Living in Jesus
May 31, 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).
To abide (meno) is to continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry. It is more than ‘to be’ in Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ ‘to be’ in you. The idea is that of a dynamic presence - a continual living in Jesus Christ and He in you. It is a symbiotic relationship involving the interaction between two different persons living in close physical association that is mutually beneficial. It is like the fish living in water as the water lives in the fish. You take one out of the other and both are dynamically affected.
To live in Christ describes the union created by the power of God that can neither be dissolved nor suspended. Christians are not encouraged ‘to be’ in Christ. They are in Christ because God has made them alive in Christ. (Ephesians 2:1,4-6,10) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins . . . But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus . . . For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
That Christians are encouraged to ‘abide’ (live) in Christ is necessary because this relationship can be, and is often interrupted by sin. This is described in The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-24). The younger son was born into his father’s family where they lived together harmoniously. One day he demanded his inheritance from his father, who reluctantly granted his son’s demand. The son took his inheritance, left his father’s house, and traveled to a distant country where he wasted his inheritance on wine, women, and song. When his resources were gone, he found himself living in a pig-pen, eating the food of the hogs. He came to his senses and decided to return home to his father, which he did, and was received back into the household.
In the parable, the rebellious son was ‘in’ the father’s family by virtue of his birth. However, he left his father’s house - he no longer lived with his father. All the while he was away from his father, he was still his father’s son though he was no longer in fellowship with his father. When he returned he was welcomed back into his father’s fellowship.
Those who have believed in and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have been ‘born again’, they have become children of God, they are ‘in’ Christ. When the temptations of the flesh come and draw the Christian away into sin, the relationship with the Father remains intact, though fellowship with the Father is broken. When the Christian repents of his sin and returns to the Father, fellowship with the Father is restored. This is what Jesus encouraged in the disciples when He said, Abide in Me, and I in you. We are encouraged to remain living in Jesus by being strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11). We are to daily live in Jesus and to let Him live in and through us. Amen.