Saturday, June 2, 2012

Abiding in Christ.

And now, children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be put to shame by him at his coming.
-1 John 2:28 (NABRE)
Abide in Christ. What does it mean to abide in him? It means to remain in him. If we do not remain in him, are we saved? Is our salvation really a guarantee? Only if we abide in him can we be assured.
For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the holy Spirit and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to bring them to repentance again, since they are recrucifying the Son of God for themselves and holding him up to contempt.
-Hebrews 6:4-6 (NABRE)
So many verses in the bible show that we can lose our salvation.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
-John 15:1-2 (NABRE)

In other words , they were part of the vine but didn't produce fruit , so the father took them away.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
-John 15:1-2 (NABRE)
ABIDE in me, as I ABIDE in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever ABIDES in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not ABIDE in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you ABIDE in me and my words ABIDE in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father loves me, so I also love you. ABIDE in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will ABIDE in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and ABIDE in his love.
-John 15:4-10 (NABRE)
Before I get into how we are to abide in him I want to speak about what salvation is. Salvation is more than just being forgiven and let into heaven. Salvation is being forgiven, BEING ADOPTED INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD , and being let into heaven.

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.
-1 John 3:1-3 (NABRE)

Salvation is an ongoing process. It can't be reduced to a single moment in time. That doesn't mean that saying the sinners prayer , and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior isn't necessary. We all need to do that. For me this was a pivotal moment in my life , when i made a conscious choice to follow Christ. It was a profound and meaningful experience. But it does mean that salvation can be lost after this experience.

Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.
-2 Peter 1:4 (NABRE)

We are made partakers in the divine nature. We are truly made part of the family of God. But we can be cast out by falling away.

So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
-Philippians 2:12 (NABRE)

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Be careful not to fall away.

Therefore, we must attend all the more to what we have heard, so that we may not be carried away.
-Hebrews 2:1 (NABRE)

This is echoed throughout scripture. The warning of holding to the things we have heard and believed. We must remain in him. Never forget the things we were taught.

So how do we abide in Christ ? I think the only way to know this is to return to scripture. There is only one other time in the gospel where Jesus speaks of abiding in him.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood ABIDES in me and I in him.
-John 6:56 (NABRE)

We have to realize that John doesn't put anything in his gospel that is a throwaway line. It is the inerrant word of God. And it is no accident when he uses the same word in the bread of life discourse that he uses in the farewell discourse. Abide.
Does this mean that nominal Christians that receive communion are abiding in Christ. Certainly not. But those nominal Christians that put no thought into communion are doing something worse.
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.
-1 Corinthians 11:27-29 (NABRE)

Please think and pray about what Paul is saying here. Did Paul believe the lords supper was just a symbol?

1The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 1Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
-1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (NABRE)

I know this will be the last time a lot of my readers check my blog, but I have to follow my convictions. I only want people to see the gift Jesus left us. So often we make scripture conform to our beliefs instead of believing what the scripture says. The true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is not a new belief. Every Christian believed in it until the year 1520. Even Martin Luther believed in it. The teaching of symbolism is the new teaching. I truly believe the only way to make Christians unite is through the Eucharist. As the apostle Paul said 1Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
-1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (NABRE)
Thank you for reading.

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