8102 abiding in Christ
Dictionary of Bible Themes

Dictionary of Bible Themes  »  8000 The life of the believer  »  8100 The life of faith  »  8102 abiding in Christ

The NT stresses the need for believers to remain in Christ. The reality of this close personal relationship with Jesus Christ is expressed in obedience to his word and is essential to effective discipleship.

Jesus Christ tells his disciples to abide in him

John 15:4-9 See also Matthew 24:10-13; Luke 9:62; John 6:67

NT writers exhort believers to abide in Christ

Colossians 2:6 See also Galatians 4:9; Galatians 5:5-6; Colossians 3:1-3; Hebrews 12:1-3

Abiding in Christ depends upon holding on to his teaching

1 John 2:24 See also John 8:31; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:14; 2Jn 9; 3Jn 3-4

It depends on obedience to him

John 15:10 See also Matthew 7:24-25; John 14:23; James 1:25; 1 John 3:24

It requires living like Jesus Christ

1 John 2:6

Aids to abiding in Christ

Eating his flesh and drinking his blood

John 6:56 Jn 6:35-40 gives the primary explanation of this verse as being a metaphor of the believer coming in faith to Jesus Christ, “the bread of life”. But the verse also reflects the language of the Lord's Supper.

The Spirit's anointing

1 John 2:27 See also John 14:17,23; Romans 8:9; 1 John 3:24

Jesus Christ abides in believers

John 15:4 It is clear that the believer's “abiding in Christ” and Jesus Christ's “abiding in him” are closely connected, although the verse does not make their exact relationship clear. Because of Jesus Christ's indwelling by his Spirit, believers are able to continue to live as his disciples; as they do so, the reality of his indwelling presence is deepened. See also John 17:23; Colossians 1:27; 1 John 3:24; Revelation 3:20

By his Spirit

John 14:17; Romans 8:9-10; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 John 2:27

By faith

Ephesians 3:17-19; Galatians 2:20

Results of abiding in Christ


John 15:4-5 The picture of “bearing fruit” may cover many aspects of Christian life but it includes that of developing Christian character, effective Christian service and mission. These result, not from human effort, but from abiding in Christ. See also Galatians 5:22-23

Answered prayer

John 15:7,16

Freedom from persistent sin

1 John 3:6-9 John is not saying that Christians are absolutely sinless. He says elsewhere that to claim sinless perfection is to deceive oneself (1Jn 1:8). But when people are born again there is the real possibility of living lives in which sin is not the norm. As believers abide in Christ more deeply, the grip of sin upon their lives is lessened.

Relationship with God the Father

See also John 14:23; 2Jn 9

Confidence in the face of the last day

1 John 2:28

Warnings to those who fail to abide in Christ

Matthew 24:12-13; John 15:2,6; 1 Corinthians 15:2; Hebrews 6:4-6

See also

3254  Holy Spirit, fruit of
3278  Holy Spirit, indwelling
6214  participation in Christ
6705  peace, experience
6754  union with Christ
8114  discipleship
8162  spiritual vitality
8256  fruitfulness
8453  obedience
8459  perseverance
8602  prayer

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