So, what does it mean? It certainly means a lot more than just thinking that because you’re a good person, you’re abiding in him. Remain, stay, and abide means something more than just shelving Jesus on weekdays and showing up for church on Sundays.
There’s a constancy required in those words. Jesus is saying “Stay in touch with me 24-7 and I’ll be there, too.” Quid pro quo, tit for tat, this for that—of course, that’s the sound of it. Not one that people would like to hear, but…it would seem to make sense. After all, Jesus can only be with the ones who choose to remain. He’s not going to force himself on anyone.
Remaining in Christ would be like having the same mind and will that he has. Sounds like a process and not a one-time thing. It requires a beginning and then a time for deepening the relationship. Praying, reading the Word of God and learning from it, praying some more, being around others who are like minded, and praying.
Jesus, in John 5:19, offers insight. While he was here on earth in human form he relied on the Father and says, “…The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do..” He was abiding in the Father and the Father in him. How did he do that? We know he spent a lot of time in prayer. He actually had a prayer life not prayer time. We should do the same.
The remainder of John 15 is a good place to begin the journey of abiding in Christ. He has much to say in this chapter. It’s a good place to begin writing God’s words on your heart (Psalm 119:11).