David King, pastor of CrossPoint Fellowship, a Baptist church in Jasper, Indiana, opened the third day of the 2021 GARBC Conference June 30. The conference is taking place Monday through Thursday this week in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Referring to John 15, King spoke on abiding in Christ.
What does it mean to abide in Christ? Abide, King explains, means “to remain, to stay in place, to make yourself at home.” For Christians, abiding in Christ means turning completely to Christ as our soul satisfaction—finding ourselves at home with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That relationship with God is what brings abundant life.
“The abundant life is found exclusively in Jesus Christ,” King says. “The abundant life is found not in the things we own, the things we do, the people we know, the places we go. It is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Abiding in Christ brings five benefits to believers.
First, we will bear spiritual fruit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, faithless, gentleness, and self-control. God works in our hearts to transform us into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Second, if we are abiding in Christ, we won’t have to fear God’s wrath. “There is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus,” King quotes from Romans 8:1. In John 15:5 Jesus says He is the vine and we are its branches. “He will prune useless things out of your life so you can produce more fruit, but He will never cut you off, because you are His and He is yours.”
Third, we will pray according to God’s will for our lives. How do we know we’re praying according to God’s will, what God wants for us? “I’ve come to know my wife, so I know what her will is,” King says. In the same way, when we abide in Christ, we love Him and know Him, so when we pray, we pray “by our very nature according to His will.”
Fourth, we will abound in joy. As we abide in Christ, He gives us a joy that’s abounding. That doesn’t mean we’ll be happy, smiling people all the time, King says. Rather, we “bring energy and life and hope into a room because [we] are being transformed from the inside out,” King says. “God designed you to be full of joy.”
Being transformed from the inside brings King to the fifth benefit of abiding in Christ: we will love like Jesus. When we abide in Christ, He changes us from the inside out so our critical spirit—our selfish, intolerant heart—is replaced by a spirit of love, whereby we learn to love like Jesus loves.
These benefits of abiding in Christ are for every believer, King points out. And it’s only in Jesus Christ that we will find abundant life.