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.
Eating his flesh and drinking his bloodJn 6:56Jn 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.
Jn 15:4It 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 alsoJn 17:23; Col 1:27; 1Jn 3:24; Rev 3:20
FruitfulnessJn 15:4-5The 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 alsoGal 5:22-23
Freedom from persistent sin1Jn 3:6-9John 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.
Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser wishes to thank all those who compiled or edited the NIV Thematic Study Bible, on which this work is based.
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