|Calvary Baptist Church - Danville, Illinois||
Have you ever heard someone ask the question after reading this passage, "How does someone abide in Christ?" Maybe you or someone you know has answered that question with things like, "Read the Bible and pray a whole bunch," or maybe they said, "Be faithful to always be in church." These are great things to do...but I do not believe they are the definition of abiding in Christ.
Remember, Jesus said if we were abiding in Him, THEN we would obey or keep His commandments. And, IF we are keeping His commandments as a RESULT of abiding in Him, THEN our joy would be full.
This passage teaches us, along with passages like James 4 and Genesis 3, that we serve what or who we worship. So, IF Jesus Christ is on the throne in my heart...If He is the one who I most desire to please, THEN keeping His commands will be the result. IF I keep His commandments because I have a love and desire to please Him, THEN I will have joy as a result.
If I begin to worship something else, the other elements, "Actions," and "Feelings/Emotions" will go in a different direction (Not good ones). There have been many times that I have kept Christ's commandments for reasons besides simply loving Him and desiring to please Him. Have you ever wanted to do something good to get the attention of other people, or to not disappoint a parent, etc. Even if we are keeping His commandments, we can have the result of discouragement or depression if those works were done for some other person or thing.
You could say it like this, "I feel the way I feel because I did what I did because I wanted what I wanted. So if I feel depressed or angry or some other unpleasant feeling, I can ask myself "What is it that I want?" This question can help me to check if Christ is truly on the throne in my heart. If He is not, that is the root of my need for repentance, and the beginning of putting off the sin I have committed and putting on righteousness