ABIDING IN CHRIST (Part 8 of blog series Growth In The Vine)
Jesus said in John 15:5 “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 Me ye can do nothing.”
How much can you do without Jesus? NOTHING. And nothing means nothing. Yet, many try to do things for Jesus without Jesus. One can do many things for Jesus and wind up doing nothing, even for an entire lifetime. (I pray this does not occur for neither you nor me.) It is all done in the power of the flesh (indwelling sin).
You must be totally dependent on your source of life – Jesus the Vine. Even away from Him for a little bit will cause death in you. Your branch will become withered and die off. And each piece of fruit will die along with it. We must be absolutely convinced of these truths.
This leads us to another important principle that Jesus stressed so He can live the life of God through us. This key principle is for the branch to “abide” in the vine.
To “abide” is to remain, to dwell, to make our home in Him, and to receive His nourishment.
How does a branch “abide” in the vine? Through faith. It is through faith that includes a total surrender and complete trust in the Vine to do what He states He would.
We are just to be there, to be still, and to be focused on Jesus. Then the life of the Vine flows through us. This is we “abiding in Christ” and Christ “abiding in us.” We trust and surrender to all that Jesus has done for us, fully confident He will continue to do so that He will be glorified in us.
We read, absorb, and reflect on what God says in His Word. Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Then, by faith in what He says, we apply these principles to our daily walk. As we apply this by faith, the Holy Spirit roots the love of Jesus deeper into us and nourishes the seed for growth. This is all because we are “abiding in Him.” Alleluia!
Romans 6:11 is an important verse that amplifies our abiding and growth. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin; but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
So we are only to possess our life in Christ – what we already have and what Jesus has provided us through His death and resurrection.
Let us see our sin as dead and buried, and see our new life in Christ – alive forever. 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
To be totally dependent on our Vine, we must “abide in Him.” To “abide” is to go deeply hidden in something – not to be seen in its own way, but to be seen as a channel of the something it is hidden in. It also includes being totally dependent on the something for its life and functionality. When we “abide in Christ,” it is like the “grafting” process. We slide deep into the heart of Jesus. The Father grafts us in so smoothly and deeply that we easily become hidden in Christ. Colossians 3:3-4 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.”
This is our “abiding in Him.” Without Jesus, we would be dead. So our life is totally dependent on Him and since we are hidden in Him, Jesus is the one seen. He now takes over our life. This is His “abiding in us.” He is not dependent on us. But, because He is our source of life, He lives (abides) in us and through our availability lives His life through us – producing His fruit. I often say, “God is only looking for which children of His He can trust to share His love to a sin-sick, love-starved world.” How much can He trust you? And only through “pruning” can He “abide” and root His love deeper in us. Then He refines us (in the valleys) so that, at the mature time, His fruit naturally and easily flows from us. When this occurs, Jesus is “abiding in us” – all motivated by the love of Jesus. And others will only and clearly see Jesus in us.