April 22, 2016
Abide In The Word
Jesus says, “IF YOU ABIDE IN MY WORD, YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES INDEED.” What exactly is the Lord saying? What does it mean to abide in His Word? Two things stand out:
First, Abiding in His Word implies An Understanding of the Word. The very next verse reads, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free [v.32]. Before one can abide in “the truth,” one needs to know what “the truth” is. How else can one know the truth except by studying and meditating from it? Studying the Bible needs to be both public and private. Colossians 3:16 admonishes believers to “let the word of Christ dwell in [them] richly in all wisdom” within a community context, “teaching and admonishing one another.” The importance of private study is seen in God’s admonition to Joshua [read Joshua 1:8]. The first test is this: Do you enjoy public and private study of the word of God?
Second, Abiding in His Word also implies A Life Ordered by the Word. Again, this is informed by the context. The Jews, in response to Jesus’ assertion about the truth making one free, claiming to be free as descendants of Abraham and disputed the legitimacy of their need for freedom. Jesus’ answer is illuminating: “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” [John 8:34-36]. I have heard people quote verse 36 without any reference to the context. What Jesus meant was freedom from sin! Abiding in Him therefore implies that one lives according to His revealed will. He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” [John 14:15]. It is therefore not sufficient to understand the Word, one equally needs to be doer of it [cf. James 1:23ff.].A Christian needs to constantly examine himself whether he is abiding in Christ’s word or not. “Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith ..” [2 Cor. 13:5]. The two tests at this level are these: Do I love reading, studying and meditating on God’s word? Does God’s word impact my life?