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Doctrine of Abiding

July 21, 2010

The Doctrine of “Abiding”:

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1 John 2:6
“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” ( he walked in “Fellowship with God” )

The Lord Jesus Christ introduced the concept of abiding based on a common cultural custom of hospitality shown to a guest by a host.
Note: The verb meno in Greek occurs 120 times in the New Testament; 68 of those times are in John’s writings.The common cultural usage of “Abide”
The idea of staying where you have been placed (GEN 22:5)
To remain in a place of safety and security from threat or harm (JOB 39:27-28; RUT 2:8; 1SA 22:23)
To stay in a place of provision and supply (EXO 16:2)
To live by faith in obedience and dependence (PSA 91:1)
To be a guest; to be at home. Here, the idea is to receive hospitality as someone’s guest (MAT 10:11; MAR 6:10; LUK 9:4).
Jesus’ Spiritual usage of “Abide”
Discipleship based on “abiding” in His Word (JOH 8:31)
The believer is not to “abide” in darkness (JOH 12:46).
The Holy Spirit to “abide” with us forever (JOH 14:16).
The Father and Son will “be at home” in us (JOH 14:23).
The most extended and definitive passage (JOH 15:4-10):
Abiding in Christ is for the believer only (JOH 15:1-3)
The believer must “abide” in Christ in order for Christ to “abide” in the      believer (JOH 15:4-5 cf. 1JO 3:24).
Failure to abide brings loss of fruit and witness. Also there will be increasing divine discipline (JOH 15:6).
Abiding in Christ requires abiding in the Word (JOH 15:7-14 cf. JOH 8:31) and results in eight areas of blessing:
Effective prayer (cf. 1JO 5:14-15; JAM 5:16b)
Bearing much fruit (cf. GAL 5:22-23)
Evident discipleship (witness/evangelism)
Glorification of the heavenly Father
Deepening love relationship with Christ (cf. “perfected love” of 1JO 2:5; 1JO 4:12, 1JO 4:17-18 w/ EPH 4:12 -13)
Stability of inner joy (1JO 1:4 cf. GAL 5:22)
Obedience to His command to love one another
Entering into genuine friendship with Christ (3JO 1:14 cf.“Abraham” in JAM 2:23; 2Ch20:7)
The use of “abiding” in the Epistle of First John:
The term “abide” is a synonym for having fellowship (1JO 2:6). Note that “abide in Him” and “we are in Him” (1JO 2:5) is a fellowship term in John, not a positional term as Paul’s use of “In Christ” (essential to interpret 1 John).
“Abiding in the light” (1JO 2:10) is equal to “walking in the light” (1JO 1:7), and bears the fruit of loving one another.
The Word of God “abides” in you (1JO 2:14b) as you abide in Christ (cf. JOH 15:7). It is impossible to separate the two, as 2:24 makes clear. To abide in Him, His Word must abide in us.
The believer who does the will of God “abides forever” (1JO 2:17), in the same sense that his “fruit remains” (JOH 15:16). This relates to eternal reward.
The “anointing” (i.e. indwelling of the Spirit: 1JO 3:24; 1JO 4:2) “abides” in the believer so that we might “abide” in Christ (1JO 2:27-28). The believer who does “abide” will have confidence at the Bema of Christ.
It is impossible to “abide” in Him and commit sin (1JO 3:6), which is the same thing Paul teaches in GAL 5:16, you cannot “walk in the Spirit” and fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
In the same truth found in 1JO 3:6, it is impossible to “abide in Him”(or “walk in the light”) and hate your brother (1JO 3:14, 24). If you do not “abide in light/life” then you are “abiding in darkness/death” (cf. JAM 2:17 w/ 1TI 5:6,1TI 5:15). As 1JO 3:24 makes clear, it is only when we “keep His commandments” that we “abide in Him”, and by this alone “we know that He abides in us”, through His Spirit.
John’s final statement on “abiding” is that when we “abide in Him” we will “love one another” and now John says that “God abides in him” (1JO 4:12-16). Thus we see that in the “abiding” life of fellowship we have:
Christ abiding in us (JOH 15:4; 1JO 3:24)
The Holy Spirit abiding in us (1JO 2:27; 1JO 3:24; 1JO 4:13)
The Father abiding in us (1JO 4:12, 1JO 4:15-16)
Note: The “abiding” life of fellowship is a life of Faith (1JO 5:12-13); Obedience (1JO 1:7, 1JO 2:3-6); Love (1JO 2:7-11, 1JO 3:16-23); and especially Assurance (“By this we know”, 1JO 2:3, 1JO 2:5, 1JO 2:28; 1JO 3:14, 1JO 3:16, 1JO 3:19, 1JO 3:24; 1JO 4:2, 1JO 4:6, 1JO 4:13; 1JO 5:2, 1JO 5:18-20). In fact, assurance is one of the primary objectives of this book (1JO 5:13).