His Grace, Our Responsibility
June 1, 2022
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 (John 15:4).
Just as it is one thing to be ‘in Christ’, and another to ‘abide in Christ’, so there is a real difference between His being ‘in you’, and His ‘abiding in you’. The one is a matter of His grace (His being ‘in you’), the other of our responsibility (His ‘abiding in you’). The one is perpetual, the other is conditional. By our living in Christ is meant the joyful conscious fellowship of our union with Him, and in the understanding of what He is to us. So by His living in us is meant the joyful conscious recognition of His presence, the assurance of His goodness, grace, mercy, and power. He is the refuge and resource of our soul and life in all things.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. Here the Lord enforces the necessity of maintaining fellowship with Him on a continual, daily, moment-by-moment basis. He is not only the source of life for the branches, He is also the source of all fruit of the branches. He also exercises His power when there is personal application of what He is for us, to us, and in us. If we receive this, He will lead us to a right judgment of ourselves and our ministry. In the eyes of our fellow Christians, and in our own eyes, we may establish an acceptable reputation and report of a fruitful follower of Jesus.
But whatever our own judgment, or the judgment of others, unless our fruitfulness is derived from the intimate union and fellowship with Jesus Christ, that fruitfulness from whatever ministry we engage in will never be known as His. (Matthew 7:21-23) Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! Amen.