Gathering Summary | Abiding

This week at the Gathering we started a new series called ABIDE.  This series is a deep dive into John 15:1-8 and one of Jesus’ last teachings to his disciples before he would go to the cross.  He gives us an illustration of a vine and the fruit that it produces.  Jesus shares in John 15 that he is the VINE and we are the BRANCHES.  If we abide in him, he will abide in us and we will produce much fruit.  

The word ABIDE means: to remain in, dwell with or be connected to.  If you ask someone what it means to abide in Christ they might say things like go to church, read our Bibles, pray, or help people.  Those are all good things and yes, they can help us abide but here is the dangerous thing – we can do all those things and still not be abiding in Christ.  Jesus’ harshest words during his time on Earth wasn’t for the notorious sinners he hung out with, but the religious leaders who did all the “right things.”  They read the Old Testament.  They prayed long, beautiful prayers.  They followed all the rules.  But even though they did those things he called them whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27-28).  It goes back to our WHY.  Our issue with abiding is we look for short cuts. We want to do the things of Jesus without being connected to Jesus.  Abiding isn’t the idea that we do lots of things for Jesus, but we REST in Jesus.  Which led us to our Big Idea from the Gathering.  

Big Idea: When we abide in Christ we are connecting to who Christ is, and who He is calling us to be.

When we began the church, we started by asking what a disciple at Capstone would look like. We went to John 15 and based on what Jesus teaches his disciples, we came up with a definition for what a disciple at Capstone would look like. We also created three targets and tools to go with that definition.  Here is how we define a disciple: Someone who is pursuing Christ and making decisions differently because of Christ.  

Notice this definition isn’t a list of dos or don’ts.  It doesn’t talk about just being a good person.  It is the idea that we are pursuing Christ (abiding) and in our pursuit to become more like Christ, our life is transformed by Jesus.  Our life looks different because of Jesus.   As we looked at Jesus’ life, we could see three areas in which he focused in order to have a balance life based on the greatest command: Love God and Love Others.  We saw a Vertical relationship (UP) in loving God and horizontal relationships (IN and OUT) in loving our neighbors. This was the basis of our three Discipleship Targets:  

UP | Growing in Christ
IN | Living as a Family
OUT | Sharing the Gospel

Next: Growing in Christ