The word “abide” simply means to remain, or stay put; Jesus used the word in the context of vineyard work. The vine that remains grows, and that vine begins to produce fruit.
Abiding gives us the idea that we are continuing to grow and mature, and just like the vine needs to produce fruit, so do we!
If we don’t produce fruit, then we are not growing and are taking up precious resources from those who are, and we risk being cut off by the Master Gardener!
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also 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.
“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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:1-8
The first step in learning to abide has to do with faith. When we read the command “abide in Me,” and it is a command, not a suggestion; we know that this is something we can do! God never commands that we do something that we cannot do.
We see this command, and by faith, we begin to abide . . . we stay put in Christ, and as we do, we feel the love and security that comes from staying in Christ. Answers to prayer begin to abound.
As you continue to abide in Christ, you become even more aware of God’s Word, the authority, and power, associated with it, and you begin to realize that with this great gift, comes tremendous responsibility as well.
You will begin to find that something more is required than simple faith; obedience is required. Hear the words of Isaiah . . .
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 1:18-20
We need to be willingly obedient in order to “abide in Him.”
To remain in Christ is to live a life of obedience to His Word; doing anything less will cause you to be a vine that produces no fruit; and according to Jesus, you will be, cut off!