Pristine Grace

by Eileen Beckett

“Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”. (John 15:4-5)

To abide: To continue in a place, to have one’s abode; dwell, reside….abide, stay, linger, tarry, wait and remain.

This is a profound biblical picture of us being in Christ and Christ being in us, Jesus is the vine, we are the branch. It is a picture we don’t have a hard time imagining as we look at vines and branches all the time. For me, these scriptures have lingered and I want to know…what does it mean to abide. Jesus says, without me you can do nothing and we know that it is God who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. Verse 17 further says, “if ye abide in me and my words abide in you”…… the richness of His living word.

Christ is not just some abstract idea that we embrace by faith, instead He is the way, the truth, the life(John 14.6) and we now have in Him ‘life abundant” (John 10:10), just as the branches have their life in the vine. It is through the vine that the branches are fed and abide and I believe Christ does that for us through His word applied by the Spirit, He does not leave the branches without nourishment! “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. Blessed nourishment!

We savor this very nourishment, the word of God, the Gospel of Grace in Christ, the doctrines, these very truths that have taken root in our heart of flesh! I have been given, by His grace and good pleasure, the life abundant in Him, nourished by His word, and I relish the study of it, alone, in bible study or with a friend. I relish to hear it preached from the pulpit, for you see, the Vine nourishes me in these ways, these are the very words written on my heart. I am the branch, and I live, yet not I, but Christ, the source, the Vine who lives in me!