The Great Promise of Our Abiding in Christ ~ blog
Jesus made some pretty incredible promises to His disciples while here on earth. Here are a few of them …
- If you abide in Me and My words abide in you ask anything and it will be done for you.
- Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst … the water I give them will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
- I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.
The problem comes when we are not seeing these things in our lives and we begin to doubt that maybe this Christian life is not all it is promoted to be. Especially if we have any kind of addiction and are not finding freedom, we tend to doubt all the more. Our expectations are high coming into this relationship but as the years have passed, we can begin to doubt especially if we are struggling with the ever-plaguing issue of sexual sin.
I believe the disconnect lies in the reality that we want the results of our salvation to be more than they actually are. Now some things are automatic. We are automatically…
- Saved by grace through faith and become a child of God.
- Born Again by the Holy Spirit.
- Forgiven of all our sins – past, present, and future.
- Sealed with the Holy Spirit as our guarantee of our eternal inheritance in heaven.
I could go on and on with other things that are given to us the moment we receive Christ as our Savior. However, here are some things that are not automatically done for us.
- Our flesh or sin nature is not removed. It will be but for now, it still remains in us.
- We are not removed from our fallen world and must deal with what it offers us.
- We still have to do battle with the forces of demonic influence.
Once we have become saved and until the day we die we are always going to be in this battle against our 3 enemies – the world, our flesh, and the devil. In spite of that the promises of Jesus still remain. However, we are going to have to do the work of working out our sanctification if we are going to experience the fruits that He has promised.
These promises of Jesus are real and true … but we have to work at deepening and growing our relationship with Him for the results to begin to appear. For example, Jesus said in John 15:5;
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
There are two clear conditions for us to be bearing much fruit.
First – We must remain or abide in Him.
The illustration Jesus is using is of a branch that is connected to the vine. When that connection is strong and healthy everything that the branch needs to produce fruit is provided to it by the vine. I am not sure exactly what the vine is delivering to the branch. Probably water is part of it but whatever is coming from the vine into the branch, it is critical not only for the branch to live but to also produce its fruit.
Second – Jesus must remain in us.
Now on the surface, this one is a no-brainer. Jesus is going to remain in us because He has told us He will never leave us or forsake us. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit as our guarantee of eternal life.
However, Jesus is not talking in this passage about our eternal security. He is talking about His presence in us producing fruit. And here is where the problem lies. He is always with us and in us … but we do not give to Him the opportunity to be in control of us. He is in the car, but we are behind the steering wheel. He is onboard the ship, but we are still acting as the captain.
For us to really be abiding in Him and for Him to be abiding in us means we must offer to Him our body, our plans, and our life each and every day. Abiding means surrendering to Him and following Him one day at a time. It means offering our bodies to Him as we are commanded to do in Romans 12:1. It means asking for the Spirit to fill us and empower us to walk in the Spirit. It means putting on the full armor of God.
In verse 9 Jesus tells His disciples to remain or abide in His love and tells us how to do that. It is when we keep His commandments that we remain in His love. This is what He did while on earth. He obeyed all of His Father’s commands. So, He tells us to do that same and adds this promise;
“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
If we are looking for joy in this life and a joy that lasts it will never be found in looking at more porn. That is an empty wasteland offering only more shame and more guilt. However, there is true joy that comes with deepening and growing your connection with Jesus.