The Ability of Abiding

by APC on March 11, 2015
Apostolic Pentecostal Church
The Ability of Abiding


I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide 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 ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:1–7, KJV).

Aiming to Abide

When Jesus tells us to abide in Him, quite simply, He’s asking us to live, dwell, remain, etc. in Him. We need to act out our life in Christ. Abiding in Him warrants application in every area of our life—even in the mundane moments—and involves more than adopting the phrase, I’m a Christian.

If the Saints can abide in Jesus, we will see great things happen in our church and community. A church that is in strong union and relationship with Jesus will create an atmosphere where God can continually dwell.

Bearing Fruit

Jesus told His disciples that they should bear fruit. Fruit in the plainest sense means results. We can try to compartmentalize fruit into winning souls, working in a ministry, being a servant to God’s Kingdom, or developing Spiritual gifts. But, on the whole, God just wants us to bear spiritual results in our day-to-day life. Jesus doesn’t want us to be stagnant and “die out” to our growth. He wants us to grow in spiritual maturity and progress in our relationship with Him.

As in the metaphor of the vine and the branches, plants cannot grow without the proper nourishment, environment, and care. We too cannot grow unless we do what God what God wants us to do in our life. We need to be in the right environment, follow God’s Word, and have the proper relationship with Him. If we are going to bear fruit in our life, we need to allow God to develop things in our life that haven’t been developed yet. Jesus demands results that come from being connected to Him!

How Can We Abide?

Our Ability to Abide Depends on the Likelihood of Our Loving

After Jesus instructs His disciples to abide in Him and to bear fruit, He tells them to continue in His love (John 15:9). If we are to adopt Christ’s characteristics in our life, and follow His example, we are to love like He loves. Loving others was Jesus’ commandment for the church (John 15:12); we cannot live in Jesus and not love unconditionally like Him. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, KJV). If we are going to abide in Him, we need to extend sacrificial love towards others—this includes people in the church and outside the church. Love is the root element of the body of Christ.

Our Ability to Abide Depends on Our Compliance with Jesus’ Commandments

Human nature is to scoff at rules. We like to make excuses that God doesn’t have any “rules” to have a relationship with Him. But, there is no such thing as a relationship without rules. “Words” referenced in John 15:7 is the Greek word logos, which is referenced in John 1:1. If we abide in Jesus, His Word will abide in us. It is the Word of God (the Bible) that enables us to abide and live in Him. It gives us the strength, power, and know-how to live a righteous life day-to-day.

People today have lost the wonder of God’s Word. We forget too many times that it’s God-breathed and has the ability to change our life. David said in Psalms 119:18, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold the wondrous things out of thy law” (KJV). If we dig into God’s Word and it becomes active in our life, it will cleanse us and help us live a life pleasing unto the Lord. Jesus reiterated this concept when He said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3, KJV). We need to spend time in the word, hide it in our hearts (Psalms 119:11), and learn to submit ourselves to God.

Our Ability to Abide Depends on Our Potential for Pruning

Sometimes God will need to cut things out/away from us so we will continue to grow. People who are spiritually mature know that gain doesn’t always equal gain—sometimes loss is gain and sometimes gain in loss! Jesus said:

Ye have not chosen men, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you (John 15:16, KJV).

There are three key truths in this verse of Scripture.

Spiritual Results are God’s Plan

God has ordained for us to bear fruit in our walk with Him. He has chosen us to do a work for His Kingdom. God knows the plan He has for us—if we are obedient to His Word and His will, we will see fruit come forth in our life.

Fruit is Not Temporary

Jesus said that when we bring forth fruit, it will remain. When God does something in our life, He doesn’t give it to take it away. Every move God makes in our life is foundational. He will bring forth fruit in our life to lay the groundwork for future growth. The only movement in our relationship with Christ is upward and onward.

Fruit is Necessary to Operate

If we have fruit in our life, whatever we ask in Jesus’ name will be given to us. If we are going to have a strong relationship with the Lord and operate in His Kingdom, we need to have fruit!

Scripture tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, KJV). The day we made a commitment to live a life for Christ and received the infilling of the Holy Ghost, a work started within us. That work was bearing fruit. But, when we start to bear fruit, God will purge (prune) it, so we can bear more (John 15:2).

We need to be spiritually mature to know that when God starts to “prune” us this does not equate to a dry place in our spiritual walk. God isn’t going to prune and then fail to water us. Jesus has wells of salvation and springs of everlasting life! When we abide in Him, and know that everything else in life is frivolous, we’ll be okay when God starts to cut things out of our life (Philippians 3:7).

Abundantly Abiding

We need to remember that when we abide in Christ we’ll understand that God’s grace is sufficient and that His strength is made perfect in weakness (II Corinthians 12:9). We need to trust God to know when He starts removing things from our life that it is for our good (Romans 8:28). We must decrease so that He can increase in our life (John 3:30). We have the ability to abide in Him! And, when we finally do—we will experience an abundance of blessings and fruit.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on March 11, 2015