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"Abide In Me."

In a former article we gave some thoughts on the Lord's words, "Abide in Me," and now we draw attention to what abiding in Him really means, what it involves.

(1)To abide in Him His word must be abiding in US. This may be seen from 1 John 2.24, which says,

"As for you, let that abide in you which ye heard from the beginning. if that which ye heard from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son, and in the Father."

What they heard from the beginning was the truth concerning the Son of God, the One who was in the beginning with God, and who was God. If this abode in them it would save them from the false teaching which robs the Lord Jesus of His Deity, and of His eternal Sonship as the Son of God. John expresses it thus in his first epistle chapter 4. verse 15

"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God."

Let each one of us be careful that what was heard from the beginning abides in us, so that we may abide in Him!

(2)Abiding in Him implies that we keep His commandments.

There are a number of scriptures which prove this, as for example:

"He that keepeth His commandments abideth in Him" (1 John 3.24); and,

"Whoso keepeth His word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected. Hereby know we that we are in Him" (1 John 2.5).

As we learn to keep His word, His commandments, we learn to love God, and to love one another. The Lord Jesus, who kept God's law, who magnified it and made it honourable, loved God with all His heart, and He loved His neighbour also; and so He says to us, "This is My commandment that ye love one another, even as I have loved you" (John 15.12). This is how we will know that we are abiding in Him. If we lay hold of this it will help us to understand what God said through His servant Samuel to king Saul: "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15.22); "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5.8).

(3)Abiding in Him means that our walk should be like the walk of the Lord Jesus. This is plainly stated in 1 John 2.6:

"He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked."

We have already noted that the Lord Jesus in His walk down here on earth kept His Father's commandments. The Lord was pleased to refer to this as we find in John 15. 10, "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." You see, He did always the things that pleased His Father. This should be our aim in this life also. It was Paul's aim. He says, "Wherefore also we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to be well-pleasing unto Him" (2 Corinthians 5.9). Thus we can conceive of Paul striving to walk just like his Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. He was wonderfully successful too, and suffered much in order to walk like Christ. Read what he says about this in 1 Corinthians 11.28-83. He also says, "Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11.1). If we walk like Christ we shall abide in Him, but to do so we shall require to let God open our ear to hear morning by morning as a disciple, as He did for His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. (See Isaiah 50.4).

(4)Abiding in Him means that we sin not. Of course the Holy Spirit knows well how prone we are to sin, and God has made provision, not that we should sin, but "if any man sin." "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous" (1 John 2. 1). "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1.9). It is the blood of Jesus His Son that cleanses us from all sin. The Psalmist's words are a guide to us,

"Thy word have I laid up in mine heart

That I might not sin against Thee" (Psalm ii9. 11).

John writes,

"Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not:

Whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither knoweth Him" (1 John 3.6).

To go on in sin, which is implied in the above phrase "whosoever sinneth," will mean severance from Christ as the True Vine, we will be like a branch broken off a vine, and thus there can be no fruit.

Unconfessed sin is unforgiven sin; and sin will become a cloud between the child of God and his God, which will mean that we must walk in darkness, instead of in the "light of life." Let us remember that "whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not."