“He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit.” (John 15:5)
“Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” (1 John 2:28-29)
Abiding is the most complete form of love in the Bible, because it is actionable, enduring love. The Greek word, meno, means to stay, continue, dwell, endure, be present with, remain, stand with, or tarry for. 1st Corinthians 13 tells us love is the greatest gift. John tells us those who love God will bear fruit, and James 1 gives us the most complete and perfect promise in all of Scripture: those who endure will be made “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Put all of this together, and you have God’s greatest benefits to self and others possible.
Abiding separates disciples from pretenders, and it alone will be the relationship that will save us from the great falling away of pretenders about to come. It is not the sort of mushy, comfortable love being preached by today’s Pharisees of grace. Those who believe they can go on living practiced carnal or lukewarm lifestyles, and yet be forgiven, are not abiding. They are pretending, and they will “shrink away from Jesus in shame at His coming.” The difference between abiders and pretenders is abiders “bear fruit” in this life because the One who abides in them compels them. Pretenders do not because they believe in the idol of grace who compels no one. Who will testify God used you to bear fruit in them when the Judge asks you to show a return on His investment? That’s the only question you need to ask. If the answer is unsettling, forsake your idol and seek to abide in the Real McCoy.