“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4, NLT
One of Jesus’ favorite words was meno¯, often translated “remain,” “stay,” or “abide.” It describes a profound, intimate, and enduring relationship. For example, Jesus said, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to [meno¯ en, ‘stay in’] my teachings” (8:31).
The idea is that a disciple’s life is fully formed by Jesus’ word. Jesus described how the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son (14:10- 11). Likewise, when we remain in Christ, the Son is in us and we are in the Father and the Son (17:21). Both the Father and the Son come and make their home within his disciples. This mutual indwelling is precisely what it means that the disciple remains in Christ. We cannot gain the permanence of our relationship by our own effort; this relationship is only made permanent by the gracious initiative of God indwelling our lives through his Spirit.
This means commitment on the part of both God and the disciple. The mutual indwelling between God and the believer is not a fleeting or temporary commitment, but an enduring, permanent, and eternal relationship.