"SECRETS OF THE ABUNDANT LIFE" The Secret Of Abiding Is Obeying INTRODUCTION 1. In our examination of the "Secrets Of The Abundant Life," we have seen thus far... a. The secret to living is bearing fruit, for in the very act of bearing fruit we experience the joy, happiness, assurance and peace which constitutes the "abundant life" b. The secret to bearing fruit is abiding, for as we "abide in Christ" (Jn 15:5 ) He provides the strength which enables us to bear fruit - cf. Ph 4:13 2. But what is the secret to abiding in Christ? How can we be sure to have access to the strength that Jesus provides? [Again we turn to Jesus' discourse on the vine and the branches as recorded in John 15...] I. THE SECRET OF ABIDING A. THE SECRET OF ABIDING IS OBEYING THE COMMANDS OF JESUS... 1. As stated by Jesus... a. By keeping His commands we abide in His love - Jn 15:10 a b. By keeping His commands we will be His friends - Jn 15:14 2. And restated by His beloved disciple, John - 1 Jn 3:24 a B. THE PRINCIPLE OF ABIDING THROUGH OBEYING... 1. Governed Jesus' relationship with His Father while on earth a. He kept His Father's commandments, and so abided in His love - Jn 15:10 b b. Passages which illustrate Jesus' desire to keep His Father's Will - Jn 4:34 ; 5:30; 6:38 2. And should govern our conduct as Christians as well a. We abide in Christ by keeping His commandments - 1 Jn 2:3-6 b. Otherwise we prove ourselves to be liars if we profess to know Him and do not keep His word! [And so "The Secret To Abiding Is Obeying". This may surprise some, but the importance of "obedience" is stressed throughout the Word of God...] II. THE IMPORTANCE OF OBEDIENCE A. AS STRESSED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT... 1. With the nation of Israel a. At their beginning as a nation - Deu 10:12 ,13 b. Later, as the prophets tried to turn them from their apostasy - Isa 1:18-20 2. With the example of King Saul - 1 Sam 15:22-23 3. As concluded by Solomon in his search for meaning - Ecc 12:13 B. AS STRESSED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT... 1. By Jesus, on several occasions a. During the sermon on the mount - Mt 7:21-23 ,24-27; Lk 6:46 b. In describing His true family - Mk 3:31-35 c. In giving the "Great Commission" - Mt 28:18-20 2. By the apostles in their preaching and teaching a. E.g., the apostle Peter - Ac 10:34 ,35,48 b. E.g., the apostle Paul - Ac 17:30 ; Ro 6:17-18 CONCLUSION 1. One cannot read much of God's Word without realizing that obedience to God's "commands" are essential if we are going to enjoy God's "blessings!" 2. One verse that expresses this well is He 5:9 , where speaking of Jesus it is said... "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him," 3. Have you obeyed the commands of Christ and His apostles? Consider just a few commands that you must obey if you are going to abide in Christ, and He in you... a. Believe on the name of Jesus Christ - 1 Jn 3:23 b. Repent of our sins - Ac 17:30 c. Be baptized - Mt 28:18-19 d. Grow in the knowledge of Christ - 2 Pe 3:18 e. Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together - He 10:24-25 f. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly - Co 3:16 g. Devote yourself to prayer - Co 4:2 4. To those who faithfully obey Jesus, to them are given the comforting words of Re 22:14 ... "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." The secret to living is bearing fruit; The secret to bearing fruit is abiding; The secret to abiding is obeying... Have you obeyed Jesus?