Remaining Essential to a Fruitful, Eternal Life

Revived once more, the old Higher Life view of “abiding” in Christ has raised its head. Essentially, what it says is that if you “abide” (never exactly defined, but some sort of spiritual super-state of existence), then you will automatically receive all the blessings of sanctification instead of working for them by the power of the Spirit. A careful reading of the passage (esp., John 15:6) show that all who don’t abide (lit., “remain”—the passage is talking about eternal security—perseverance of the saints) will be sent to hell (thrown into the fire). If one does abide, he is urged to obey (notice how often the word “commandments” occurs in the passage). He will be pruned to bear fruit; but if truly in the vine, united to Christ (and not spuriously seeming to be so), he will be with the Lord forever. This commandment to “love,” don’t forget, is backed up by Jesus’ words, “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

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