the weblog of Alan Knox

Abide in Christ…

Posted by on Jun 23, 2007 in scripture | 13 comments

My post from last night – “Jesus abides with me and I can abide with him” – was the culmination of a week of blogging through my responses to the meme “5 Things I Dig about Jesus” which was started by John Smulo. (By the way, if you haven’t taken part in this thing, you should. I enjoyed thinking about Jesus and trying to express what he means to me.)

The fact that Jesus abides with me and that I can abide with him was the first thing that I thought of for this meme. However, I put it last because I wanted to spend more time on it. You see, I’ve been meditating on abiding with Christ for the last several weeks. I’ve read many passages of Scripture trying to understand better what it means to abide in Christ and how that should affect my life. I have much more to write on this subject, but I’m not going to tackle it yet.

Instead of writing more about abiding in Christ, I want to ask a question. I’ve come across several phrases in Scripture that seem to mean the same (or similar) thing to the phrase “abide in Christ”. So I ask you, my readers, are these phrases all describing the same thing, or are there differences between one, some, or all of them? Also, are there other phrases in Scripture that you think may describe the same thing as “abide in Christ”?

  • abide in Christ
  • walk in the Spirit
  • be filled with the Spirit
  • walk in the light
  • let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
  • find rest
  • fellowship of the Spirit

These are a few of the phrases. Are there others? What do you think? Same, similar, completely different?


13 Comments

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  1. 6-23-2007

    I’m going to dodge the direct question and add another phrase that I see in the same light – tell me what you think: baptizing them in the name of Jesus… or baptized in Christ.

    I think we miss the boat often with the way we view baptism as described in the NT, but perhaps I’m the one who’s all wet and in the water on this one…

  2. 6-23-2007

    Alan-
    The thing that caught my attention as I looked at your list of phrases was the contrast between “walk” (active) and “abide”, “be”, “let”, “rest” and “fellowship” (passive/submissive in nature).
    I can’t truly “walk” (my action)until I have been filled by the Spirit and inhabited by the Word of Christ (His action performed in me as I submit to Him). The result of that abiding is real fellowship, secure rest.
    Maybe Bryan’s suggestion of “baptized in Christ” isn’t all wet, either, since it implies total identification with Christ.
    Kat

  3. 6-23-2007

    Alan-
    The thing that caught my attention as I looked at your list of phrases was the contrast between “walk” (active) and “abide”, “be”, “let”, “rest” and “fellowship” (passive/submissive in nature).
    I can’t truly “walk” (my action)until I have been filled by the Spirit and inhabited by the Word of Christ (His action performed in me as I submit to Him). The result of that abiding is real fellowship, secure rest.
    Maybe Bryan’s suggestion of “baptized in Christ” isn’t all wet, either, since it implies total identification with Christ.
    Kat

  4. 6-23-2007

    Alan-
    The thing that caught my attention as I looked at your list of phrases was the contrast between “walk” (active) and “abide”, “be”, “let”, “rest” and “fellowship” (passive/submissive in nature).
    I can’t truly “walk” (my action)until I have been filled by the Spirit and inhabited by the Word of Christ (His action performed in me as I submit to Him). The result of that abiding is real fellowship, secure rest.
    Maybe Bryan’s suggestion of “baptized in Christ” isn’t all wet, either, since it implies total identification with Christ.
    Kat

  5. 6-23-2007

    Alan-
    The thing that caught my attention as I looked at your list of phrases was the contrast between “walk” (active) and “abide”, “be”, “let”, “rest” and “fellowship” (passive/submissive in nature).
    I can’t truly “walk” (my action)until I have been filled by the Spirit and inhabited by the Word of Christ (His action performed in me as I submit to Him). The result of that abiding is real fellowship, secure rest.
    Maybe Bryan’s suggestion of “baptized in Christ” isn’t all wet, either, since it implies total identification with Christ.
    Kat

  6. 6-23-2007

    Alan-
    The thing that caught my attention as I looked at your list of phrases was the contrast between “walk” (active) and “abide”, “be”, “let”, “rest” and “fellowship” (passive/submissive in nature).
    I can’t truly “walk” (my action)until I have been filled by the Spirit and inhabited by the Word of Christ (His action performed in me as I submit to Him). The result of that abiding is real fellowship, secure rest.
    Maybe Bryan’s suggestion of “baptized in Christ” isn’t all wet, either, since it implies total identification with Christ.
    Kat

  7. 6-23-2007

    Alan-
    The thing that caught my attention as I looked at your list of phrases was the contrast between “walk” (active) and “abide”, “be”, “let”, “rest” and “fellowship” (passive/submissive in nature).
    I can’t truly “walk” (my action)until I have been filled by the Spirit and inhabited by the Word of Christ (His action performed in me as I submit to Him). The result of that abiding is real fellowship, secure rest.
    Maybe Bryan’s suggestion of “baptized in Christ” isn’t all wet, either, since it implies total identification with Christ.
    Kat

  8. 6-23-2007

    Alan-
    The thing that caught my attention as I looked at your list of phrases was the contrast between “walk” (active) and “abide”, “be”, “let”, “rest” and “fellowship” (passive/submissive in nature).
    I can’t truly “walk” (my action)until I have been filled by the Spirit and inhabited by the Word of Christ (His action performed in me as I submit to Him). The result of that abiding is real fellowship, secure rest.
    Maybe Bryan’s suggestion of “baptized in Christ” isn’t all wet, either, since it implies total identification with Christ.
    Kat

  9. 6-24-2007

    Bryan,

    That’s an interesting thought. This certainly seems to be true of baptism in 1 Cor. 12, and possibly Romans.

    Kat,

    “Walk” could also be passive… if it is used as a metphor for “how you live your life”. Thus, “walk” is not the physical act of walking – putting one foot in front of the other. Still, though, the active/passive contrast is very interesting, and something that I want to think further about.

    -Alan

  10. 6-24-2007

    I spent 5 weeks preaching on the Holy Spirit and I focused on “be filled with the Spirit” as my focal point on the series. I kept going back to this point, “we need a filling of the Spirit everyday.” I think all the phrases point to our daily walk as Christians. Do not walk as a “good” Christian, do not fall into the trappings of legalism but we need to look at Christ and remember that by Grace we were Saved.

  11. 6-24-2007

    Juan,

    Thank you for the comment. I’m realizing more and more than my “paper” theology is meaningless compared to my “life” theology. So, we have to keep asking ourselves, how do these phrases (i.e. “abide in Christ”, “be filled with the Holy Spirit”) affect our life each day?

    -Alan

  12. 6-25-2007

    Hi Alan,

    As you’ve written here, I’ve also come to see these phrases and terms as having essentially the same meaning. I think we’ve made abiding much more difficult than it is, and these phrases help us, I think, to get back to the simplicity that is in Jesus.

    “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Abiding, to me, is the moment by moment reckoning (in our mind, will, emotions) of the truth that is already established – that we are (already) in Him and He in us.

  13. 6-25-2007

    Joel,

    Jesus did say that his burden was easy and his yoke was light. I think that if we feel burdened, then we misunderstand “abiding”. Thanks for the comment.

    -Alan