Obedience, Living Free From Habitual Sin—Is This Your Proof of Abiding In Christ?

Yesterday as I was having my quiet time with the Lord, He impressed upon me the value of abiding in Him. I read in John 15:4-7 Jesus’ explanation of abiding in Him. But, I kept asking myself “what does it mean to abide in Him?” I went back to God’s word and reread the verses pertaining to the story Jesus told of the vine and branches.

In the story Jesus uses the story of the vine and branches to show the importance of our “remaining” or “abiding in Him”. He points out that He is the vine and we are the branches. Without Him we will die. He also gives us proof of what happens when we abide in Him.

Proofs of abiding in Christ (i.e., proofs that one is truly saved and not just pretending) include obedience to Christ’s commands (John 15:10; 1 John 3:24); following Jesus’ example (1 John 2:6); living free from habitual sin (1 John 3:6); and the awareness of a divine presence within one’s life (1 John 4:13).

One of the proofs of our salvation is perseverance, or sustained abiding in Christ. The saved will continue in their walk with Christ (see Revelation 2:26). That is, they will “abide” or remain in Him. God will complete His work in them (Philippians 1:6), and they will bring forth much fruit to the glory of God (John 15:5). Those who fall away, turn their backs on Christ, or fail to abide simply show their lack of saving faith. Abiding is not what saves us, but it is one of the signs of salvation.

If you’ve fallen away from Christ it is not too late to confess your sins, repent and ask His forgiveness. When you are received back into the fold of Jesus’ care you can start abiding in Him and God will complete His work in you.

How Discerning Are You?

In today’s world, impatience is an all-too-common trait. We want food, help, and information right away. Just waiting for the computer to turn on or the “next available agent” to answer our call can cause frustration. But the Lord specializes in steady work. He’s more interested in the quality of the process than a speedy outcome.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of spiritual discernment. When we become Christians, we aren’t instantly wise and knowledgeable—learning begins at salvation and continues the rest of our life.

Some believers, however, don’t seem to grow up at all. They get older, but their understanding of God’s Word never goes very deep. This lack of spiritual wisdom results from ignorance of the Scriptures, apathy and complacency about matters of faith, and a failure to apply biblical truths. Discernment requires time and effort. You can’t simply move through life, thoughtlessly reacting to situations yet never learning from them.

Take time to reflect on your responses and observe the consequences of your actions and choices. If you feel convicted by what you notice, let that motivate you to begin a lifelong pursuit of the Lord and His ways. Start reading the Bible regularly. And as you do, ask the Lord to open your heart and mind to understand what He’s saying.

Remember, just reading God’s Word isn’t enough. Without applying what you’ve read, all you’ll have is head knowledge. Obedience trains us to discern good and evil. Through practice, we learn wisdom and develop spiritual maturity. With God’s grace and your perseverance, the ability to discern will come.

(Reblog from Charles Stanley’s In Touch)