Throughout this article I will substitute the word “live” for the word “abide”.
Notice what Jesus says to his disciples as he is instruction them shortly before his crucifixion.
John 15: 4-7: Live in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it live in the vine; no more can you, except you live in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that lives in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If a man lives not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you live in me, and my words live in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.
The apostle John who heard these words passed them on to believers in his epistle. There we read:
“He that says he lives in him aught himself also so to walk, even as he walked”
“And now, children, live in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”
“Whoever lives in him sins not”
(1 John 2:6, 28: 3:6)
What does it mean to live in God’s anointed one Jesus. Does it not imply a walk that finds in God’s anointed one its object and perfect pattern?
Again, does not living in God’s anointed one suppose a heart that desires to learn of him?
Above all, does not living in God’s anointed one imply a life lived under the influence of his presence, realized by faith?
To walk, realizing that he listens to our words; that he sees our every act; that he reads our thoughts; is to walk under the influence of his presence and thus live in him.
What do we realize about living in God’s anointed one?
First, we learn that living in God’s anointed one we shall bring forth fruit. We have been told that unless we live in God’s anointed one we cannot bring forth fruit. We are told that if we do live in God’s anointed one, and he in us, we shall bring forth much fruit. The fruit we bring forth is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control” (Galatians , 23). These qualities are a description of the character of the lord Jesus. So we can truthfully say that the fruit of which the lord speaks is the reproduction of his own character in the lives of his disciples.
We can never exhibit the character of God’s anointed one by our own effort to try to be like him. If we have his indwelling presence in us, then we can live in him and be enabled to become more like him from glory to glory.
Second: The lord’s words plainly tell us that, living in him our prayers will have an answer. IF we are under the influence of his presence, with his words living in our hearts, our thought will be formed according to his influence, and we will pray according to that influence indwelling us. That is a key to answered prayer.
Third: John tell us in his epistle, that “living in him” will lead us to “walk even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). How did Jesus walk? “He did not please himself” Speaking of his Father he said that “I always do the things that please Him”. This is a perfect pattern for believers to walk, as Paul says, we “ought to walk and please God” 1 Thessalonians 4:1). Again he says, “walk in love as God's anointed one has loved us” (Ephesians 5:2).
We know that the entire marks of the lord’s path were walked entirely without self-will in doing his Father’s will, and serving others in love. For us, it is only possible to tread such a path of perfection as we live in God’s anointed one and he lives in us.
We must live in God’s anointed one and thus walk with him, if we are to be like him and walk as he walked.
Forth: John said that “whosoever lives in him sins not” (1 John 3:6). From the preceding verse we learn that the spirit of God means by sin – v.4 “sin is lawlessness” The essence of sin is doing one’s own will without reference to God or man.
Whenever the spirit of lawlessness prevails, disintegration will follow, whether it is in the world or among the people of God. As believers we are ever in danger of being affected by the spirit of the world around us.
The spirit of lawlessness that stems from self-will always leads to disintegration, the greater the sincerity of those who pursue their own self-will, the greater harm they will cause. There is no greater cause of disruption among the people of God that the determined will of a self-willed man.
How can we escape the evil principles of lawless, or self-will? Only by living in God’s anointed one, for John tells us, “Whosoever lives in him sins not.”
IF we answer to the lord’s words by seeking to live in him, our lives will bear fruit by expressing something of his character.
Our walk would be preserved from the lawlessness of the flesh, that is the root cause of the ruin of man and the suffering in this world.
How good to heed the lord’s word “Live in me…. For without me you can do nothing.”