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Abiding in Christ

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The NT stresses the need for believers to remain in Christ. The reality of this close personal relationship with Jesus Christ is expressed in obedience to his word and is essential to effective discipleship.

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Jesus Christ tells his disciples to abide in him

John 15:4–9 NIV
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
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NT writers exhort believers to abide in Christ

Colossians 2:6 NIV
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,
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Abiding in Christ depends upon holding on to his teaching

1 John 2:24 NIV
As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.
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It depends on obedience to him

John 15:10 NIV
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
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It requires living like Jesus Christ

1 John 2:6 NIV
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Aids to abiding in Christ

Eating his flesh and drinking his blood

Jn 6:35-40 gives the primary explanation of this verse as being a metaphor of the believer coming in faith to Jesus Christ, “the bread of life”. But the verse also reflects the language of the Lord’s Supper.

The Spirit’s anointing

1 John 2:27 NIV
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
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Jesus Christ abides in believers

It is clear that the believer’s “abiding in Christ” and Jesus Christ’s “abiding in him” are closely connected, although the verse does not make their exact relationship clear. Because of Jesus Christ’s indwelling by his Spirit, believers are able to continue to live as his disciples; as they do so, the reality of his indwelling presence is deepened.
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By his Spirit

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By faith

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Results of abiding in Christ

Fruitfulness

The picture of “bearing fruit” may cover many aspects of Christian life but it includes that of developing Christian character, effective Christian service and mission. These result, not from human effort, but from abiding in Christ.
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Answered prayer

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Freedom from persistent sin

John is not saying that Christians are absolutely sinless. He says elsewhere that to claim sinless perfection is to deceive oneself (1Jn 1:8). But when people are born again there is the real possibility of living lives in which sin is not the norm. As believers abide in Christ more deeply, the grip of sin upon their lives is lessened.

Relationship with God the Father

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Confidence in the face of the last day

1 John 2:28 NIV
And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

Warnings to those who fail to abide in Christ

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