Tag Archives: Abiding in Christ

Where Do You Abide?

Philippians 3:9

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”

Now that Paul has told us what is not important to him, I.e. his resume and what he has been on this earth, he tells us what is important – being found in Him, or abiding in Christ.  I have been in a lot of discussions about what it means to abide in Christ, as I’m sure many of you have.

Jesus had quite a discourse at the beginning of John 15 about abiding in Him.  He was talking about the vine and the vinedresser.  After discussing how the vinedresser will prunes the vine in order to keep it healthy, he relates it to abiding in Him.  This tells me that the relationship is similar.  The branches of the vine, which would be us, cannot survive without the vine itself.  They get all their nutrition – all their life – from the vine. The vinedresser serves the purpose of taking those branches that are not producing and either pruning them or removing them, because a branch that is dormant will rob nutrition from a living branch.

What this passage tells me is that we must be dependent on the Word of God (Jesus) to keep us from day to day.  I think of psalm 119, where each verse tells the importance of living with God’s word on a sustained basis.  Abiding in Christ means obedience to His word (John 8:31).  If your desire is to walk in Christ, you must be obedient to His word.

Then Paul discusses righteousness.  We all know that our righteousness is as filthy rags (Is 64:6).  We have no ground to stand on when it comes to our goodness or right doing.  There are a lot of people who think they will get to heaven because they have lived a good life, and done good things.  If you think that, I am sorry to disappoint you, but you are mistaken.  The Bible is very clear that your righteousness will not get you there.  Only being born again, accepting Christ into a personal relationship with you, will get you to heaven.

When we make the decision to give our lives to Christ, His righteousness then is imputed or given, to us (I Cor 1:30).  To me, that means when God looks down at me from heaven, He sees Christ’s righteousness upon me, and therefor accepts me.  And I can live in that righteousness by living a life of repentance – always mindful that if I do mess up, I can ask forgiveness and Christ will restore me.

Paul knew His life on its own merit meant nothing.   All that he had done and accomplished and been was nothing in the realm of eternity.  It was his life in Christ that mattered.  How can we ever think that what we do in this life on our own merit will mean anything in eternity?  I will most likely never accomplish as much as Paul.  May I always remember that I must abide in Christ to truly be effective in any ministry God gives to me.

Philippians 1:11b

“which are by Christ Jesus, unto the glory and praise of God”

It is only through Christ that we can have any form of righteousness at all.  Isaiah said that our righteousness is as filthy rags, and he was right.  We can do all the right things we want, but they only lead to pride, and pride is an abomination to God.  Our righteousness actually becomes a curse to us.

But Christ’s righteousness through us shines brightly.  We realize where it came from, and therefor take no credit for it.  Our pride stays in check, and we walk in humility, knowing that we have no good within ourselves.  The fruits of righteousness are by Christ Jesus – He is the owner and deliverer or that righteousness into our lives.  Never forget that.

And those right things we do are not meant to bring any glory to us.  We have no need of glory – it just brings pride.  All our righteous deeds, which come from Christ, are meant to bring glory and praise to God.  If we are taking the glory for them, then we are acting on our own behave, not as the ambassadors we are supposed to be.  If we take away His glory and keep it for ourselves, we are putting ourselves before God – that’s idolatry.

Make sure that you know where any goodness in you comes from, and make sure that credit for your good deeds goes where it is supposed to go.  You will live much happier and freer if you do!

 

Lord, thank you for being my righteousness and teaching me how to do good for others.  May you receive all the glory, honor and praise for anything good that comes out of my life.

Philippians 1:11a

person undeservedly. We want to see the best out of others, and be the best to others. Our actions say a lot about what we are full of.

Third – a former pastor of mine always said “What you do speaks so loudly that what you say I cannot hear”. Do your words reflect your actions? Are you consistent, or are you a Pharisee? Who were the only people Jesus spoke harsh words to while He was here on this earth? The scribes and Pharisees! Why? Because they did not display the fruits of righteousness. They spoke of a just God, but their lives were shallow and all words. Be authentic!

The fruits of righteousness are only possible because He lives in us. That is next.

Lord, help me to live a righteous life. I realize I cannot do this in myself – I have to rely on you to have any form of righteousness. So help me lose myself so I may gain more of you. Help me to only live out what you put in me. Help me to walk in your paths and ways, not my own. I can’t possibly do this without you!

Philippians 1:8c

“…in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus said “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you…”  What does it mean to abide in Christ, to be in the bowels of Jesus Christ? How can we live in a place where we are totally submerged in Him, and in His will?

Submitting to the authority of the word is what this is all about. Remember John’s word at the beginning of his gospel. “The word became flesh and dwelt among us…” Jesus Christ is the word incarnate, living and breathing and showing us what the will of the Father is for our lives. Christian life does not merely consist of accepting the sacrifice of the cross as atonement for our sin – it is so much more than that.

Once we ask Jesus Christ to save us, the Holy Spirit enters into our lives to reveal to us the word. Slowly but surely we start to have a greater understanding of how the word applies to our life. It is in these times that we must be obedient to the word that is revealed to us. Little by little we work out our salvation by coming in line with the truths that God has shown us – this is walking in the light.

When we abide in Christ, we live those truths out every day, showing the world what the Father is like, just as Jesus did. We will spread the good news, we will pray for the sick and they will recover, we will forgive as we have been forgiven, we will speak the truth in love. When we do these things, and continue to grow in our knowledge of the word, then we can say, as Paul did, that we abide in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

 

I want to show the Father’s love to the world. Help me, Lord, to spend time in your word every day, in prayer every day, sharing your love every day. Help me to be a light to those in darkness, to be a ray of hope to those who are lost, to be a source of joy to all around me. Help me live a life that glorifies your name.