What Does it Mean to Abide in Christ?

We talked about the joy of the Lord last week, and learned that it comes from knowing God, abiding in Christ, and being filled with the Holy Spirit. We will never come to a complete understanding of God,  but when we read His truth and apply it to our own lives, our knowledge grows. Faith alone filled us with the Holy Spirit; it is not something we ask for. That leaves abiding in Christ.  What does it mean to abide in Christ? How do we abide in Christ?

Abide in Christ- red grapes on left side of wooden table, cluster of green grapes on right

When you read the phrase “abiding in Christ”, what picture comes to your mind? Sitting at His feet? A loving relationship? Walking with Him? Obeying Him?

What Does Abide Mean?

Merriam Webster defines it as “to remain stable or fixed in a state.” Hmmm, not that helpful.

The Greek word for abide “meno” and abide in Hebrew “yasab” both mean to remain, stay. In Aramaic, the language Jesus used, the word “qewa” meant to remain, but to remain until the end or conclusion.¹

We’re getting closer… to abide in Him means to stay or remain with Him forever.

Jesus helps us out by giving us a beautiful illustration in His teaching on the Vine and the Branches. (John 15:1-8)

Abide in Me Verse 

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 NKJV.

To abide in Christ is not a one-sided relationship.

Jesus uses this metaphor to emphasize a close, mutual, and ever-growing relationship. It is a continual and eternal connection.

Abide in the Vine 

Branches cannot bear fruit on their own, they need to be attached to the vine. Jesus is the one who brings out the fruit from our lives as we stay dependent on and abiding in Him.  We can live out the fruits of the Spirit and witness to others by staying connected to the vine.

Abide in Christ- vineyard overlooking green fields, partly cloudy sky

Farther down in this chapter, Jesus tells us “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last.” V16.

He chose us first. With great love, He suffered and died for us so that we could live together forever. Had He not made that choice, we would not have had one either.

When we choose to accept His sacrifice, we are “in Christ.”

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

We are new creations, living in union with Jesus- experiencing a new life. It requires action on our part, though. We must choose to abide in Him; to welcome Him into our lives with open arms.

How to Abide in Christ

As in all relationships, we must nurture it to be beneficial. We are all made in His image, but with distinct personalities, gifts, and weaknesses. Therefore, there is no special formula for all to follow. Your path to abiding in Christ will be your own. It is your belief, your trust, your abilities; just as God planned.

As you read through these guidelines, search your heart to see where you excel and fall short. The world works hard to drown out Jesus’ voice and guidance. What’s important to know are what steps to take to abide in Christ, and how to get back on the path He intended when we go astray.

•Just as the branch must stay connected to the vine for life giving nutrients, we must stay connected and rooted in Jesus. We depend on Him, soaking up His nutrients.

Likewise, He promises to always abide in us when we abide in Him. He is our strong, life-giving vine. We believe He will remain with us in a real and active way as part of our reciprocal relationship.

Abide in My Word 

•To abide or remain in Jesus means we trust in Him and His promises. We rely on and depend on His word. His word is the most powerful nutrient we can ingest.

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32. NKJV.

Jesus remains our source of truth, strengthening us to be all God meant us to be.

•Abiding in Christ involves a daily dependence on Him. We let His words soak into our hearts and minds to remind us how to live for Him. We accept His love that is higher, wider, deeper, and longer than any other love we can experience. Our love for Him is above all others and we show His love to others we meet. (Matthew 22:37-39)

•Prayer becomes our lifeline to Him and is a 2-way street. Every relationship needs communication to thrive. Take the time to include worship and praise, pour out your heart to Him, and then quiet your mind to listen to what He wants to say. Find time to pray every day!

•Take comfort knowing that from the moment we believed, the Holy Spirit came to live within us. He helps us transform our lives and abide in Christ. He convicts us of sin, guides us into truth, and sparks a fire of spiritual passion to use our gifts and talents for God’s glory! Fan the flame of the Holy Spirit within you!

“We know that we live in him, and he is us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” 1 John 4:13.

To abide in Christ means to keep in close, daily contact, show Him our love and obedience, and to praise and honor Him.

Abide in Christ-hazy photo of blue flowers/green grass

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Abiding in Christ 

Our personal relationship with Jesus, abiding in Him, means we live for Him every day. We turn every part of our lives over to Him- staying close to Him in all situations. Whether we are sitting quietly with Him or seething with anger and hurt, we are to abide in Him. In all our conversations, decisions, and emotions, we are to abide in Him.

He showers us with grace and forgiveness when we come up short and encourages us when we need it the most.

We are His representatives here on earth- showing others what a life lived for Christ looks like. We show His love, grace, and mercy even when we don’t want to.

 Jesus showed us all how to do this when He abided in His Father. Their lives are intertwined in such a way that even the cross did not keep Jesus from doing His Father’s will or forgiving His executioners.

Benefits of Abiding in the Lord

This continual and mutual relationship means we never have to be lonely. Jesus is by our side 24/7, in good times and through the bad.

He becomes our mentor, teacher, and a dependable lifeline that rescues us from stormy waters.

We live in His protection and rest, comfort, and joy. This world may be topsy-turvy right now, and upheaval seems to be everywhere. But abiding in Him brings a peace that the world cannot comprehend. For us, it is real and attainable.

The longer we abide in Christ, the more we become like Him. We become transformed, made new, and our character shows the fruits of the Spirit. We show our world what abiding in Christ looks like.

He gifts us with His power and strength when we spend time in His presence. We can stand strong and confident in any situation or trial.

Abide in Me and I in You 

If you believe in Jesus, you are in Him, and He in you. We become fused to the life-giving vine for eternity. Our abiding life in Christ matures as our faith itself does. We sometimes take baby steps or grow in leaps and bounds. Other times, we will sink down into stagnation. No matter where we are on our journey with Jesus, we can always strengthen our connection.

We can become more fruitful, have more joy, enjoy the deep connection He provides, and rest in His presence in full contentment.

Persevere in trusting, believing, and depending on Jesus each day!


How has His word revived or renewed you this week?

Has the Holy Spirit convicted you of something?

In what ways have you experienced His infinite love?

When was the last time you rested in His presence?

How much time do you spend in intentional and focused Bible reading/study?

What aspects of abiding in Christ do you need to work on?

What fruit has come from your branch this week?



All Scripture is taken from the NIV version unless stated otherwise.

Photo Credit-Canva


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