4 Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.”
John 15:4 (NIV)
The phrase “remain in Me” is such an important phrase that we need to unpack it in order to fully grasp its significance. In the Bible, we encounter a variety of translations or other phrases that convey similar meanings, such as “abide – abiding in Me” (KJV), “live in Me”, “dwell in Me” or “continue in Me”. This specific word “remain” – μείνατε - meinate (in Greek) is a consequential word. The Word of God talks about bearing spiritual fruits for example. When you abide in Him, you will bear many fruits (John 15). In Romans 8:1 says that there is no more condemnation to those who are in Christ. John the apostle also talked about the anointing of those who are abiding in God. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians also stated that those who are in Christ are becoming a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). And, Jesus Himself said very straightforwardly, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31). Thus, as a Christian, this phrase – “remain In Me” is very essential because it is the evidence of our faith.
Unfortunately, as Christian, there’s still lack of clarity and accuracy in how we define this phrase – “abide in Me” “continue in My word” “living in Me”. As result, there are many complacent Christians. They are confident that they are abiding and living in truth while actually the reality is not yet. Many who confess to be the follower of Jesus Christ might have felt secure and comfortable, believing that they are already “saved” simply by being a Christian. They might argue that “I go to church regularly. I even actively am involved in church ministry. Thus, I am certain that I am remaining in God!”. The question is: Is that how God defines that phrase? Are those things satisfying to God?
In 1 John 2:6, it is stated that “whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” In Phil 2:5-8, it is also stated,
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature of God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”
So abiding, remaining or living in God means modelling after Jesus’ lifestyle and life purpose. Possessing His character nature – the thinking quality, the conscience, the yearning (will and passion). Living a life simply to completing God’s will, agenda and vision. And in the process of engaging and pursuing this calling and duty, the Holy Spirit is at work at every turns, and every situations to make things all “good”. The result is we are being transformed from one glory to another in gradually becoming Christlike. This is the more accurate definition of remaining, abiding and living in and for God.
Therefore, it is very important that we don’t too quickly be complacent thinking that simply being a Christian or being an active Christian, we are already abiding and living in and for God. Are we striving to be like Christ in all of our ways – that’s the question we must question and examine ourselves! God the Father sent His only and beloved son Jesus to “show us the way” how to abide, live and remain in Him. May you be inspired and committed to follow Jesus' footstep. AMEN.