Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
The word used here for “abide” carries with it the meaning of remaining or staying in Christ. It speaks of being secure where we have been planted with a source of nourishment for growth and vitality. As believers, Jesus is our source of life, He is our source of strength, He is our source of purpose and it’s His guidance we follow through our obedience to the Holy Spirit. And we do so knowing that most importantly, it’s Jesus who gives us eternal life. Without Jesus there is no hope for eternity, because there is no hope for salvation. However, because of Jesus and what He did for us at the Cross of Calvary, we have hope and we have salvation and eternal security. Because of our faith in Him, we are children of God, adopted into the family of God by faith. Because of Jesus and the salvation He alone provides, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and guaranteed eternity in His presence. By the Holy Spirit’s work in us, we have been firmly planted in the family of God, because of our faith in Jesus. Moreover, we have been given God’s word to nourish and sustain us, as we grow in Christ through God’s process of spiritual growth called “Sanctification.”
Sanctification is the process of spiritual growth carried out by the Holy Spirit in the lives of all who follow Christ. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit, which produces a new character within us, as a result of the new spirit, which we received with our salvation. Prior to our salvation, our spirit was dead in trespasses and sins. When we accepted Jesus and received salvation by faith alone, we were given a new spirit, a spirit which is now alive to God and the things of God. And with the work of the Holy Spirit, God builds in us a character which glorifies Him and displays the light of the Gospel to others. The ability to remain in Jesus is one of the many works of the Holy Spirit, which gives evidence of our salvation. The Holy Spirit does a work in our hearts drawing us closer to Jesus and guiding us as we grow stronger in His word. This in turn produces a desire within us to stay connected with Jesus. And it’s that desire as our hearts work hand in hand with the Holy Spirit, which gives us the ability to live and grow in Christ. And it’s this process of growth and relationship with God the Father, through Christ Jesus our Lord, as we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that is referred to as “abiding in the vine” in the passages above.