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BIBLE AND THEOLOGY FORUM
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ABIDE IN CHRIST

John 15 presents the basic doctrine of "Abiding in Christ." 1 John elaborates on this doctrine. The word "abide" simply means "stay." If you abide in a room, you do not go out of it; you stay there. The word "Christ" simply refers to the Lord Jesus, the 2nd person of the trinity, who added human nature to his personhood about 2,000 years ago. He died on a cross and was raised from the dead to have a transformed, glorified human nature.

But it is that little word "in" which bears interpretation. "Abide IN Christ." The explanation which makes the most sense to me is that "in" here means "in fellowship with."

15:1
I am the true vine,
and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
he takes it away.
And every [branch] that bears fruit,
he cleanses it,
that it may bear more fruit.
3 Already you* are clean because of
the word which I have spoken unto you*.

15:4
Abide in me, and I in you*.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine;
so neither can you*, except you* abide in me.
5 I am the vine, you* are the branches;
He who abides in me, and I in him,
the same bears much fruit;
for apart from me you* can do nothing.

15:6
If a man abide not in me,
he is cast forth as a branch and is withered;
and they gather them
and cast them into the fire,
and they are burned.

15:7
If you* abide in me,
and my words abide in you*;
ask whatsoever you* will,
and it shall be done unto you*.
8 Herein is my Father glorified,
that you* bear much fruit;
and [so] you* shall be my disciples.
9 Even as the Father has loved me,
I also have loved you*;
abide* in my love.
10 If you* keep my commandments,
you* shall abide in my love;
even as I have kept my Father's commandments
and abide in his love.
11 These things I have spoken unto you*,
that my joy may be in you*,
and [that] your* joy may be made full.

The asterisks mean "plural form" in Greek; you* = "you all."

ONE THING IS NEEDFUL

Mary of Bethany is my favorite woman in the Bible. She could be called the Enoch of the New Testament.

38 Now as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village. And a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had
a sister called Mary, who also sat at the Lord's feet and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving; and she came up to him and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister did leave me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.

41 But the Lord answered and said unto her: Martha, Martha, you are
anxious and
troubled about MANY THINGS.

42 But ONE THING is needful;
for Mary has chosen THE GOOD PART, which shall not be taken away from her.

As a child I was taught by my mother to eat the whole thing: the crust with the bread, the peeling with the apple -- not to waste. However, she liked to eat the icing on the cake with just a little dough herself!

But the Lord commends Mary of Bethany for having chosen the good part. She chose the ONE THING that is needful, namely fellowship with the Lord Jesus, ABIDING IN CHRIST. She was more interested in feeding on Him than preparing physical food. Note what she did:

"sat at the Lord's feet and heard his word."

1. She sat:

She stayed there, she did ADIDE. She had a long attention span for the Lord.

2. at:

She stayed NEAR the Lord. She fed on Him. It appears that she could not get enough of His company.

3. the Lord's feet:

She was submissive to the Lord and honored Him as above her. Later she will anoint those feed with a prescious ointment (nard) and wipe them with her hair, shortly before His crucifixion.

4. "heard"

She paid attention to what the Lord said and spent a long time at it. She appears to be the only person who actually understood that the Lord Jesus was going to be crucified. Thus, she was delivered from any illusions or delusions she might have had about Him just advancing to the throne of Israel without suffering first.

5. "His word"

Out of all the voices crying for attention in her life, we see that she valued the Word of the Lord above all. She fed on His spoken word.

When will we ever learn that "ONE THING IS NEEDFUL"?