Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Obedience, righteousness, and maturing in the faith are inextricably linked together. All are the foundation on which to build a close and personal relationship with God. Instruction from Christ and words of wisdom from Paul unite these three sisters of grace. It is as we abide in Christ and walk in the spirit that we are kept from disobedience.
A life that is submitted to the leading of the Spirit of God walks in spirit and truth. A believer that abides in Christ is a life that maintains fellowship with the Father. A Christian that is obedient to the Word of God is one that is maturing in the faith. Only as we walk in obedience, do we maintain abiding fellowship with the Father. Only as we obey Christ’s command to abide in Me, do we bear fruit to God’s glory.
Though incarnate deity and perfect man, Christ needed to learn obedience. It was necessary for our Great High Priest to learn obedience and be made perfect. Christ was perfected so He could be the Author of eternal salvation to all believers, "for after He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation. for all who obey Him". Hebrews 5:9
Christ learned obedience and now the Spirit of Christ is our teacher. But we need to look to the motive for Christ’s obedience, which we should emulate. We need to understand the reason why obedience to His Father’s will was Christ’s joy.
Love was the motivating factor behind the Lord’s obedience to the Father. Love was the reason that the Lord Jesus followed the path of obedience. Love to do the Father’s will; love for the church, which is His body. It is a deep, personal, eternal, relational love that excites true obedience in man – for God is love and the greatest of all is love.
Throughout His life, Christ listened to every word proceeding from the mouth of God. It was His delight to obey His Father, and it was His joy to do His Father’s will... for He listened to His Father’s voice and He was guided by His Holy Spirit. His eye was ever watching for His promptings; His ear ever open to His whisper. Though eternally existent, Christ limited His deity in obedience to the Father.
From start to finish the Lord Jesus lived in submission to the will of the Father. The meat and drink that sustained His spirit, was to be obedient to the will of God... for He lived in willing submission to God’s training programme for His life, and even though He was God’s Son: "He learned obedience through what He suffered". Hebrews 5:8 And His life is to be the pattern of our life if we are to live in abiding obedience.
As deity Christ could have acted independently of God, but He chose submission. Had Christ acted independently of God He could never have secured our salvation, but in loving obedience to the Father and in gracious love for us He became obedient, "for being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross". Philippians 2:8
He chose to lay aside His deity and learn obedience through what He suffered. He laid aside His deity and learned obedience for love of you and me... so that we could become the righteousness of Christ, in Him.
We are not deity, but believers can CHOOSE to act independently of God too. When we act independently of God, our disobedience affects our Christian life, and disobedience affects fellowship with the Father and halts our spiritual growth. Through our union can never be broken, disobedience sours communion with Him.
We cannot abide in Christ in disobedience, but only as we delight to do His will. Like Christ, we too can learn obedience when love becomes our motivating factor - as we learn to diligently do His will out of love for our Saviour – as in love for the Lord Jesus we submit to His leading in willing obedience.
Obedience, righteousness, and maturing in the faith are inextricably linked together. And fruit, more fruit – much fruit is the joyful product of abiding obedience.. of abiding in Christ – of abiding in love.
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