““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”/John 15:5-8
My lesson in class today was on “Abiding in Christ.” This is some really cool stuff and I’m jacked to share it with ya. As much as this lesson helped me out, I pray it can be of some service to you too.
Abiding in Christ sounds pretty simple right? That’s the coolest part, it is simple and in verse 7, He says how available He is to help and teach us how to abide, He literally wants us to abide in Him and live this life as He lived, live it to the fullest, all we have to do is ask.
The lesson was so huge for me because although it’s simple and Christ gives us all the means to do it, there is a lot of the time in my life that I don’t abide in Christ. Why wouldn’t we? Well, I don’t know if you’re like me but I like to drive the car, I like to know where I’m going, when I’ll be there and go at the speed I want. Driving gives us a sense of control on our lives but how often do we ever get to where we need to go when we get behind the wheel? Not often.
Why does it seem so hard to abide in Christ? What complicates the mess out of this truth and command from the Lord is when we try to be the vine and try to drive the car. That’s one of the hardest parts of the Christian life, taking our hands off the wheel and humbling ourselves under the authority of Christ in our lives. Just like Carrie Underwood said it, “Jesus take the wheel.” (Been singing it all day cause of this)
The more I live this life with Christ, the easier it is to see that the times life seems so complicated, I’m stressed out, upset, fearful of worried, and try so hard to produce fruit for Him with no results, those times I’m always left seeing the main problem is myself. I try to be the vine and be in control but Jesus says, step back young buck, you keep running in circles trying to produce fruit that you’re not capable of doing. Knowing our place in this relationship we have with the Son of God makes all the difference in whether our life is full of the most beautiful fruit or just bare and empty, having no fruit. He is the vine, I’m just the branches.
How we believe and see our position in Christ says a lot about the fruit in our life. The simpleness of all this is that Christ is the vine, He is the driver, He’s got our destination secure in eternity, Christ is telling us to abide in Him, embrace your role in the backseat and He will do the driving. It’s really hard to take our hands off the wheel of our lives and give up control but we have to ask ourself, do I want to drive in circles all day, running low on gas? Or we let Christ drive, embrace Him being the vine cause we are just incapable branches anyways, ride out this life in the freedom, victory, peace and joy He provides. Just think of how nice that is? We have no worries, we’re just chilling in the back seat listening to some good tunes knowing wherever Christ takes us, however long it takes to get there, that’s alright because we can trust that He knows what’s best for our lives, trust that He is in full control, He is providing everything we need to walk out this life abiding in Him.
And the fruit!!! Wait til you see that fruit!!! With our position in Christ as the branches abiding in Him as the vine, the Lord is all about producing that good fruit. Apart from Christ we have zero fruit but abiding in Him, oh man!! He’s talking about some prize winning fruit like those huge pumpkins and different fruits you see at the fair. Christ has the fruit under control. And by fruit, it’s not just enjoying the fruit He puts in your life but that fruit spreads into others lives!
Living in His peace, joy, and freedom that only He provides is great but what’s even greater is that out of this world fruit spread into others lives so we’re all getting to taste what Christ produces! It’s a struggle to admit I’m just a branch and I can’t ever be pleasing to God, I can’t do anything. Unless, we abide in Christ, then we are one with the only One who is righteous before God so in that abiding and riding while Christ is driving, the evidence of whether we are abiding in Christ or not is seen all over our lives. He’s the only way to live a life that honors God, a life that exemplifies the light of Christ in every step we take.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to earth to show us how to live and give us life, when we abide in Him, He gives us everything we need to live more like Him. It may seem like a habit at this point in your life to be in control, to drive the car and live as if you were the branch. But you got to admit that Jesus taking the wheel (thanks Carrie), the Son of God being in full control of your life, living in the constant awareness of His presence in your life, drawing the strength and authority we need to live victoriously day by day. Yeah, that sounds way better than me behind the wheel. Abiding in Christ is simple and embracing your position in Christ where He is the vine and you’re just a branch, simplifies everything about this life and relationship we make so difficult. I’m right there with ya in this journey to abide more and drive less, let’s take it one moment and one day at a time, stepping back from the wheel and just riding with Christ.
I don’t know if this will help but it helped me a ton to see some examples of a what happens when a person abides in Christ. This seminary education is coming in handy! Here’s some notes to add:
Abiding in Christ;
-walking in constant/open confession with God confessing our incapableness and our need for Christ at the lead
-means we continuously seek Word of Christ and know the truth
-means a person is constantly experiencing and dwelling in presence and witness of the Spirit
-letting God’s Word abide in their lives
-means person has power to live as they should
-means person dwells in love, unity, and fellowship with all other believers
-means person bears fruit and has very fruitful lives/ we can do nothing in the flesh and please God
-means a person lives for others, live to love and provide for others
-means a person doesn’t walk in continual, habitual sin
-means a person possesses confidence and unashamedness in life that prepares them for eternity
-means a person actively surrenders them self to obey God’s commandments
-means a person loves his brother
-means a person does will of God
-means a person experiences continual presence and anointing of Holy Spirit