based on John 15, by Ron Roy

Photo by Dan-Cristian Pădureț 

Abiding in Christ is foundational in maintaining your priorities and being transformed into his image. (Rom.8:29).  The fifteenth chapter of John was perhaps the main chapter of the Bible that guided me back to a healthy connection with Christ.  The principles below worked together to give me a concrete example of staying connected to the True Vine.  It went along well with Jesus’ teaching of being Yoked to Him also, found in Matthew chapter eleven.  The spiritual checklist below keeps me honest in my quest for living with the Rhythm that Christ has for me each day. Learning to abide in Christ can be compared to oil in a car. Life may work for a while, but without the oil of abiding, a breakdown cannot be too far in the future. 

THE PURPOSE OF ABIDING IN CHRIST:

A – Available, faithful and teachable, to remain connected to the VINE (John 15:1-6, 15-16 – The Reverence of Abiding)

B –  “Bear Fruit,” “Much,” “More,” “Fruit that last” ( John 15:2, 5, 6, 8,16 – The Results of Abiding)

I – Intimacy through Intercession with  Christ (John 15:7, 16 – The Road of Abiding)

D – Disciple others to Abide in Christ  (John 15:8 – The Reproduction of Abiding)

E – Exalt and Glorify God above all else  ( John 15:8 – The Reason for Abiding)

THE PROBLEM OF NOT ABIDING IN CHRIST:

I – Failure to identify with Christ completely leads to instability, indifference and the  inability to abide well with Christ. ( John 15:2-6 – The Repentance Needed for Abiding)

N- Nothing can be accomplished apart from Abiding in Christ. ( John 15:4-5 – The Reality and warning for those who seek to live the Christian Life without Abiding in Christ)

THE PRINCIPLES FOR ABIDING IN CHRIST:

C –Command of Christ to love others as he has loved us. ( John 15:9-10,12-13,17 – The Requirement of Abiding)

H – Holy Spirit will be Counselor, Truth,  power and authority for those who abide. (John 15:26-27 – The  Ripple Effect of Abiding)

R – Radical Obedience to Christ’s commands. (John 15:10, 14 – The Rhythm of Abiding)

I – Intentional joy from Christ through you to others. ( John 15:13 – The Resilience of Abiding. See also: John 10:10; 14:27;   16:24; 17:13)

S – Suffering is part of the price for Abiding .(John 15:18-25 The Repercussions of Abiding)

T – Truth, God’s Word is the True North of Abiding.   (John 15:3,7,20, The Reliable Source for Abiding)

Let me encourage you to walk through this chapter again and again while asking yourself:

  • Am I aware of the importance of daily abiding in Christ?
  • Am I needing an Abiding Tune Up?
  • In what areas am I abiding?
  • In what areas am I failing to abide?  Why or Why not?
  • How is my fruit bearing been doing, in the last week to ten days?
  • In what areas am I failing to obey Christ completely?
  • Is there someone I need to share this outline with and ask them to hold me accountable to abiding in Christ?
  • How am I allowing the Holy Spirit to assist me to abide in Christ?
  • Am I convinced that a part from Christ I can do nothing?  What difference is this making in my life-style?
  • Are there any new journal entries I need to make since the last time I went through John 15?

The spiritual principles found in this chapter served me well during personal retreats and became a “go to chapter” for regaining momentum in my Christian walk.  Abiding in Christ is necessary to defeat the pull toward burnout.  Abiding in Christ allows us to naturally bear fruit that multiplies and last. Abiding in Christ gives us resources when: anxiety, worry, stress and even suffering enter our lives.  Abiding in Christ keeps us fresh and renewed spiritually.  Abiding in Christ teaches us to rely on His strength, and authority, while depending less on our own power.  Knowing that we are connected and abiding in the True Vine, we can rest knowing that Christ releases His Spirit in us to encounter whatever circumstance, temptation, trials or conflict.  Let ABIDING IN CHRIST, keep your life flowing with healthy rhythms.