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Eternity 25 - Abiding In Christ

(1 John 2:4-6 NASB) The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; {5} but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: {6} the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Abiding in Christ is a living faith union with God that results in a practical lifestyle of love. Its not one or the other - its both/and. Its both faith and works, Spirit and commandment, indwelling Christ and outworked love.

Not abiding in Christ is the opposite - its not keeping the commandments, its making up your own version of Christianity or spirituality and keeping or not keeping that instead.

If you are abiding in Christ you are spiritually at rest with Jesus' rules, they make sense to you, you like them and you keep them. You abide in them and they form the groundwork for your life. As a disciple you discipline yourself in the Jesus way of living.

Abiding in Christ involves four things:

  1. Believing in Him (John 3:36)
  2. Abiding in His word and His teaching (John 8:31,32)
  3. A sharing of natures with Christ as He abides in us and makes His home in us (1John 4:12,13, John 15:1-8)
  4. And a practical outworking that lives within God's boundaries for our life and abides in His commandments (1John 2:1-10).

    Whoever claims to be abiding in Christ should "walk in the same manner that He walked". This means our lifestyle and Jesus' lifestyle should share many common characteristics - albeit changed by time and culture. For instance we should be moved by compassion, we should be kind and merciful, we should associate easily with the lowly and broken.

    The Jesus way of doing things should be our way of doing things. If our lifestyle is too different from the Jesus lifestyle, if we are not keeping the commandments of God, then the apostle John has a strong word for us - we are liars and the truth is not in us.

    Extremely inconsistent Christianity is not Christianity. The modern teaching that grace makes obedience unnecessary is incorrect. Grace gently frees us to obey.

    God is love and if we abide in God His love will work in our hearts - and we will become loving and do loving things. Its that simple. The commandments are simply rules about how to treat other people in loving and lawful ways. They are what Jesus in us wants to do.

    The commandments are the lifestyle of someone who lives in the love of God. In fact it is written of the person who truly obeys the commandments of Jesus that "in him the love of God has truly been perfected." (1 John 2:5)

    Abiding in Christ means we take the words of Jesus with utmost seriousness and try to live out the gospels and in particular the Sermon On The Mount.

    This is not legalism but rather fulfillment of the right and strong spiritual desire to live in godly ways.

    This desire is produced in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18). The Spirit of Jesus and the words of Jesus complement each other. The Spirit of Christ will of course lead us to obey the commands of Jesus. Thus the truly spiritual Christian is not someone who does no works, but rather someone who works from faith and love out of a living connection to Jesus Christ.

    So abiding in Jesus means "walking the talk" in the power of the Holy Spirit and from a deep faith connection to God through Christ. The Jesus lifestyle, the Holy Spirit way of being and the life of faith are connected and find their true expression as we live out the commandments of Jesus at home and at work.


    John Edmiston


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