Abiding in Christ means that you begin each day in communion with your Savior and then walk with Him step by step through the day. It’s a constant conversation and an ongoing trust.
Jesus led the way up the dusty path to Gethsemane. Leaving the ancient wall of Jerusalem in the dusk behind them, the Master and His disciples passed through a vineyard. Rows of vines, soon to be laden with clusters of grapes, lined their pathway. Jesus turned to His followers and said,
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing”(John 15:1-5).
Throughout the ages since, believers have sought to understand and live Jesus’ teaching about abiding in Christ. These words and Jesus’ simple illustration of the vine and the branches hold the key to fruitful Christian living that glorifies God (John 15:8). What does it practically mean to abide in Christ?
The word abide is a simple term. It means to remain, stay, or dwell. To abide is to continue in the same place for some stretch of time. The meaning is uncomplicated, but how does a believer abide in a Person?
Jesus used the word abide in the context of an illustration of a vineyard bursting with grapes. The vine represents Jesus. The branches are believers. The goal is fruit that remains.
Only when the branches remain attached to the vine, depending on the vine for the nutrient-rich sap, can the branches bear fruit. On their own, the branches can produce nothing and are useless. In the same way, only when believers remain attached to Jesus Christ, depending on Him for strength, can they bear spiritual fruit. Abiding is remaining in that close, dependent relationship with Jesus Christ.