Archive for the 'ABIDING in CHRIST' Category

Abiding Produces Rewards

WEDNESDAY

NAU John 15:6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

NIV John 15:6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

NKJ John 15:6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

There is a danger for NOT abiding in Christ. Jesus says that the branch that does not abide is separated from the life of the vine. Some have taken this to mean that a Christian can lose his salvation! But elsewhere in Scripture we are told this cannot happen (John 10: 28, 29; Romans 8:31-39) and since Scripture will not contradict Scripture, John 15:6 cannot refer to the loss of relationship with Jesus or the Father! Instead it must be referring to the ‘fake’ branches that are allowed to identify with the real branches for a while before being separated from the vine.

True branches bear fruit:

NAU John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

NIV John 15:2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes {2 The Greek for prunes also means cleans.} so that it will be even more fruitful.

NKJ John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Fake branches do not bear fruit.

It’s that simple! The one who remains confident in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for the needed ‘declared righteousness’ from God will demonstrate the reality of that confidence by remaining confident in that truth. And God will demonstrate their true status by producing fruit in their life.

NAU John 15:8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

NIV John 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

NKJ John 15:8 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Not abiding has a consequence. Abiding has a reward. Remain dependent upon Him.

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ABIDING: An Attitude of Dependence Upon God

TUESDAY

NAU John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

NIV John 15:4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

NKJ 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.

The analogy of the vine and branch is very appropriate when discussing what it is to abide. The image is one of dependence. The branch of a vine or a tree cannot survive on its own. It is incapable of independence. It has life only as long as it remains attached to the body of the vine or tree. Once that relationship is severed, life in the branch is done.

Jesus uses this analogy masterfully to demonstrate the believer’s dependence upon Him in order to be productive spiritually. We will not come to Him on our own for salvation, we cannot initiate our own salvation, we cannot live victoriously over sin without Him and we cannot be productive spiritually without Him. We must remain in Him. And unless He grafted us into the vine not only would we not have life but we would not be able to remain grafted.

The importance of this truth about abiding is that we are dependent upon Jesus for every aspect of our spiritual life. And the mark of a true follower of Jesus is that he will remain acknowledging his dependence on Him for salvation, sanctification and ‘fruitification’! So, at the start, abiding is an attitude that (as we will see) will express itself in action.

NIV John 15:4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

ABIDING: A COROLLARY TO REPENTANCE

MONDAY

Last weekend I attended with my family the 4th Annual Resolved Conference. It is aimed at collegians but benefits all ages. The topic was Heaven and Hell and concluded Monday night. I would highly recommend next year’s conference. But this only explains why I am late in posting my blog.

Last week we looked at repentance and saw that the Greek word for repentance means to ‘change your mind’. This primarily refers to ‘changing your mind’ about the Person and Work of Jesus, but we concluded the week by seeing that repentance is an attitude the follower of Christ will embrace in all areas of His walk with God.

This week’s post is about Abiding in Christ. The Greek word for ‘abide’ means to ‘remain’ or to ‘continue’. The follower of Christ first repents or changes his mind about the Person and work of Jesus, and then remains or abides with this changed view of Jesus. This is the very command of Jesus to those who repent in their attitude toward Him:

NAU John 15:4Abide in Me, and I in you….

NIV John 15:4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you….

NKJ John 15:4Abide in Me, and I in you….

It is obvious we will be looking at the John 15, specifically verses 1-10. But we must begin by identifying the key characters of the passage. They are: the vinedresser, the vine and the branches.

NAU John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

Jesus identifies Himself in verse 1 as the vine and calls His Father (God) the vinedresser. This is clearly established in verse 1. In verse 2, the branches and their care are introduced but not identified – the identification comes in verse 3! The branches are identified with a personal pronoun – you – and refer in the immediate context to the disciples but will have an expanded identification to include those who follow Jesus.

As we close today, we must notice the work of the vinedresser – taking away or pruning! The literal meaning of the two words used are ‘lifting up’ and ‘cleansing’ respectably! Two of the issues we will examine in relationship to abiding this week are ‘lifting up’ and ‘cleansing’ in addition to looking at the Source,, the Result, the Proof and the Demonstration of Abiding.