Abide In ...
In Palestine there were basically two types of dwellings: One was temporary and easily movable while the other was made of some type of mud brick and was permanent. The permanent, immovable dwelling was an “abode.” There a person expected to remain for the rest of their lives.
To abide came to mean to “stay in a given place, state, or relation; to continue, dwell, endure, remain steadfast.” When John tells us that we are to “abide in” certain things, we ought to take special note. These are things in which we are to place ourselves with a determination to never leave. Let’s consider a few of the things in which John tells us we are to abide.
Abide in Christ (John 15:4-5)
Jesus Christ is to be our permanent dwelling place. We cannot abide in Him permanently if we are outside of Him. Thus, if we want to have Him as our dwelling place, we must be baptized into Him (Gal. 3:27). That is the beginning.
If we abide in Jesus Christ, then we never leave or forsake Him. We must live consistent with His expectations and demands. To remain steadfast in Christ we must think like Him, talk like Him, and act like Him. Our minds must be shaped and molded to be like His – thus thinking of others before ourselves (Phil. 2:2-5).
Being in Christ has rich rewards. Only by remaining in Him can we be fruitful servants. If we bear fruit we can be pruned to produce more (Jn. 15:2), and can be gathered in when the harvest comes (Matt. 25:23). While abiding in Christ we can enjoy all the rich spiritual blessings which God has reserved for those who abide in His Son (Eph. 1:3).
Abide in Love (John 15:10)
There is no greater privilege afforded man than to dwell in the love of the Father and the Son. Those who remain steadfast in that love are protected, guided, delivered, and secured therein (Rom. 8:35-39). These are the ones who will reap the benefits of the unbound love of Jesus.
To remain in this love, we must keep the commandments of the Lord (Jn. 14:15, 21). It is hypocritical to say that we love someone and then act contrary to their wishes and interests. When we violate these commandments, we rebel against our Lord. Rebellion is not an act of love. To make the love of Jesus our permanent dwelling place we must be faithful to His commandments. Remaining steadfast in the love of Jesus will result in our being approved by God and having joy in our lives (John 15:11).
Abide in the Light (1 John 2:10)
We should all strive to make “light” our permanent place of dwelling. If we continue in the light we have no cause for fear. We can see clearly and walk correctly as we are guided by the light of God’s word. In the light we have the approval of God and need not fear His wrath.
John connects our loving our brethren and abiding in the light. Thus we are to continue as a permanent practice the active loving of others. This demands that we look out for them and actively respond to their needs (Phil. 2:2-4, James 2:15-16, Matt. 25:37-40). If we always put the interests of others first, we will never cause another to stumble (Matt. 18:6).
Abide in the Teaching (2 John 9)
If the doctrine of Christ is to make its permanent dwelling in me, I must allow it to come in. Diligent study is the only way that it will get there. Having the Father and the Son are precious promises. Let us not lose them by neglect.
Where are you abiding?