Listen to Nancy’s answer recorded live on Moody radio, here:
The path to salvation is available to all who seek after Jesus. When we believe, trust and rely on the truth that Jesus died and rose again to save us from the penalty of sin, we become children of God. At the moment of belief, the Holy Spirit comes into us to teach us how to live in the newness of our relationship with our Savior. Jesus becomes the way, the truth, and our life. The old life is gone, and the new life has come, which can only happen when we abide in Him.
“By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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. 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” (John 15:1-5).
To “abide” is to continue, or remain, in Christ. When a person is saved, they are described as being “in Christ,” which means being held permanently in a relationship with Jesus that will continue throughout eternity.
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).
Therefore, abiding in Christ is not some supernatural experience for only a few; instead, it is the position of all true believers. To claim to be a Christ-follower and not abide in Christ is impossible. Such a person is lost.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:5-9).
To abide in Christ is a key biblical concept. Understanding what it means to abide in Christ significantly changes how a Christian , experiences life. To live in the brokenness of this world, knowing that we are not alone because we are connected to the One who died for us and will never leave us, gives us great joy and peace. The metaphors in the scriptures help us to understand the love that the Father has for us.
Psalm1:1-4. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”
Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Living in the comforting presence of our Savior is the reality for every believer. The abiding in Christ relationship is not an extraordinary level attained after a certain amount of time walking with God. It is not the result of a special blessing or reward for good deeds. It is the living relationship that we have when we have totally trusted Christ with our everyday. It is what God intended for us to have with Him before the beginning of time.
However, when we stray from our dependence on God and do our own good things and try to bear good fruit in our own strength in hopes of appeasing God, growing the church, or saving other people, we will be ineffective. We are not given the option of doing life alone because every day, every moment matters to God. We are responsible for living out our lives with love and kindness that can only come through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Life does not and cannot work with man’s cleverness, but only through the power and grace of our Lord.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and game Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).