Another glorious application of the word abide (menō, <G3306>) is that God abides in the believer. In other words, as the meaning of menō indicates, God remains in the Christian; He’s always present there, and He never leaves.
John 15 is the most graphic passage on this truth. This word appears to be one of John’s favorites, in fact, as he uses it twelve times in verses 4-16, and is also translated “continue” (v. 9) and “remain” (v. 11). The picture here, of course, is our Lord’s analogy of a vine that illustrates how He abides in us and we in Him. Verses 4 and 5 declare, “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.” As a vine gives life and sends nourishment throughout the entire plant, so Christ gives us life and sustenance.
Another vivid example of this principle appears in John 14:16: “And I [Christ] will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” We’ll examine this verse in more detail on June 5 and 6, but the wonderful truth here is that the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) abides in us and will always abide in us (since “forever” is a long time).
God makes the same promise in Hebrews 13:5: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” This is actually a quotation of Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them [i.e., your adversaries]: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” What a promise! And we can be assured of the promise because “God… cannot lie” (Titus 1:2; cf. Num. 23:19).
What peace there is in knowing that God is always with us!
A Word for the Day: Key Words from the New Testament.