ABIDING, DWELLING, AND MAKING HOME IN CHRIST
To abide in Christ is not only to remain in Him, but also to dwell in Him. To dwell in Him means to make your home in Him. Most English readers understand the word abide to mean simply to remain. But the Greek word for abide means to make home. In John 14:23 the same Greek root is used in the nominative form. Used as a noun, this word means an abode, a dwelling place, a home. Therefore, the Greek word for abide does not mean simply to remain, but also to dwell, to make home.
To abide in Christ is not only to remain in Him, but to be fully settled in Him. Sometimes when I visit the churches I stay in the church guest house. Although I may stay there for a time, I do not make my home there. I stay there with the expectation that I will leave after a few days. Our abiding in Christ should not be like this, but rather like our dwelling in our own home. If you abide in a certain place for a few days and then leave, that is not a home to you, but a hotel or a motel. Unfortunately, many Christians abide in Christ as a motel, just for a temporary stay. But we need to get ourselves settled in Christ, to make Christ our home. We need to dwell in Him. In John 14:23 the Lord Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him." This verse says that both the Father and the Son will come to us and make an abode with us. For the Father and the Son to make an abode with us means that the Triune God settles in us, making us His abode, that we would make Him our abode. The abode in John 14:23 and in 1 John 2:6, 3:24, and 4:15-16 is a mutual abode. God takes us as His abode, and we take Him as our abode. Our real and permanent home is our God. Christ is our home and our dwelling place.
GROWING IN CHRIST
Finally, to abide in Christ is to grow in Christ. If you take Christ as your home, He will eventually become the soil to you. Look at the branches abiding in the vine. The vine is a home to the branches, and at the same time the vine is the soil to the branches. While the branches are abiding in the vine, they are also rooting into the soil (Col. 2:7). Therefore, they all are growing (1 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 4:15). The vine and the branches in John 15 are not an illustration of a dead, lifeless home. The abode in John 15 is an organic home because all the dwellers are fruitbearing branches (John 15:5). That the branches bear fruit indicates that they are growing. While we are abiding in Christ, we are growing. This is the way to experience Christ, to enjoy Him, and to grow in Him and with Him. While we are growing in Him and He is growing in us, there is a kind of mutual growing (Rom. 6:5). This is the enjoyment of Christ, and this is the real experience of Christ. I hope that we all would practice abiding in Christ.
(The Secret of Experiencing Christ, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)