In becoming our sin and bearing the death-consequences of sin, Christ has opened the way for us to participate in the fellowship of the triune God. Because of the cross, we are now free to abide in Christ and to have Christ abide in us (John 15:4-10). The word “abide”(menno) means “to take up residence.” It is the opposite of “occasionally visit.” So, Christ died so that we would make him our permanent home as he makes us his permanent home.
Now, Paul teaches that all who place their trust in Christ are placed “in Christ.” We have been rescued…from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col 1:13). In a very real, ontological sense, we change addresses when we place our trust in Christ. But this isn’t the “abiding” that Jesus is talking about. The very fact that Jesus calls on his disciples to “abide” in him and warns them that they will not bear fruit if they don’t do this means that this “abiding” is something that we chose to do—or not.
We live in Christ to the degree that we surrender our will to him, moment–by-moment. Christ is our home to the degree that we are aware, moment-by-moment, that we are surrounded by, indwelt by, his perfect love. So the goal of our life must be to align our hearts and minds, moment-by-moment with the “in-Christ” new address we receive when we surrender to Christ. And as we remain aware and surrendered to Christ, moment-by-moment, we bear the fruit of Christ. As we “abide” in him and he in us, his loving, self-sacrificial character, as well as his joy and peace, become ours.
Christ took upon himself all that belonged to us so that all that belongs to him would be given to us. To receive this, we need only stay put in our true eternal home, Christ Jesus.