Step 2: The Abundant Life
The Abiding Life
Alex was distressed over his constant failure to live the Christian life victoriously. "I'm always failing," he said. "I know what is right, but I'm simply not able to keep the many commitments, resolutions, and rededications that I make to the Lord almost daily. What's wrong with me? Why do I constantly fail? How can I push that magic button that will change my life and make me the kind of person God wants me to be, and the kind of person I want to be?"
All of us experience this conflict when we walk in our own strength. But the victory is ours as we learn to abide in Christ.
Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) The reality of abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in us is made possible through a supernatural enabling of the Holy Spirit.
Abiding in Christ means to be one with Him by faith. It is to live in conscious dependence upon Him, recognizing that it is His life, His power, His wisdom, His strength, and His ability operating through us that enable us to live according to His will. We do this by surrendering the throne of our lives to Him, and by faith drawing upon His resources to live a supernatural, holy fruitful life.
The abiding life, we in Christ, He in us, enables us to live a victorious and fruitful life.
Millions of Christians throughout the world profess their love for Christ each week by attending church, singing songs, studying their Bibles, and attending prayer meetings. Yet, all the talk in the world will never convince anyone that you or I truly love the Lord unless we obey Him, and this includes bearing fruit for Him. The only way we can demonstrate that we are truly abiding in Him is to produce fruit, which involves introducing others to our Savior as well as living holy lives.
The abiding life also brings lasting joy. "I have told you this," Jesus said, "so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
To live this joyful, abundant life, we must learn to live in Christ, constantly yielding total control of our lives to Him.
Is the abiding presence of Jesus Christ a reality in your life? As an expression of your will, in prayer, surrender the throne of your life to Him, and by faith, invite Him to endow you with supernatural life and enable you to bear much fruit for His glory.
The Abiding Life
Abiding is the key to the Christian experience by which the divine attributes are transplanted into human soil, to the transforming of character and conduct. - Norman B. Harrison.
- In John 15:5, what did Jesus refer to Himself as? What is the relationship between Christ and you, as illustrated in this verse?
- Why does Jesus prune every branch that bears fruit? (John 15:2) Whar are some of the experiences you can identify as "pruning" in your life as a Christian? (See Hebrews 12:6 and Romans 5:3-5) Explain the results.
What did you learn through these situations?
Results of Abiding in Christ
Read John 15:7-11
- List two necessary qualifications for effective prayer according to verse 7.
- Jesus glorified God. How can you glorify God? (Verse 8)
- Christ commands us to continue in His love. How great do you believe this love to be? (Verse 9) How are we to abide in Christ's love? (Verse 10) How do you think the result promised in verse 11 will be revealed in your life today?
- What has Christ chosen us to do? (John 15:16)
- Will you be able to do what Christ expects of you? How do you know?
What is meant by "fruit?" (See Matthew 4:19 , Galatians 5:22-23 , Ephesians 5:9 , Philippians 1:11)
- Write briefly what you need to do to begin abiding in Christ more consistently.
- What do you think He will do as a result?
- How do you think that will affect your life?
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.