The True Vine - Part 2
In John 15:5 Jesus says: -
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Therefore, the vital importance of our remaining in Christ and Him in us is conveyed in two ways. If we abide in Him and Him in us, we will bear much fruit, but apart from Him, nothing. Our great test then, for establishing our position in Christ is this… do we bear much fruit, or not.
In fact, even before we arrive at verse 5, we need to be completely aware that in the previous verses, the Lord has already spoken of fruit. He points out that every branch that bears fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. And although the thought of the pruning shears is not always a pleasant one, be assured that the end result will be worth it. Because by this we glorify God and are known as disciples of Christ, that we bear much fruit. Moreover, as we grow in faith, we recognize that there is clearly a progression in fruit bearing. Fruit, more fruit, and then in verse 5, much fruit. By the time we reach verse 16, there is lasting fruit, fruit that remains.
Perhaps the most well known example of fruit in the Scriptures, are the nine spiritual attributes which Paul calls the “fruit of the Spirit”. But there are others still. John the Baptizer tells those seeking his baptism, that they should “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance”, referring to their thoughts, words, and deeds. And, besides the fruit of the Spirit, in Romans 15:28, Paul speaks of the generosity of those who made contributions for the poor saints who were at Jerusalem as fruit. He also uses many other expressions, such as the fruit we reap, either good or bad, and in Romans 6:22 writes that “having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, we have our fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life". He also writes of the fruit of the light in Ephesians 5:9 and the fruit of righteousness in Philippians 1:11.
In Colossians, Paul says that the Gospel is “bearing fruit and growing all over the world”, which resulted in the Colossians “bearing fruit in every good work”. And James refers to wisdom from above being full of good fruit and peacemakers who sow in peace and produce the fruit of righteousness.
The Bible makes it most evident therefore, that there is great importance in the fruit we bear.
We ourselves are fruit. The fruit of the gospel, which as Paul wrote is bearing fruit and growing all over the world. And when we consider the gospel and all that our Lord has done for us in delivering us from the power of darkness and conveying us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, our hearts are filled with love and gratitude for the Saviour.
I trust that you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour and that your heart is full to overflowing with love and gratitude for Him. When our hearts are filled to overflowing, we cannot help but praise Him, because as we are told in Luke 6:45 “that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. This is what the writer of Hebrews describes as the fruit of our lips.
“Therefore, by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name”. (Heb 13:15)
When we abide in Christ and Him in us, we will bear much fruit, but without Him we can do nothing. Do you know the abiding presence of Christ in your life? If not, perhaps you would like to pray this prayer. Know also, that I am praying for you and for us all, that we shall, by His good grace, remain in Christ forever. Amen
“Lord Jesus Christ, I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life. I ask your forgiveness and now turn from everything which I know is wrong. Thank you for dying on the cross for me to set me free from my sins. Please come into my life. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and be with and abide with me forever. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen