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What Do We Learn from 'If You Remain in Me and My Words Remain in You'?

Jesus' words "if you remain in me and my words remain in you" give a promise... but for what?

Contributing Writer
Updated Feb 06, 2023
What Do We Learn from 'If You Remain in Me and My Words Remain in You'?

During these trying times, it is now more important than ever to cling to our faith in Jesus Christ. The Word of God provides many promises. You need to read the Word to find out all of the benefits we have as Christians. The Bible says, “In the world, ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We are also encouraged to “be steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Where Does the Bible Say, 'If You Remain in Me and My Words Remain in You'?

This verse is John 15:7. The King James Version reads, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” If, as Christians, we continue to study God’s Word, have the character of Christ, and continue to believe in Christ, then we can go to God in faith for the things that we need. The Bible says, “no good thing will He withhold from them who walk upright” (Psalms 84:11).

God is concerned with your inner person as well as your outward appearance. Many times, people can appear as if they are Christians. They believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose three days later, but the testimony of their life is not always what it should be. We can fool humans, but we do not fool God.

The Lord wants us to work on our inward (or inner) man. Proverbs 20:27 declares, “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” I can quote various scriptures, attend all sorts of religious services, and give tithes of all I have to the church, but if I don’t have love for my fellow people, that is not pleasing to God (1 Corinthians 13:3).

What Did Jesus Mean by 'If You Remain in Me'?

Jesus wants you to believe in Him and be a practicing Christian. This means that you are joined to a Christian community. You are attending church services, when possible, with other faithful believers. You are reading the Bible to understand how God wants you to live. You do not just depend on the preached Word. You are studying the Word of God and getting to know God for yourself. You are in a relationship with Him.

As a Christian, you should be witnessing to others. Sometimes, you are the only Bible that someone will read. People are watching you. As a teacher, I must be careful about what I say and how I act. Children are very observant and will call you to the carpet on many things depending on their age. Your character should line up with who you say you are. I have had children tell me I was saved, and I don’t remember having a conversation about me being saved. I supposed that they assumed I was saved based on my conduct.

So “if you remain in Jesus and His words remain in you,” people should notice that. Sinners should feel convicted and want to step up their game for Christ. Backsliders should want to return to the Lord.

How Do 'My Words Remain in You'?

You will have to study for God’s words to remain in you. The Bible says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Attend Bible study or Sunday School when possible. You don’t have to worry about not knowing much before attending church. Usually, the pastor explains things in a way that anyone can understand. Taking in preaching alongside Bible study or Sunday School gives you something else you need. As we grow as Christians, we desire to study God’s Word. Preaching will build on the knowledge we gain. When the preached Word comes on Sunday or whenever you hear it, it builds on what you’re already learning, giving you more clarity.

You can learn about the Word of God in other ways as well. Put that mobile technology to work. I have this thing about listening to my audio Bible on my cellphone. It really helps me get more of the Word in. Yes, it is required that I sit down and study, but I like to maximize my time as well. Listening to the audio Bible helps me to achieve that. I have taken mini-Bible courses. Many people enroll in seminary or Bible college to learn about the history of Scripture and its people.

I found out that there is so much that I don’t know. I thank God for his revelation and the fact we can study it, so we know what we need for this moment and the future.

Does this Verse Mean God Will Give Us Whatever We Want?

If we remain in Jesus, He will give us the desires of our hearts. I used to think that God should give us everything we wanted.

Something else happens. As you draw nearer to God, you find that you desire what He desires. He puts His desires in your heart (Psalms 37:4). Sometimes, we think God will not let us do many things. God’s plans are way bigger than what we have, or what others have for us. I ask God to help me accept where He is trying to take me.

There are many benefits to being a Christian. Yes, God wants to give us things, which is part of what He does as our Father. He provides for us and gives us provisions. He fed the children of Israel in the wilderness. More recently, He fed many people with free food during COVID.

Still, God has his plans. People sometimes seek to manipulate God, and that is not possible. I have been told that God will bless us according to His will. I have heard that there is also a permissive will of God and God’s perfect will. I believe God allows us to do many things, but he has also made it clear that he wants us to do what is within his perfect will. God is our Father. Who doesn’t love the child that’s always trying to please their parent? The Bible even reminds us that God’s commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).

What Will We Ask for If We Remain in Jesus?

Our desires change as Jesus changes us, which will change our priorities. The Bible reminds us, “Commit thy way unto the Lord: trust also in Him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5.) So, we should learn to trust in God. We still work on whatever plans we need to work on. But we work with a different attitude. We work knowing we will receive direction, correction, and instruction as needed.

I remember when I first figured out that God wanted me to teach. I had a degree in broadcast journalism, not education. After substitute teaching for a while and then I taught for a year. I knew that God wanted me to continue to teach. I was candid with God and said, “I know you don’t want me only to do substitute teaching. You know that I need to be in a teacher program. “Hook it up.” The next thing I knew, I learned about a fabulous teacher program called Pathways to Teaching.

Relationship with God is everything. You develop a relationship by being a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. You study the Word of God to know His character. You listen to God’s preached Word to learn more about Him.

There will be moments when remaining in Jesus and being part of the church feel complicated. The Bible says, “He gave some apostles: and some prophets; and some, evangelist; and some, pastors and teachers: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). So, we know spiritual leadership is set up to help us. Unfortunately, there are bad actors from time to time. That is why you must read the Word of God for yourself. You should have a prayer life and know what God is saying to you. You shouldn’t be so easily hoodwinked or bamboozled when it comes to the gospel. Wherever you attend church, there should be a strong conviction of right and wrong, people being saved, sermons are based on the scriptures, and the Holy Ghost is embraced.

We should see that being a Christian brings freedom because we have escaped the bondage of sin. Luke 4:18 speaks of the Spirit of the Lord and the anointing’s ability “to heal the broken-hearted, deliver the captives, give sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those who are hurt.” The benefits of being in Jesus far outweigh not being in Him.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Boonyachoat 

Dr. Sandra SmithDr. Sandra Hamer Smith is a Christian and wife to Sylvester Smith. She has one stepson, Greg. Smith lives and resides in Memphis, Tennessee. The University of Memphis alumnae has been in education for about 20 years after receiving the call to teach. Dr. Smith primarily teaches language arts. Prior to education, she worked in local and national television news for 13 years including positions as an overnight news anchor, reporter, and assignments editor at two local network affiliate stations. Smith was also a freelance correspondent for BET news. Dr. Smith has freelanced for the Tri-State Defender newspaper and Contempora magazine.  She is the author of the self-published novel GLORY…THE HAIR.  Smith is also a playwright and poet. The Tennessee native is a member of Temple of Deliverance COGIC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, Omicron Delta Kappa, The Golden Key International Honour Society, and Kappa Delta Pi.


This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture's context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today.

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Faith Can Move Mountains


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