One final application of the word abide (menō, <G3306>) is that not only does God abide in the Christian, but the true Christian also abides in God. What a relationship! But what exactly does it mean to abide in God? God’s Word reveals at least four principles concerning our dwelling in God.
First, to dwell in God (or Christ) means that we walk as Christ walked. “He that saith he abideth [menō] in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). That means we are to think like Christ (Phil. 2:5) and act like Christ (John 13:15).
Second, to dwell in Christ means that we don’t habitually live in sin. First John 3:6 declares, “Whosoever abideth [menō] in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.” The construction of the Greek behind both occurrences of “sinneth” is the present tense, so the idea is that we do not continually, habitually sin. Sin is no longer the rule in our life; it’s the exception.
Third, to dwell in Christ means that we continue in His Word. Our Lord said, “If ye continue [menō] in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). One of the most powerful proofs of true Christianity is that we love and obey the Word of God. Someone might claim to be a Christian, but if he doesn’t obey God’s Word, his profession is just that—a profession. As the apostle John says again, “He that doeth the will of God abideth [menō] for ever” (1 John 2:17).
Fourth, to dwell in Christ means that we bear fruit. As mentioned yesterday, our Lord again speaks in John 15:5: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth [mend] in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.” A powerful evidence of salvation is that we bear fruit, and we can bear fruit through our: commendation (praise and worship; Heb. 13:5); character (Gal. 5:22-23); conduct (Col. 1:10; Rom. 6:22); charity (Phil. 4:7); and converts (1 Cor. 16:5; John 4:36). Fruit-bearing also has levels: “bear fruit” (John 15:2a), bear “more fruit” (v. 2b), and bear “much fruit” (v. 5).
A Word for the Day: Key Words from the New Testament.