John 15.4-5 cont.
4 You must remain in Me, and I will in you. Just as the branch cannot produce fruit from within itself if it does not remain in the vine, neither can you if you do not remain in Me.
5 I am the Vine you are the branches. The person remaining in Me and I in him will produce a lot of fruit, because apart from Me you can do nothing.
Jesus makes a tremendous promise to remain in us, but it is a promise that is conditional upon our remaining in Him. Therefore, Jesus gives us a warning that if we do not remain in Him He will not be in us.
How are we to understand this in the light of other words of Jesus that we may be fond of quoting?
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” – Matthew 28.20 (NLT).
Perhaps we can see that it is one thing for Jesus to remain in us, but another thing for Jesus to be with us. His being with us does not necessarily mean that He is within us.
When we deliberately choose to walk a different pathway to the pathway of Jesus we choose not to remain in Him and His ways. We reject His presence within us.
However, He does not abandon us and is still with us, even though He may not be within us.
His promise still holds true that He is with us.
Israel cut itself off from God and did not remain in God, but God did not abandon them, He did not leave them, even though they left Him. He was always with them, even during their time of exile in Babylon.
As we remain in Jesus, the True Vine, we have the certain promise that He will remain with us.
He does this through the presence and person of His Holy Spirit. His promise to always be within us is of great encouragement. We know that by remaining in Him we are never going to be alone. We will never have to face any situation on our own. There is an intimacy with Jesus that comes through our obeying His command to remain in Him.