heartMost believe to abide in Christ is a feeling you walk around in. This would be generated through prayer and meditation. This is not quite what the Bible says. The answer is important.

I’ve heard pastors who we all respect, miss this scripture by a mile. Prayer, meditation, Bible reading, and worship are all essential elements to live as a Christian. We are called to do all of these things and they are elements of our spiritual defense. But Jesus states in John 15, where we get the concept of abiding, to abide means to live a sacrificial life of love.

The reasoning goes along this line. He states that we must abide (in some translations the word is remain)  in Him. Then He clarifies and says to abide in Him means to remain and remain in His love. At this point I could be confused. I hope you are too because He is still speaking in the abstract and it could mean anything you want it to at this point.

Then He says to remain in His love we must obey Him. Okay, we are getting closer to a clear picture. He goes on to say we must obey His command to love. Now you may think He has clarified it as far as He needs. We think “Well now it is clear.” but you would still be wrong.

He goes one step further, He says to lay our life down for others. Clear huh? Well do not think he is  simply talking about your heart, that you would be willing to die for someone. He is talking about everyday living. Lay your life down; aspirations and security. This is how is to abide in Christ.

Here is what it looks like condensed. To abide is to remain in his love, to remain is to obey His commands, his command is to love, and the type or quality of his love is to love sacrificially as a life style. Read John 15 through again to solidify this.


  1. Cliff, I too have heard several sermons on this subject but the pastors never seem to bring it home. I still think a definition of "sacrificial love" is needed. What does lay down your life for a friend mean? I thought it was taking a bullet for a friend, which probably would never happen. Now I realize it is much more invasive than that!

  2. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

    You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

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