In John 8:31, Jesus supplies a condition which reveals one as being a true disciple. It entails continuing, abiding or remaining in Christ’s word. This isn’t just a one-time decision or a temporary receiving of God’s word.
So essentially, Jesus is teaching these Jews: “You say you believe in me, but let me tell you what is necessary—you must continue to believe my word as I reveal teaching from God. You can’t just believe one proposition I make and then reject the next one. Either you continue to believe in my word or you don’t really believe in me at all.”
The abiding concept exposes all superficial attachment and thus abiding in Christ’s word is opposite of a partial or temporary receiving of Christ’s word that is found in the 2nd kind of hearer in the parable of the soils in Mark 4:16…these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. That hits the nail on the head as it relates to the difficulty with abiding in the word.
It’s one thing to have an emotional experience based on initially learning about the love of God in Christ and discovering a way to have all your guilt for sin removed by what Christ has done on your behalf. It’s quite another thing to have an abiding faith in God’s word through the ups and downs of life. In fact, the only way faith is tested is through having to exercise it. When obedience to Christ’s word demands that someone give up a particular pursuit or relationship because it’s getting in the way of following Christ or when that obedience begins to cause some ill-treatment from friends or co-workers, there is a fork in the road that one must choose whether to abide in Christ’s word or to reject at least a portion of it.