Living from Christ over living for Christ

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 ESV)

John 15 and abiding in the vine. It is a rich text as there is so much good in it to challenge and grant us hope. We, after all, are the ones that get to remain in Christ because He has chosen us. The implications are life altering in the best way. What John 15 also does is give us a foundation from which to live. We live in Christ, as part of the vine (Him) and it is in this place that we desire to bear fruit and are empowered to do it.

This is the place we live from.

Maybe you have recently heard someone talk about a person that is not “living for Christ,” or describe how great someone is for all they accomplished in a full “life for Christ.” While this doesn’t necessarily represent a wrong perspective on Christian living, I wonder if we would be better off articulating, and functioning “from Christ” rather than “for” Him.

It is a semantic difference that reveals our true¬†posture in life. First, there is nothing I could do “for” Christ apart from him. I don’t really think I am adding to His power or influence. I can’t add to the sufficiency of the work of the cross and I certainly can’t help Jesus defeat death. But I can, in union with Him, connect to the vine, wage war against the darkness, realize the defeat of sin and influence my culture for His glory.

This is living from Christ. He is my hero. He is my salvation, my justification, my sanctification. He is my eternal hope. I want to live from Him over and above ever trying to live “for” Him.

How might this reality change the way we live and rest in Christ? I wonder…


The World Hates Jesus

Stacy and I are blessed to be part of Door of Hope in Portland and part of that blessing is sitting under the teaching of Josh White.

This last Sunday Josh gave a message on John 15 and the warning from Christ that world would hate his disciples because they hate him. This sermon ranks among the most honest and needed – that I have heard. I encourage you to give it a listen and then think how we might live in response.

Listen to the sermon here.