Editor's Notes Index
Previous Editor's Notes
"Abiding in Christ"
"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 15:5
We lack much because we abide little. The key to the spiritual realm is the abiding. All of the power, wisdom and knowledge of Christ was summed up in this, "...I am in the Father, and the Father in me ... he doeth the works." (John 14:10) John Gill writes, "This surely is, as it must needs be, and ought to be, an article of your faith, ‘that I am in the Father’". It can be no less with us, "...for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)
John Gill writes, "...nothing that is spiritually good; no, not anything at all, be it little or great, easy or difficult to be performed; cannot think a good thought, speak a good word, or do a good action; can neither begin one, nor, when it is begun, perfect it. Nothing is to be done "without Christ"; without his Spirit, grace, strength, and presence; or as "separate from" him. Were it possible for the branches that are truly in him, to be removed from him, they could bring forth no fruits of good works, any more than a branch separated from the vine can bring forth grapes; so that all the fruitfulness of a believer is to be ascribed to Christ, and his grace, and not to the free will and power of man."
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21) Only through abiding can we know the mind and will of God. We not only receive strength and sustenance through abiding, but daily direction. "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:6)
Again John Gill writes, "This, as it may regard private Christians, intends not merely outward obedience to the will of God, declared in his law, nor barely subjection to the ordinances of the Gospel; but more especially faith in Christ for life and salvation; which is the source of all true evangelical obedience, and without which nothing is acceptable to God. He that seeth the Son, looks unto him, ventures on him, commits himself to him, trusts in him, relies on him, and believes on him for righteousness, salvation, and eternal life, he it is that does the will of the Father, and he only; and such an one, as he is desirous of doing the will of God in all acts of cheerful obedience to it, without dependence thereon; so he shall certainly enter the kingdom of heaven, and have everlasting life."
The will of the Father is much more than scriptural knowledge, or even a mere obedience to it. Jesus said, "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). They are LIFE! Luke writes, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being..." (Acts 17:28) The will of God is to be led by the Spirit and the only way you can be led by the Spirit is to ABIDE in Christ.
Most Christians are ineffective because they are not led by the Spirit, rather do what is religious in their own eyes. This is carnal and amounts to nothing more than wood, stubble and hay. Few are willing to pay the price and Abide in Christ and wait on the Spirit's leading. But it must be so, even as our Master, "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness..." (Luke 4:1) "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)
God does not shape our character with a cookie cutter, we are each unique with God, He has a definitive purpose for each life if we would but yield to Him. Beloved, your Christian life could be much more exciting and rewarding if you would learn to Abide in Christ, and wait on the leading of His spirit. There is literally no telling who God will set you before to proclaim the Good News. "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matthew 10:20) With God, ALL things are possible for those who Abide in Christ!