Some professed Christians hold varying beliefs regarding the term, abiding in Christ. I have been told that it means abiding in his love, abiding in his body, and others believe it is through and by taking communion. I know. Everyone within the body of Christ are truly convinced that their interpretation is correct, despite not having any scriptural verification. I personally believe in letting scripture "Speak for itself". No, we do not have the right to put our own interpretations to scripture...this is a deception.
There was a gentleman who took the time to carefully explain to me what he believed was the true meaning of this term. Let's examine his perception and then compare it to what is written in scripture.
"Bearing fruit and Abiding in Christ.... KJV Psalms 1 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
We are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart from Him we have no life. We have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in Him, we may flourish. Drawing our life from Him, we will not wither nor be fruitless. We will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.
Abiding in Christ. KJV John 15 Jesus Is the Vine I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 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. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 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. 5 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. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. We don't keep the commandments of God to be saved, we keep the commandments of God because we are saved and abiding in Christ.
KJV 2 Corinthians 13 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? The good tree will produce good fruit. If the fruit is unpalatable and worthless, the tree is evil.
So the fruit borne in the life testifies as to the condition of the heart and the excellence of the character. Good works can never purchase salvation, but they are an evidence of the faith that acts by love and purifies the soul. And though the eternal reward is not bestowed because of our merit, yet it will be in proportion to the work that has been done through the grace of Christ..
KJV Psalms 139 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. God bless you all Glory to our eternal King Jesus Christ".
"Thank you for sharing this and taking the time to explain your thoughts concerning this matter. You stated, "Good works can never purchase salvation" implying that it is faith alone that saves someone.
The book of James disagrees and warns against this way of thinking. He stated that it is not just faith that saves you but your works as well.
"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works" can faith save him?" (James 2:14, KJV) This is clearly stating that it is not just your belief. He goes on to say, after reading his writings that "Now you should understand how your actions justify you and not just contingent on belief alone (James 2:24, KJV).
To justify is to declare if someone is guilty or innocent based on their actions. This coincides with the context of scripture given that there were those who believed in Jesus and yet were rejected from entering the kingdom of Heaven...And the reason? Jesus said they were workers of iniquity. They broke the commandments, transgressing the "Mosaic Law" (Matthew). This clearly shows that your eternal reward is determined based on your "merit", specifically in relation to keeping the Law.
You speak from a position of weakness ....as though you are incapable of making the right choice. If you are able to make the choice to sin...you are equally able to make the choice not to. This is a mental deception to believe that you cannot be righteous apart from Jesus. There were a number of individuals who feared the CREATOR/GOD of Israel...and through reverence and respect for HIM kept HIS laws. While there are those in the 1st Testament, I will give you an example from the 2nd Testament. One example, In the 1st Chapter of the book of Luke, it clearly states before Jesus was conceived, John the Baptists' parents were Righteous, Blameless in keeping the Law....this was without the help or sacrifice of Jesus.
They bore the "fruit" of righteousness without him. Scripture clearly acknowledges that through their works they were justified before the CREATOR. Their belief was not in the "son of God" nor "the death of Christ", it was strictly identifying their actions; their ability to make righteous decisions/choices in reverence and respect for the CREATOR by keeping HIS Laws.
In relation to the "fruit" ...scripture states that the fruit is righteousness.....a sinless life. This is the evidence of one who abides in Christ. "Whosoever abideth in him, do not sin" (1 John 3:6, KJV).
If you are professing to be a Christian and you are still in the bondage of sin....you've never even seen or known him...your experience ....according to scripture.. was an entire delusion (1 John 3:6, KJV).
So you see...you bear the responsibility to make the choice to do what is right. His spirit is not in someone who makes the choice to sin...it is only given to those who obey him (Acts 5:32, KJV)..they "follow" him....do you understand? Do you see what is being conveyed?
You are not following his teachings ....while simultaneously committing sin. This is a deception and a grave misunderstanding of what is actually written.
"...By the fear of the ALMIGHTY ONE men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6, KJV)
It doesn't say by belief in Jesus' death and resurrection, nor taking communion, etc. When you respect your MAKER ..you acknowledge and comply to the rules HE established.