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The "Abiding In Christ" Test
As we will see in the verses towards the end of this hub, from the Apostle Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus, the first thing we must know is that to be "abiding in Christ" is to be "in the faith", the realm of reality in Christ. This realm is the realm of truth. Another way to put it would be to live in the results of Jesus Christ’s redemptive work. This is to abide in the faith. In other words…
To abide in truth = to abide in the faith = to abide in Christ
God has given us the means by which we can test ourselves to see if we are abiding in Christ.
This first list tells us what cannot exist in us when we are abiding in Christ. Things such as these cannot be present when we are abiding in Christ (when we are “in the faith"):
- Guilt before God – Romans 3:19-21 & Isaiah 53:10: Jesus Christ is our guilt offering.
- Condemnation – Romans 8:1
- Shame – Romans 9:33 & 10:11
- Fear – 2Timothy 1:7 & 1 John 4:18
- Consciousness of sin – Hebrews 10:1-2
- Judgment of self or others – 1Corinthians 4:3-4, 13:5
- Worthlessness regarding self or other saints: 1Peter 1:18-20 & 2:9
- Blame before God – Ephesians 1:4
- Boasting of self – Romans 3:27 & 1Corinthians 13:4
- Jealousy – Galatians 3:28 & 1Corinthians 13:4
- Selfishness – 1Corinthians 13:5 & 10:24
- Sin dominating us – Romans 6:14
This next list shows us characteristics that are manifested when we are abiding in Christ (when we are “in the faith"):
- Boldness & Confidence – Ephesians 3:12
- Stability – Romans 16:25 & 2Peter 3:16-17
- Blessed in your doing – James 1:25
- Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faith, Gentleness, and Self-control – Galatians 5:22-23
- Power & sound mind – 2Timothy 1:7
- Freedom from sin – John 8:32 & Romans 6:7
- Dominion over darkness – Colossians 1:13
- Intimately knowing truth – John 7:17, 8:32
- Strengthened with power – Colossians 1:11
- Forgiveness – Ephesians 1:7
- Desire to please God – 1Thessalonians 2:4, Romans 8:8 & Galatians 1:10
- Sanctification – Romans 6:19 & 6:22
As we abide in “the faith” we are abiding in Christ, we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds, and the 1st list above fades out of our lives as the 2nd list ascends in us because we are being transforming into the image of Christ. As we stay faithful to think according to the gospel we find that more often we “pass the test.”
- Colossians 1:5b-6 (ESV) - “Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing––as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,”
- Colossians 1:28 (MOFF) - "This is the Christ we proclaim; we train everyone and teach everyone the full scope of this knowledge, in order to set everyone before God mature in Christ."
“THE FAITH” (abiding in Christ) - God’s Standard for the Church
God seeks those who will believe Him, who will accept what He says as their standard; for example, as in these records:
- Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-6 Adam and the woman
- Genesis 4:1-8 Cain & Abel (See also Hebrews 11:4, 1John 3:12)
- Genesis 22:12 Abraham (See also Romans 4)
- Deuteronomy 8:2 The Children of Israel
How about us? Has God given us a standard of what to believe? Yes! It's called "the faith", A.K.A. "the gospel", "the faith which is in Christ Jesus", "the truth"...
1Timothy 1:2 - Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Timothy 1:19 - Holding the faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning the faith have made shipwreck:
1TTimothy 3:9 - Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
1Timothy 3:13 - For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
1Timothy 4:1 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Timothy 5:8 - But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
1Timothy 6:10 - For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1Timothy 6:12 - Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1Timothy 6:21 - Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
2Timothy 2:18 - Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
2Timothy 3:8 - Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
2Timothy 4:7 - I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Titus 1:1 - Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
Titus 1:13 - This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
Titus 2:2 - That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in the faith, in charity, in patience.
Titus 3:15 - All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Do we really know what "the faith" is? This is a vital concern for those who desire to "abide in Christ;" The b4u2c hub series on The Epistle of Romans was constructed to help clarify these matters, but ultimately it is God who must enlighten the eyes of our understanding-- that He does so is to our advantage and should remain a top priority subject of prayer for us all.