“ No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”1 John 4:12-16
All kinds of essential elements of faith are mentioned here in 1 John 4:12-16:
- Love one another,
- Be given the Spirit,
- See and testify of Jesus as savior,
- Confess Jesus as the Son of God
- Know and believe the love of God
Overarching all of these practices of faith is the word “abide.” It is used six times in these five short verses. The key to manifesting the love of God is to abide in Jesus.
Abiding is an interesting spiritual concept that appears in the writings of the Apostle John. It speaks of a love relationship where a believer is at home with Christ. The believer is receiving life-sustaining nourishment on a continually present basis. Its most famous use in John 15:1-11.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 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. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”John 15:1-11
Matt Chandler talks about how abiding in Christ has developed into daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly practices as a “rule of life” for himself and his family.
- What the fruits of abiding in Christ?
- Why do many Christians claim to have faith, but do not have the fruits of faith?
- How would you describe the life sustaining nourishment that you sustain from Jesus?
- Who is someone you know who abides with Christ?
- What is different about that person’s life?
- What practices would you like to implement to manifest the love of Christ in your life more fully?
Engage in a time of prayer for one another. Make sure that every individual prayer request is prayed for by another individual in the group.
- Message: Love’s Manifestation
- Life Group Discussion Guide: Abiding in Christ
- Deep Dive: Why Must the Church Meet Together?
- ASL Edition Premieres Sunday @ 11am