Abide, Walk, and Continue in Christ
One of the things that Jesus accomplished when He died at Calvary was to pay the full penalty for all sins—past, present, and future.
SO, ALL A person has to do to be forgiven is to admit that he is a sinner and, by faith, receive Jesus Christ as his Savior because of who He is—the Son of God—and what He did on the cross (Rom. 10:13, Titus 3:5-6, I John 1:9).
He must do this instead of trying to hide, cover up, or blame someone else like Adam and Eve tried to do (Gen. 3:7-13). When a person admits that he is a sinner and asks God for forgiveness, he is no longer guilty before God.
When Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), the justice of God was satisfied, and the debt for sin was paid in full.
That’s why Paul, who had Christians beaten, imprisoned, and killed could say, “Forgetting those things which are behind” (Phil. 3:13).
It’s why Jesus could tell Peter, who had betrayed Him, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:16-17).
And, after sinning with Bathsheba and having her husband killed, this was the only way David could rightly say, “Purge me with hyssop” (Ps. 51:7).
Another thing that Jesus accomplished when He died on the cross was that He broke the power of sin. By doing so, He provided victory over sin for every believer.
This means the sin nature was made dormant and inactive in the believer’s life. But this result is not permanent and will not be permanent until the resurrection (I Cor. 15:52-54). It’s only true as long as the believer keeps his faith in who Christ is and what He did on the cross. If he moves his faith to anything else, then the sin nature is reactivated.
There are three terms used in the Bible that describe what Christians must do to maintain the victory over sin that Jesus won on the cross: abide, walk, and continue.
Abide means “to remain, or dwell in.” Psalm 91:1 says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” According to Bible scholar Finis Jennings Dake, this means “to sit down, to dwell; to remain; to settle in the sense of taking up a homestead or staking out a claim and resisting all claim-jumpers; to possess a place and live therein.”1
In John 15:4-8, believers are told by Christ, “Abide in me” in order to bear fruit, or, if they abide not, be thrown away and burned. Here, the word abide means “to remain, continue, and dwell.”
Another way a Christian’s life should be lived is presented in the word walk. It means how a believer chooses to rule or order his life. Believers are told to:
• walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4)
• walk after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1, 4)
• walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25)
• walk in love (Eph. 5:2)
• walk by faith and not sight (II Cor. 5:7)
• walk as children of light (Eph. 5:8)
• walk in the light (I John 1:7
• walk circumspectly (Eph. 5:15)
The final word, continue, means “to remain, persevere, endure, stay, and be steadfast and faithful.” In the positive sense, it refers to:
• prayer (Col 4:2; Acts 2:46)
• well doing (Rom. 2:7)
• the Word of God (Romans 2:7)
• Christ’s love (John 15:9; I Tim. 2:15)
• the grace of God (Acts 13:43)
• sound doctrine (I Tim. 4:16; II Tim. 2:15)
• the Son and the Father (I John 2:24)
• charity and holiness with sobriety (I Tim. 2:15)
• witnesses (Acts 26:22).
This is the same as continuing in the faith (Acts 14:22; Col. 1:23), continuing to follow the Lord (I Sam. 12:14), and continuing in the Son and the Father (I John 2:24).
So, by the same faith that a person gets saved is the same faith by which he abides, walks, and continues in Christ (Col. 2:6). According to I John 2:24-25, if a believer abides in the true gospel by faith in the cross (Acts 14:16), he will abide, walk, and continue in the Son and Father and have eternal life.
1Finis Jennings Dake, Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible (Lawrenceville, Georgia: Dake Bible Sales, 1963), 591.