What does the word “abide” mean? To abide in something is to accept, act in accordance with a decision, keep to, stand by, or continue to remain in something. Jesus tells us in John 15:4 to remain in Him—other translations say to abide in Him. When we invite the Holy Spirit, which is the spirit of Christ, to come into our lives, He takes up residence in our souls and abides in us. We’re forever saved from hell. We’re born again and become part of the royal priesthood, heirs to Christ who will spend eternity with Jesus in heaven. This is a work of grace called salvation and it’s a free gift from God. This is the Good News!
However, Christ abiding in us isn’t the same as us abiding in Him. Once we’re saved, nothing can snatch us out of God’s hand. However, we can be saved from hell and live in this world ineffectively for the kingdom of God. The formula for bearing spiritual fruit, walking in freedom, and spiritual effectiveness in this world is to abide in Christ as He abides in us. To abide in Him is to seek Him daily and live according to His Word. He is the true vine and we are to receive daily nourishment from that vine in order to grow spiritually. He repeatedly tells us to remain in Him because it’s crucial to our faith walk.
We have two natures: the flesh and the Spirit. If we’re living by the flesh, then we’re not abiding in Christ. Our flesh is our sinful nature, and it’s at war with our spiritual nature. We can’t produce the right fruit when we’re living for our flesh. We are to be crucified to our flesh and walk in the Spirit. We walk in the Spirit by staying connected to the vine. Let’s abide in Jesus as He abides in us and watch as our lives produce much fruit.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.