From “Discipleship and Discipline”, copyright March, 2005, by William H. Hicks:

“What is our responsibility as disciples of Christ?  What is the task assigned to us?  The Lord identified the task of every one of His disciples:  “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;” John 8: 31a.  Acceptance of responsibility is one of the dynamic attributes of discipleship which we will address later on; however, it is important at this point to identify our responsibility to our Lord.  This admonition from our Lord goes beyond turning us into libraries.

The term “abide”, as compared to the term “reside” means to actively dwell within, being alive, dynamic.  Thus, the Lord wants His word to be “alive” in His disciples, active towards fulfillment of a purpose.  What, then, is this purpose?  If we are not merely to know His words, how are we to know that His words are alive in us so we know that we have properly accepted the responsibility of a disciple?  In John 15: 8 the Lord is explicit as to how we manifest our discipleship:  “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

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