Abiding in Him
Abiding in Him
by Josh Caudill
"Whoever abides in me and I in him, it is he that bears much fruit," Jesus tells us in John 15:5.
Jesus has just promised us His Spirit. What a beautiful promise: the indwelling Spirit of God! But Jesus goes on to assure us that in this presence, we can bear fruit. In the presence of God, abiding in Christ, a guarantee is given: we will bear much fruit.
The inverse, which Jesus also promises, sheds some light on what this really looks like: "apart from me you can do nothing" -John 15:5b.
Nothing. When we do not abide in Christ, when we live outside of the presence of the Holy Spirit, when we are not sheltered in the shadow of the Almighty, we can not do one thing. For it is only by the power of a Holy God that we can find any strength, that we can accomplish anything worth doing. It is in Him that we find our identity, the ground for our very being.
I tend to think that this is mostly true. If I'm not abiding in Christ, I'm surely lacking. But I can do something, can't I? Even just one act that is meaningful?
Too often, I trust that I can work in my own strength until I begin to fail, at which point I ought to rely on the power of the Spirit. But Jesus is clear: when we abide in Him, we will bear fruit. When we do not, we will do nothing.
Jesus continues this discourse with a simple commandment, an explanation of the fruit that we will bear when we abide: "This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you" -John 15:12.
May we abide in Christ today, tomorrow, and the next. And, abiding in Him, let us bear the fruit of love.
Grace & Peace