Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
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Two Benefits of Abiding in Christ

By Dennis Pollock


Today we are going to be looking at a verse from John chapter 15, which is my favorite chapter in the Bible and has been for over 40 years. In this chapter, Jesus speaks of the abiding life and promises us that if we will abide in Him, we shall be fruitful – very, very fruitful.


To abide means to stay or remain. So, Jesus is exhorting us to remain in Him. Of course, you cannot remain in a place where you have never been. It would be foolish for me to command Canadians to "abide in Texas." They don't live in Texas, and most have never even been to Texas. So, if I wanted them to "abide in Texas" they would first have to move to Texas, and then it would make sense for me to encourage them to abide in Texas.


And for this reason, Jesus' word to unbelievers is: "Come unto Me." Their first step is to come to Jesus, to receive Him by faith, and be born again. But once they are safely in Christ, with their sins forgiven and having received eternal life, our Lord commands them: "Abide in Me." He is saying, "You have come to Me – don't go anywhere. Remain right where you are." Let us look at what He says in the sixteenth verse of this chapter:


"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." (John 15:16)


Go and Bear Fruit


Here we have two major benefits of abiding in Jesus, which are much fruit and answered prayer. Let's consider the fruit aspect first. Jesus tells us that we have been appointed to "go and bear fruit." I once heard a pastor teaching on this, and he said that Jesus was talking about the inner fruit, in other words, the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, kindness, humility, and so forth. This kind of fruit is indeed very important, in fact vitally important. But I don't think this was the kind of fruit Jesus was speaking of here. He says that the disciples were to "go" and bear fruit. You don't need to "go" to develop kindness or compassion. We can do that at home or anywhere else. The idea of "going" and bearing fruit indicates that Jesus was talking about the outer kind of fruit – fruit in people's lives as we minister to them.


To bear this kind of fruit we must go. Sometimes it may mean going from America to Africa, as Benedicta and I have done many times. At other times it may mean going a very short distance. When I was a young schoolteacher, I taught a second-grade class in Fort Worth, Texas. I shared a portable building with a young lady teacher whose class was separated from mine by a wall. We became friends and after a while, I began speaking to her about the Lord. On one day, after school was out, I went from my room over to hers, a distance of perhaps twelve or fifteen steps, and shared Jesus with her, and told her how she could be born again. She was touched and prayed with me to receive Jesus. This was an example of "going" and bearing fruit, but in this case, my going was perhaps twenty feet, not 8,000 miles like on our African mission trips. But still, I had to go. Had I gone straight home or stayed in my class and never talked with her, her conversion to Christ would not have happened, at least not then.


For us to be fruitful we must go out into the world and meet people, talk to people, relate to people, and show interest in people. We must "go and bear fruit." And this is a direct consequence of our abiding in Jesus. We stay in Jesus, but we go out into the world and share Him with others. And the result is spiritual fruit produced in people whose lives intersect with ours.


The Apostle Paul Went!


The apostle Paul was a "go-er." He went through numerous cities and countries, talking to people about Jesus, and proclaiming Him at every opportunity. And the fruit poured forth from his life.  He wrote to some friends in Rome: "I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles." (Romans 1:13). He is talking about outer fruit, the fruit of being a blessing in the lives of people. He is not saying that he would like to come to Rome so that he can become a nicer and humbler person. He is saying he wants to come to Rome so that believers can be spiritually fed and encouraged, and sinners can be saved. Whether you're going involves talking to your neighbor, writing a book, creating a YouTube video, or participating in an evangelistic outreach your church is doing, one way or the other we must get up out of our recliners and go – and be a blessing to this world.


After Jesus commands His disciples to go and bear fruit, He then adds a powerful promise. He says that He appointed them to go and bear fruit "THAT whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." He links abiding and fruit-producing with answered prayer. Abiders will be fruit producers and fruit producers will have their prayers answered. I find it interesting that Jesus makes this connection. They would seem to be two totally different and separate things – being fruitful and receiving constant answers to your prayers. But Jesus assures us that they are linked. In fact, Jesus gets radical, some might even say reckless, with this promise. He doesn't just say that your prayers will be often answered; He declares that whatever we ask the Father in His name, He will grant us our petition.


Every Christian fervently hopes that his or her prayers will be answered, yet that is not always a common experience. But here Jesus guarantees us that our prayers will be answered IF we fall into the category of abiders and fruit-producers. Why should this be? My conviction is that when God's children abide in Jesus, and the fruit begins to appear, God knows that He can trust them. They will not be making foolish or selfish requests. Abiders are so passionate about pleasing their Lord and bearing fruit unto Him when they pray, they ask for things that will help them to bear more fruit. And God will be pleased to answer those prayers.


A Prayer Answered


I can recall an instance of this in my own life. When I first began to follow Christ's call for me to produce diabetes and Bible-teaching videos to post on YouTube, Benedicta and I were living in a small apartment, and we had no room to do those videos. We had to tear down our dining room and move furniture all around just to be able to make videos. Often, I was worn out after doing all this rearranging and had little energy or pep to make the video. The idea of having an entire room devoted to video creation seemed like a dream, and I began to pray that the Lord would enable us to buy a house large enough to devote a good-sized room as a video studio, where I could just go into the room, turn the lights and cameras on, and start recording.


It did not happen overnight. I think it probably took about four or five years to be able to buy such a house. But in time, God provided a great house, and today we have exactly what I prayed for – a house large enough that we can devote an entire room totally to video and audio production. God is faithful!


These are two major benefits of abiding in Jesus. You will bear much fruit, and the Father will grant the petitions you make in Jesus' name. But it all starts with abiding. Come to Jesus, and when you get to Him, don't go anywhere! Abide in Jesus for the rest of your days, bear much good fruit, and receive answers to your prayers.





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