How You Can Abide in Christ and Christ in You

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

If we abide in Him, He will abide in us, so how can we abide in God more often in our daily walk with Christ?

What is Abiding?

The word abiding means to continue in or constantly dwell in something or to endure, and in this case, we want God and His Word to abide or endure in us. God’s love is unconditional, His love is eternal, His love is effectual, and His love rescues us from the wrath of God that our sins had brought upon us, so how do we abide in Him and how can Christ abide in us? The first place is to abide or remain in His Word, the Bible.

Abide in His Word

You cannot get to know the God of the Word without knowing the Word of God, so to know God better you (and I) must be in the Word of God on a daily basis. Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4), and “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5b). Don’t expect to know God better if you don’t know God’s Word better. To know the Word better is to know the Word of God, Jesus Christ better. Shouldn’t our goal be to know Him more fully so that we might live like Him more clearly? We should be living epistles of the Bible to the unbelieving world.

Jesus’ Purpose Revealed

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Here is the reason the Son of God came to live a sinless life, be crucified and be killed, and then be raised on the third day. Jesus was crystal clear in saying that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). God loved the world so much that He sent and gave His One and only Son to die for those who would believe in Him (John 3:16-17).

Abide in Prayer

Just as we should abide in the Word of God every day so that we might know the purposes of God, we should abide in prayer every day so that we might talk with God every day. Jesus says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7), but if you’re not abiding in Christ, His words (the Gospels) might not be abiding in you. If that is true, you might not receive what you pray for. Abiding in Him means obeying Him (more on that later). We can’t really expect God to answer our prayers if we’re not abiding in His Word and abiding in Christ.

Believing Prayer

In 1 Corinthians 13:7, the Apostle Paul writes, “Love believes all things,” which means that love gives people the benefit of the doubt, but it also means we believe God. We believe “all things” that Scripture reveals about Jesus Christ. Of course, Scripture teachers that love believes the best in people and does not listen to or repeat gossip. Gossip is just the opposite of love – it believes the worst and repeats it to others. A Christian should give people the benefit of the doubt, because “love believes all things.”

Abide in Obedience

If we abide in God’s Word, and abide in prayer, let us not forget to abide in Christ. Jesus says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4). We can’t bear any godly fruit apart from Christ, but if we abide in obedience, our fruit will begin to flourish. The fruits of the Spirit can only be produced in the soil of obedience; otherwise, we’re stuck with wax fruit…and wax fruit melts in the heat of life’s trials and tribulations. On the other hand, real fruit is ripened in the harsh conditions of the world, not melted.

Every Christian should be bearing fruit of the Spirit…

Obedience Displayed

Many times we’re reminded to forgive one another in Scripture. In fact, it’s in our best interests to forgive. For one thing, I’ve heard that forgiving is one of the traits of a strong and lasting marriage. Ask yourself this: “If we are not forgiving others, do we really appreciate the fact that we’ve been forgiven infinitely more than we could ever forgive anyone else?” Our debt toward God is infinitely higher than anyone sins against us. We can’t even compare what we need to forgive others for or what they need to forgive us for, when compared to what God has forgiven us for (Rom 5:6-10). Remember, Jesus had to die for our sins, and we can’t die to save even ourselves from our own sins. The fact is, Jesus’ death on the cross covered their sins too, whether we accept that or not.

Abide in the Body

Finally, we are commanded to be abiding in the Body of Christ (Heb 10:2425). If we abide in the Body of Christ, the church can grow together and learn from one another. Imagine just one body part not being there when it’s needed? When we start to fall, it’s sure good to have the hand there to catch us so we don’t get hurt. In the same way, we all need one another because we’re stronger together than individually. God has placed each member where He was pleased to do so (1 Cor 12:8), so it was not our choice but His. Let us not look down on others in the church for God has a place for them too. The very ones who disappoint us the most are the very ones who need our forgiveness the most. But we should humbly remember that we too have disappointed and sinned against others as well as Jesus Christ. We’ve sinned by neglecting to help others and disappointing others who have helped us. I know I have. It’s just part of being human.

We Need One Another

True Friendship Bible Study

Your true friends will not be afraid to tell you the truth even at the risk of hurting your feelings.

As I touched on earlier, we can’t be too hard on people who have disappointed us because we’ve disappointed at least someone in our life. I can remember more than a few times that I have. However, I repented of it, confessed it to them, and asked for their forgiveness. We shouldn’t be too hard on those who disappoint us because we’ve probably done the very same thing to others. Thankfully, even though we disappoint Christ, He has never disappointed us; and He never will because He keeps every single promise He has ever made and we can find those great and precious promises by abiding in His Word (2 Pet 1:4). We can make promises, however, being human, things can come up and we may not be able to keep our promises. But God? Never! That’s why the ones who disappoint us the most are the ones who need us the most. Solomon wrote that “a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17), including the times when they disappoint us. We need good, Christian friends, and we know “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24), regardless of whether they disappoint us or not.


I recently befriended an atheist because I treated him with respect and dignity, and even though we disagreed on the existence of God, I was not about to hold that against him. He still keeps in touch, but I trust God alone to bring sinners to Jesus Christ and not my slick gospel presentations or my shooting down the theory of evolution. No one that I know of has ever been argued or debated into heaven. We could win a debate but lose a soul, so love may be the best of all things to draw sinners to Christ (John 13:34-35). We don’t give them what they deserve but what they need (love and the gospel). Perhaps he might use you as a means to save unbelievers. I just don’t know…but, wouldn’t that be awesome? Wouldn’t that glorify God?

Here is some related reading for you: Abiding in the Vine: What Did Jesus Mean? A Bible Study

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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