In Jesus’ instructions to his disciples before his crucifixion, in Jn 15-16, and in his prayer in Jn 17, he mentioned three things about abiding in him that we are going to discuss tonight. He was not referring to being “in the body” like he revealed to Paul . These are practical things that about abiding in Jesus. We must abide in Jesus:
To bring forth much fruit – Jn 15:5 – there are four things that bring forth much fruit: the fruit of the Spirit, Gal 5:22-23; the fruit of righteousness, Phil 1:11; the fruit of the word, Col 1:5-6; and the fruit of your good work, Col 1:10. If these are not bringing forth much fruit in your life, you may not be as close to Jesus Christ as you think you are.
A fellow I know always thought he was close to Jesus. Yet in a crisis, he has drawn exceedingly close to the Lord and now much more fruit is evident. Trouble will often draw you closer to the Lord. If you don’t see evidence of fruit in our life, draw closer to the Lord.
To have peace in tribulation – Jn 16:33 – when things are smooth, we all think we have peace. When tribulation arises, then you see whether your peace was the smooth sailing or the Lord’s peace. Your peace is an emotion and the other is a divine gift.
A sailboat is affected by the current, the waves, and wind drag on the hull. But it is also drawn forward by the wind on the sails. The way the wind draws the boat into itself by the Venturi effect is like the peace of God that draws you to the Lord in tribulation. The other factors are like your emotions. The peace of God will override those emotional forces when you are abiding in Jesus. If you’re not experiencing his peace, then draw closer to the Lord.
To be perfect in one – Jn 17:21-23 – being one with each other was important enough to Jesus that he thought to pray to his Father about us being perfect in one. When we are in discord at any level in our relationships, the first thing we should check is our relationship with the Lord.
The closer you are to the Lord, the closer you will be with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus said in v.21 “that they also may be one in us.” Then he said, “that they may be one, even as we are one,” v.22. And then he said, “that they may be made perfect in one,” v.23. Do you see the progression in drawing closer and closer to each other as we draw closer to the Lord?
Conclusion: We must abide in Jesus to bring forth much fruit, to have peace in tribulation, and to be made perfect in one. These three are hallmarks of abiding in Jesus.