Abiding in Christ: What Does it Mean? part 3 of 9, Word Study Concluded
Php 1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
In this passage, Paul’s “abiding” with the Philippians was his continuing with them, “coming to” them, and “seeing” them again; it was his bodily presence with them, rather than his death. Paul abode with them so that he could disciple the Philippians, but those actions were not inherent in his abiding itself. This should be considered in analyzing John 15 and the nature of abiding in Christ.
1Ti 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
The children abiding in or following the right path is the sense of meno here.
2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
The Lord continues or remains faithful to His threatenings against unbelievers, for He cannot deny His holy nature. He is certain to condemn those who do not believe.
2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
Timothy was to remain or stay faithful to what he had learned.
2Ti 4:20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.
Erastus remained or stayed in the city of Corinth, while Trophimus stayed at Miletum.
Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abidetha priest continually.
The Lord remains or continues to have the office of a priest continually.
Heb 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
The Lord Jesus Christ remains forever; He will always exist.
Heb 10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
The heavenly substance will continue or remain forever.
Heb 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Heb 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
Our city here does not remain.
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
The Word of God continues, remains, or endures forever. These are synonymns for “abide.”
1Pe 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
The Word remains, continues, or abides forever.
1Jo 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
In the previous verse (v. 5), those en auto are those who are truly converted, those in whom the love of God is perfected (perfect tense). This would suggest that abiding in Him, v. 6, is synonymous with being en Christo, that is, with genuine conversion. Consider that this is a present tense abiding. Compare in John 15 the contrasting aorist and present tense usage of meno.
1Jo 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
Here again the contrast with v. 9, where he who hates his brother is now and always has been unconverted, indicates that abiding in the light (present tense again) is the mark of the converted individual.
1Jo 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
This verse also looks like the abiding of the Word of God in people is a characteristic of true conversion. They were clean (perfect tense) through the Word of God which Christ had spoken (John 15:3) and His Words abode (aorist) in them (John 15:7).
1Jo 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The one who does the will of God, the genuine convert, will continue to eternity in the presence of God, unlike the world and its lusts.
1Jo 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
The pluperfect of meno here in this verse makes it clear that the elect do abide, remain, continue, or stay. They begin to do so at one point (conversion) with continuing results. The ones who do not abide are lost. This verse provides evidence that in John 15abide is a synonym for persevere or continue. The evidence would only be undermined if one could prove from Scripture that people can genuinely abide and then cease to do so, be restored to doing so again, and cease to abide again, and continue to flip-flop back and forth, making abiding is an all-or-nothing matter rather than a matter of degree or a overall mark of believers. It is not possible to prove from the Bible that such flip-flopping takes place.
1Jo 2:24Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
If the teachings given before this text remain or continue in the audience of 1 John, then they will continue or remain in the Son and in the Father, that is, they will be eternally saved, for they are en Christo. V. 24, “Let . . . abide,” is a warning to avoid apostasy from the faith. Those who apostatize were never genuinely in Christ, but they had a certain sort of position in the Father and Son, it appears from the last clause here, as in John 15:2. Remaining or abiding in true faith and practice characterizes the audience; because they are those who abide, they will receive eternal life (v. 25).
1Jo 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
The Spirit, who indwells the elect, remains or continues in them, and He makes it certain that the elect will remain, continue, or persevere in true doctrine and practice.
1Jo 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
This is a command to persevere in the faith; those who are ashamed before Him at His coming are lost people, not disobedient Christians, as v. 29 and the previous verses demonstrate.
1Jo 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
Abiding in him is being regenerate; since in Him there is no sin, v. 5, the one who is in Him does not continue in sin (v. 6; and abide is present tense). The contrast is not with a disobedient Christian, but a lost man (v. 6bff.).
1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Because the Holy Spirit, given at the moment of regeneration, remains (present tense) in the elect, they are not able to continue to commit sin. Those who are born of God “cannot sin,” that is, cannot continue to sin.
1Jo 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
The one who is not loving his brother is remaining, continuing, or persevering in a state of spiritual death, while the one who loves his brother abides in a state of spiritual life.
1Jo 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Eternal life is not staying or remaining in the murderer.
1Jo 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
The one who does not help his brother does not have love for God within him, and God does not love him with that love He has for the elect. Not having the love of God dwelling, remaining, or staying in one is being lost.
1Jo 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
The one that keeps His commandments is a converted person. Scripture here equates “he who keeps His commandments” with “he who abides in Christ, and Christ abides in Him.” Abiding is what all saved people do, then, and it is a synonym with the perseverance of the saints, with continuing, remaining, or enduring in true doctrine and practice. The evidence that He continues or remains with us is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not only the possession of Christians who are not backslidden. This fact indicates that the entire verse deals with a saved/lost contrast, not an obedient/disobedient Christian contrast.
1Jo 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
Here again, the previous and subsequent context indicates that this love, which is the certain mark of regeneration (v. 7), and so is characteristic of all believers, is the subject under consideration. All believers love, therefore, God abides or dwells in all of them, and His love has been completed or perfected in them.
1Jo 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
Here the believer’s abiding in God, and God’s abiding in him, is also a mark of conversion. All believers were given and continue to have (perfect tense) the Spirit, and He is the seal and testimony of that mutual indwelling or abiding. Abiding is not something that a special class of believers learn how to do, but a certain state of all of God’s people.
1Jo 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
Here again, the indwelling or abiding of God in the saint and of the saint in God is a mark of regeneration, not of subsequent progressive sanctification. The mutual association between the believer’s dwelling in God and Christ and Christ’s indwelling the believer is also most noteworthy; all en Christohave Christ abiding in them; if Christ dwells in us, then we abide or dwell in Christ.
1Jo 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Here again, it is extremely clear that genuine conversion means that one abides in God and in love, and God abides in him. Nor can the advocate of abiding in Christ as (solely) an instrumentality for progressive sanctification which some believers may never possess argue that abiding in God and in Christ are two different things, for one can easily demonstrate that if one is in the Son he is also in the Father; this is also a necessary consequence of a proper and sound Trinitarian theology. Note the perfect tense forms for “we have loved and believed.”
2Jo 2 For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
The truth abiding, remaining, or dwelling in the saints was not a temporary state or condition, or dependent upon the struggles in practical sanctification, but a continuing character received permanently at regeneration.
2Jo 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
Here it is obvious that the one who does not abide in correct doctrine is lost.
Re 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
The seventh king will stay or remain in power for a short time.
The significance of abide as a synonym of remain, continue, endure, or persevere appears clear from an examination of the texts. While continuing with a person may often be connected with fellowship, the word itself does not signify any necessary personal communion.
See the complete study on meno or "abiding," which includes the passages not only in the KJV but also in the Greek NT (not present in this series of blog posts), by clicking here.