• The Abiding Principle
  • What Does Abiding Mean?

The definition of abiding is simple, it means to be at home with Jesus.

Decades ago a popular booklets was called, “My Heart, Christ’s Home.”┬áIn the booklet a fable was told illustrating how Jesus wants to come into our house and rebuild everything. Written with love from a Pastor to his flock, it gained worldwide acclaim.

Praise God.

Two things go with being at home wth Jesus.

The first is the nature of acceptance, if friends are over your house, or if you are at their place, and someone breaks a dinner plate, the understanding among friends is that such a thing is no big deal. The inconvenience of cleaning up a mess, the financial cost of replacing the plate is nothing among friends, and the reason is simple, friends want to friend to feel comfortable in their house.

The second is the nature of honor and respect, if you’re at a friends house, and the party is over, cleaning and putting things back where they belong shows love.

Why act this way?

Because it is a form of respect and way friends build trust amongst themselves.

Abiding then is about allowing Jesus to make his home inside us, and about allowing the Holy Spirit to show us how to make our home in Him.

The Exposition

v.1

Jesus opens his teaching with an illustration that is a bit of parable.

Jesus is the “true vine,” and the Father is the “farmer” or “vinedresser.”

v.2

I contend strongly against the most well known wording of this passage. The correct translation should read “lifts up” instead of cut off. Reading some well known scholars on the topic, some admit they do not understand farming enough to correct the errant way the text is understood. It’s not complicated, Jesus’ parable mentions a branch that has not yet produced fruit. No farmer working a vineyard would hack the branches to death before harvest, instead the branches would be lifted up to bring life to them.

v. 3

This verse governs my understanding of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus is not talking to non-believers but to disciples and future apostles, they are clean and cannot lose their salvation. Judas has already left the room, otherwise Jesus could not say that.

v. 4-5

Fruit bearing is the birthmark of a disciple, and no disciple can bear Jesus type fruit without being attached to him. Jesus’ phrase is common sense but also goes deeper, taking away any notion of works oriented salvation, while still holding onto the dynamic change people must through in order to be his disciple.

v.6

I take Jesus’ teaching to relate to the possible loss of rewards, or to someone never being saved at all.

v.7

This statement, “Ask whatever you wish,” is repeated by Jesus six times in chapters 14-16. Jesus is simply asking us to believe.

v.8

If you have the privilege of asking God anything, and seeing it manifest, then Jesus type fruit will be evident in your life.

Naturalism

I spent some time attacking a philosophy called “Naturalism.” At the end of the day, “Naturalism” does more to steal power and joy from God’s children than just about anything else I can think of.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you are prone to the lie of “Naturalism.”

  1. Are memories stored in your brain?
  2. Does your brain think?
  3. Does Psychology or Psychiatry replace excorcisms.

Point #3 is not a wholesale condemnation but an attempt to balance our thinking. The questions are taken from Dr. Craig Hazen’s excellent book on prayer.