ABIDING IN CHRIST TO THE END
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask
what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father
is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
To abide in Christ is to be led by the Spirit of God (Rom 8:14), to continue in His word, walk in the light (1 John 1:3-7) and fear the Lord. It is also a condition for fruitfulness: fruit of the Spirit, and a harvest of souls. The conditions for a fruitful life include cleansing (John 15:2-3) and obedience (John 15:10).
PRACTICAL WAYS OF ABIDING IN CHRIST
RENEW YOUR MIND
“1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom 12:1-2). You need to renew your mind to avoid being conformed to the world system of greed and avarice. It is the degree to which you renew your mind that you will be able to submit your body to God as a sanctified vessel. It is not possible to know the perfect will of God for your life if your mind is clogged with the filthiness of your previous lifestyle.
Your mind was filled with enmity against God before you became born again. Your new status in Christ Jesus does not automatically remove the filthy things you stored in your mind and heart from childhood. You are the product of your environment and parental upbringing or lack of it. You must therefore use the water of the Word to wash the filth off your mind and heart.
Purity of heart is a must to see Jesus (1 John 3:1-3). You have to be like Him, think like Him, talk like Him to be with Him. Your mind must be free from contamination. Realize that the battleground of spiritual warfare is the mind. Therefore, you are required to have the mind of Christ. The only way you can have the mind of Christ is through renewal by the Word of God.
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH
You are at war. Spiritual warfare involves all Christians. Settle it in your heart that you are part of a war involving God, His children and the Holy Angels on the one hand and Satan and his demons on the other hand. There is no neutral ground. The winning side is God’s side. So, you must learn to fight for your rights. The prince of the power of the air is not happy that you are still breathing the air he did not create. Fight him and his cohorts with your God-given weapons.
This is a time set aside for regular uninterrupted fellowship with God. A Quiet Time schedule will help you to make prayer a way of life. A daily Quiet Time is essential in developing your personal relationship with God. It should be noted that Prayer is not a one-way traffic. Hearing from God is a key to an effective prayer life. Be sure of the ways God talks to you and make notes so that you do not forget the instructions you receive as you fellowship at the feet of the Master.
Go for deliverance as the need arises. If things are not working the way you expect, you are not where you ought to be with the LORD or you find it difficult to pray you may need deliverance. You may also need deliverance as a result of problems arising from your foundation, unbroken evil covenants and curses. The deliverance ministry is scriptural. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free. He delivered many people in His earthly ministry.
FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHER BELIEVERS
Corporate fellowship produces corporate anointing. Do not forsake the assembling together of God’s people. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb 10:25).
DEGREES OF ABIDING
When Jesus selected His disciples He called them servants (Jn 13:13-16). After three years of intensive practical training, He called them friends (Jn 15:15). After His resurrection from the dead He firmly addressed His disciples as brethren (Mt 28:10; Jn 20:17). The position a saint will occupy in heaven will be determined largely by the degree of abiding in Him in this life.
IMPERATIVES FOR BEING BORN AGAIN
You cannot abide in Christ except you are genuinely born again. I cannot overemphasise the importance of being born again. The vast majority of those who claim to belong to Christ have no relationship with Him whatsoever. You must be infused with a Hypostatic Chip in the power of the Holy Spirit who is currently in the world to convict mankind of sin, righteousness and judgment.
You were created to exist forever. In the beginning Adam had a sinless nature. His fall resulted in spiritual, physical and eternal death as decreed by God. Thereafter the human body became mortal; it was made of dust and will revert to dust by reason of Adamic sin. But the real you is not your body. You are a spirit being. You have a soul. These two constitute the real you. Have you noticed that when you sleep you dream dreams and see yourself doing things as you would in the natural? It is the real you that goes out in the spirit realm to engage in sundry encounters, some good, some horrible. You need the new birth to realign your life with God your Creator. For you to be a child of God you must be infused with a part of God, eternal life, which I prefer to call Hypostatic Chip because of its characteristics.
If you have not changed your spiritual status by a conscious and voluntary surrender of your life to Jesus Christ, then Satan is your spiritual father. Your status in life has nothing to do with it. Your wealth, education, political position or social standing cannot change the situation. That is the stark reality of your status before God. You may not appreciate the gravity of that horrible state of affair now until your life on earth is terminated.
The final destination of unbelievers is the lake of fire. At death unbelievers are taken to hellfire which is in the middle of the earth where they will remain until the millennial reign of Christ and the White Throne Judgment when, without exception, they will be herded into the lake of fire to be tormented forever and ever.
Being born again is the first step towards entering heaven. Regeneration alone does not guarantee entry into heaven. Jesus spoke about discovering the narrow road to heaven (Mt 7:13). The message was for believers. Some believers are on the narrow road; some remain where they were when they got born again. All unbelievers are walking along the broad road that leads to hellfire. An unbeliever cannot be on the narrow road to heaven because he or she is already spiritually dead. An unbeliever cannot ‘see’ the narrow road in that state. For such people physical death is a confirmation of eternal death, which is irreversible separation from God.
Jesus said the road to heaven is narrow; the gate at the end of the road is very narrow. Entry into this road is by volition. Many born again Christians do not find this road for lack of follow-up; they eventually backslide. God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Some believers who find the road grope alongside it without knowing what to do for lack of appropriate input of doctrine.
Unless you see the kingdom of God you cannot begin to walk along the road that leads to the gate of heaven. The gate of heaven must open for you to enter the celestial city. To be able to survive the perils along the narrow road you need the water of God’s Word imbibed in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is imperative to learn kingdom-life principles applied in daily living to be fit to live in heaven. You do not learn how to live in heaven in heaven. You learn how to live in heaven on earth as you cannot do in heaven what you are not used to doing on earth. That is why the Bible gives strong commands regarding love, forgiveness and being one another’s keeper.
Let brotherly love flow is heaven’s standard for redeemed mankind.