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The Truth about Abiding in Christ (John 8:31)

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Sermon on 18 August 2023 by Pastor Justin


Introduction

Abiding means to remain in Christ. It carries the meaning of obedience. To be fruitful, you have to abide. Jesus is the Word. If you abide in Him, He dwells in you.

Message

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you ABIDE in My WORD, you are MY DISCIPLES indeed. - John 8:31

When you abide in Christ, you obey, you remain in the Word (John 14:21). You are His disciple. The love of God is perfected in you. You will be able to walk the way Jesus walked - humbly, gently.

Salvation involves 2 aspects: (1) forgiveness of sin; and (2) deliverance from sin. We are set free from sin, and not under the dominion of sin (Romans 6:22). Do not allow yourself to be controlled by sin - be delivered. Without Christ, we can do nothing. Christians must make a choice between a normal Christian life or an abnormal Christian life (Deut 30:19). When you abide, you live a normal Christian life. If you are in the light, but you are still walking in darkness, this is abnormal. You have to choose, every day. Choose life, choose blessing. Put off the “old man” and put on the “new man” (2 Cor 5:17). The “old man” refers to your former conduct. It is powerful and results in fleshly thinking. The devil will make evil seem natural and normal. If we continue to trust our own wisdom, our own ways and our own strength, we are turning away from God.

Jeremiah 2:13 tells us about the 2 evils that we do:

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. - Jeremiah 2:13

The Lord says: Cursed is the man who puts his trust in mortal man and turns his heart away from God. - Jeremiah 17:5

We are to follow Him, not our own ways. God must always be the first one you turn to, never the last resort.

Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who want above all else to follow your steps. - Psalm 84:5

His disciples are recognised by their fruits. It is not by gifts.

My TRUE DISCIPLES produce bountiful harvests. This brings great glory to my Father. - John 15:8

There are 3 reasons why Christians are unable to abide in Christ.

1. We are too strong in our own flesh

In John 11, Jesus waited for days before He went to Lazarus. It was when Lazarus was thoroughly helpless (dead) that Jesus came. Totally rely on Him. Trust Him. Obey Him. Seek Him. Abide in Him. The world says, “God helps those who help themselves”. But the truth is that God helps those who cannot help themselves.

2. We are too strong in the faith of our own faith

If we anchor in Him, we can progress from faith to faith. When your faith is in Jesus Christ, you don’t look at your own faith. Instead, you look at Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 11:1).

3. We are too strong in our own folly

The only way by which God can deliver us from our marriage to the “old man”, is by the death of the “old man” (Romans 6:4, 6). We are not abiding in the truth because we are still married to the “old man”.

If you want to be faithful and fruitful, if you want to live a holy life, you have to seek the Lord. Are we so strong in our outward flesh? Are we so strong in the faith of our outward faith? Are we so strong in our own outward folly? Tell the Lord that you want to be His disciple by abiding in Him.

Closing

Problems are never about the problem. It is about how you react to the problem. Be determined to pass the test, until you are able to abide in Christ as a disciple in all you do. This is the good news (Eph 2:8-10). Abide in Christ and be in Christ, to be totally set free for Christ.

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