ not only sustains us but causes us to produce fruit. He is letting us know that abiding in him will yield something enriching and consequential for God’s Kingdom, but without abiding in him, we yield nothing and that’s a terrible place to be.

To abide in Christ, we must have a desire to be close to him, and we must have a commitment to do the things that keep ourselves connected to the vine. He said in John 6:57(NKJV), “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” Every day, we must feed on him by reading and meditating on God’s Word, spending time in prayer, and keep our focus on pleasing God. The commitment that we demonstrate to be close to our Master Jesus gives him the opportunity and invitation to take hold of us, keep us safe, and continually fulfill the promises of God in our lives.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. 

“What It Means to Abide in Christ”, written by JMack, 4theChristianMan.com© 2024. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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