Abide in Christ – Being in Christ
“Abide in Me [Christ], 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” (John 15:4).
Consider abiding in Christ or being in Christ as a journey. This spiritual adventure begins with a personal experience with Jesus Christ and continues for the rest of your life. The steps on this glorious path are ones of both pain and great gain since you must leave your former, natural pathways to follow a new way of living (2 Corinthians 5:17). This new path involves denial of your former path and its accompanying selfish desires and actions (see Romans 6:3-5), but is also filled with great blessings, including the very presence of Jesus Christ and a joy that is beyond description in human terms alone (1 Peter 1:8). This new life is one lighted only in small steps, which require faith in following along with, but not ahead of, Jesus Christ. Yet those who choose to discipline themselves do so with the assurance of fellowship that continues forever with Jesus Christ in His Home called Heaven (John 3:16 and John 14:1-3).
Abide in Christ – Remaining in Close Fellowship with Jesus Christ
To abide in Christ is not a matter of being in a relationship with Jesus and then suddenly being without that relationship. Abiding in Christ is experiencing an intimate, close relationship with Jesus as your Savior. It is more than a superficial acquaintance.
The life of Jesus Christ on earth was one of trial and suffering (Matthew 8:20), but also one of great joy in doing the will of God the Father (John 15:9-11). After the initial experience of coming along side of Jesus Christ, one begins to walk more and more as He walked (1 John 2:6). It is accompanied by a heart that is inclined and dedicated to obey God and His Word.
Abide in Christ – Continuing in Closeness
Being in Christ also involves the Holy Spirit, who convicts, comforts, and communicates with the disciple of Christ (John 14, 16). The truth that the Holy Spirit will teach the believer in Christ is always the same as that which Jesus Christ said to His disciples while they walked with Him on this earth (John 16:13-15).
This invisible leading is one that goes beyond words and even outward actions. There is an intimacy for the follower of Christ who hears the beckoning and guidance of the Holy Spirit which transcends what can be described in human terms alone. This closeness leads to a fruitful life with both inward and outward manifestations. These fruit are gifts from this life with the Holy Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Jesus Christ likened abiding in Him to a branch of a tree remaining part of the main vine of a tree (Luke 13 and John 15). From this vine (Jesus Christ) comes the only true, spiritual nourishment and eternal life. The branch that seeks its own ways and substitutes candy for spiritual food will not grow and will not produce spiritual fruit (John 15:2, 6). The branch which receives this spiritual food grows and helps to lead to other growth on the tree and receives to itself a life of “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).