“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28) In John 15 Christ told His disciples to abide in Him so they could bear much fruit. The First Epistle of John instructs Christians to abide in Christ and adds the reminder that Christ is coming back. We must abide in Him so we can be fruitful because we do not want to be ashamed when He returns.
Abiding in Christ is illustrated with a vine. The Christian is to abide in Jesus like a branch abides in a vine. This is the natural order of things. A branch that does not abide in the vine is a dead stick to be discarded. The most natural and most healthy thing for a branch is to abide in the vine. This normal branch behavior is best for the well being of the branch. Abiding in Christ is the natural thing for a Christian and is best for his well being. Disobedience, rebellion, carnality and apathy towards Jesus are the difficult path that leads to barrenness. Abiding is the path to fruitfulness.
The Christian who abides in Christ becomes like the tree of life bearing all manner of fruits in its season. As we abide in Christ fruit will naturally be produced in our lives. This is a wonderful truth! We do not have to wonder if we will be fruitful. We do not have to fret and fear that fruit will not be produced. Abide in Christ and fruit will be produced. Some will bear fruit 30 fold, some 60 fold and other 100 fold. All abiding Christians will bear fruit.
The end result of this natural fruitfulness is that when Christ comes back we will not be ashamed. When Christ raptures His church there will be two groups of believers. One group will greet their Lord openly and boldly because they have abided in Him and produced fruit for His glory. The other group will hang back with bowed heads ashamed they had not followed the most basic principles of the Christian life. When Christ returns to examine His servants will you be ready?
How does the Christian abide in Christ? You abide in Christ by spending time in His Word, studying Scripture to know and do it. Abiding in Christ requires private time with Him in prayer. Abiding in Christ yields to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Abiding in Christ focuses on Him and refuses to be distracted by the things of the world. Abiding in Christ depends completely on Him each day to supply all your needs. Abiding in Christ looks a lot like a branch abiding in a vine. The abiding Christian clings to Him for all strength, nourishment, life, direction, support, protection and fruit. The abiding Christian does nothing in his own ability or for himself. The abiding Christian does everything in Christ’s strength and for His pleasure.