Faithlife Sermons

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.


Jesus Christ tells his disciples to abide in him

John 15:4–9 ESV
4 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. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
See also Mt 24:10–13; Lk 9:62; Jn 6:67

NT writers exhort believers to abide in Christ

Colossians 2:6 ESV
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
See also Ga 4:9; Ga 5:5–6; Col 3:1–3; Heb 12:1–3

Abiding in Christ depends upon holding on to his teaching

1 John 2:24 ESV
24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
See also Jn 8:31; 2 Th 2:15; 2 Ti 3:14; 2 Jn 9; 3 Jn 3–4

It depends on obedience to him

John 15:10 ESV
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
See also Mt 7:24–25; Jn 14:23; Jas 1:25; 1 Jn 3:24

It requires living like Jesus Christ

1 John 2:6 ESV
6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Aids to abiding in Christ

Eating his flesh and drinking his blood

Jn 6:56 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 ESV
27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
See also Jn 14:17; Jn 14:23; Ro 8:9; 1 Jn 3:24

Jesus Christ abides in believers

Jn 15:4 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.
See also Jn 17:23; Col 1:27; 1 Jn 3:24; Re 3:20

By his Spirit

Jn 14:17; Ro 8:9–10; 1 Co 3:16; 1 Jn 2:27

By faith

Eph 3:17–19; Ga 2:20

Results of abiding in Christ


Jn 15:4–5 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.
See also Ga 5:22–23

Answered prayer

Jn 15:7; Jn 15:16

Freedom from persistent sin

1 Jn 3:6–9 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

See also Jn 14:23; 2 Jn 9

Confidence in the face of the last day

1 John 2:28 ESV
28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

Warnings to those who fail to abide in Christ

Mt 24:12–13; Jn 15:2; Jn 15:6; 1 Co 15:2; Heb 6:4–6
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