What Does It Mean to “Abide” in Jesus Christ?

John 15:4,5

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Much depends upon the soil in which a tree is planted; everything, in our case, depends upon our abiding in the Lord Jesus, and deriving all our supplies from Him.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): All our sap and safety is from Christ. The bud of a good desire, the blossom of a good resolution, and the fruit of a good action, all come from Him.

C. H. SPURGEON: Fellowship with the stem begets fertility in the branches. If a man abide in Christ he brings forth much fruit. Those professors who are rooted to the world do not flourish; those who send forth their roots into the marshes of frivolous pleasure cannot be in a vigorous condition; but those who dwell in habitual fellowship with God shall become men of full growth, rich in grace, happy in experience, mighty in influence, honoured and honourable—Without God, we can do nothing; and in proportion as we attempt to live without Him, we ruin ourselves.

IRENÆUS (130-202): To those who abide in His love, He gives communion with Himself…On those who stand aloof from Him, He inflicts the separation which they have chosen for themselves.

C. H. SPURGEON: When may a Christian be safely out of communion with God? Never.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): So, those that are in Christ, must abide in Christ, for it is at their peril if they forsake Him and wander from Him.

J. A. ALEXANDER (1809-1860): There is no danger of going astray, when in your common thoughts and prayers, your whole soul goes forth to a single undivided object—Christ. If you wish to have the grand secret of religion couched in a single maxim; if you would learn how to be reconciled and how to abide so; if you would be strengthened against temptation. if you would be holy and happy, take this rule: Look to Christ!  Just so much piety have you, as you have Christ in your thoughts.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): No man ever thought too much of Christ.

C. H. SPURGEON: The road on which tread makes me think of Christ—the way. The door through which I pass makes me think of Christ—the door.  I cannot handle money but what I think I am bought with a price.  I do not receipt a bill without recollecting that He has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against me. I cannot talk to my fellow-man, and receive answers, without thinking how I talk with God, and how He answers me.

G. CAMPBELL MORGAN (1863-1945): Abiding [in Christ] does not mean that we necessarily are always conscious of our position in the upper reaches of our consciousness…Years ago a girl who had given herself to Christ came to see me one day and she said, “I am going to give it all up, I cannot be a Christian.”

“Why not?” I asked.

She said, “I made up my mind this week I would never forget Christ, and I got up in the morning and thought about Him as I dressed, and I had my breakfast and travelled down to work.  Then I got to business, and lunch time came, and I had never given Him a thought.”

I said to her, “Do you know Mrs. Morgan?”


“Well,” I said, “she is my wife. I am a busy man, but I don’t go about all time saying, ‘I am Annie Morgan’s husband.’ There are hours when I never think of her; but do you think I ever forget it?”

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): To abide in Christ, I John 2:6, is to continue in that state of salvation, growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…He who professes to abide in Christ ought to walk as Christ walked, I John 2:6

JOSEPH CARYL (1602-1673): They who separate themselves from whatsoever is unholy, have Him nearest them, who is altogether holy.

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): The exhortation is, without doubt, to a holiness of life and conversation, by which our union and communion with Christ is upheld and maintained, and which is in itself an abiding in the love of Christ. Continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love, John 15:8,9.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, verse 7. Abiding in Christ is here explained by His words or doctrines abiding in His disciples; by which are meant His Gospel, and the truths of it—when they hold fast the profession of it, stand fast in it, steadfastly abide by it, and constantly attend on it—to continue in the exercise of faith and love upon Christ, holding to Him with full purpose of heart, and so deriving life, grace, strength, and nourishment from Him.

MATTHEW HENRY: If the Word be our constant guide and monitor, if it be in us as at home, then we abide in Christ, and He in us.

C. H. SPURGEON: He that dwelleth, in the secret place of the most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty, Psalm 91:1. The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercy-seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. Those who abide in Christ and Christ in them, become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow afar off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

MATTHEW HENRY: The blessed privilege which those have that abide in Christ, John 15:7: “If my words abide in you, you shall ask what you willof my Father in my name—and it shall be done.

JOHN GILL: But this must be understood not of temporal things, as riches, honours, profits, pleasures, or whatever even the carnal mind of a believer himself may sometimes desire; but of things spiritual, and with such limitations and restrictions as these: whatever is according to the will of God, for the Spirit of God Himself asks for no other for the saints; whatever is for the glory of God, and for their own spiritual profit and edification; and whatever is agreeably to the words and doctrines of Christ, which abide in them. Every thing of this kind they ask in faith, and with a submission to the divine will, they may expect to receive.

MATTHEW HENRY: God takes notice of the smallest number of those who abide with Him; and the fewer they are the more precious in His sight.


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