Down through Jewish
history the vine became the symbol of Israel. During
the Macabees period of history, the symbol of the
vine was on the coins of Israel. It was over the
main doors of the synagogues. Josephus in describing
Herod's Temple in Jesus' day says, "Under the
crown–work was spread out a golden vine, with its
branches hanging down form a great height, the
largeness and the workmanship of which were an
astonishing sight to the spectators" (Antiquities of
the Jews, 5.5.4).
I picture in my mind the
Hebrew prophet Isaiah walking through the market
place in Jerusalem. People are busy hawking their
wares, vegetables and wool. As he walks along he
sees a vendor selling stringed instruments. The
prophet picks up an instrument and begins to chant a
song for my "well–beloved" concerning His vineyard.
The LORD God Jehovah is the "well–beloved" and His
vineyard is the nation of Israel. Listen to his song
in Isaiah chapter five.
"My well-beloved had a
vineyard on a fertile hill. And He dug it all
around, removed its stones, and planted it with the
choicest vine." The vinedresser chose the finest
kind of eastern vine, bearing a bluish–red grape
that would produce rich red wine.
"And He built a tower in
the middle of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it;
then He expected it to produce good grapes, but it
produced only worthless ones." Instead of producing
rich red quality grapes, it produced wild, harsh,
sour, small grapes. The grapes from a good stock
have failed to ripen. The vines have produced a
harsh flavor. Literally, the word for "worthless
ones" means "stinking, rotten grapes."
"And now, O inhabitants
of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between Me and
My vineyard. What more was there to do for My
vineyard that I have not done in it? Why, when I
expected it to produce good grapes did it produce
worthless ones? So now let Me tell you what I am
going to do to My vineyard: I will remove its hedge
and it will be consumed; I will break down its wall
and it will become trampled ground. And I will lay
it waste; it will not be pruned or hoed, but briars
and thorns will come up. I will also charge the
clouds to rain no rain on it." Judgment has come to
"For the vineyard of the
LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of
Judah His delightful plant. Thus He looked for
justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness,
but behold, a cry of distress" (Isaiah 5:1–7).
Isaiah closes his song
with a play on words.
Israel is a degenerate vine. God looked
for justice, but found bloodshed. He looked for
"righteousness" but He found "a cry of distress."
The Old Testament scholar H. C. Leupold says,
"Looking for measures he found massacres, and for
righteousness he found riots." The vineyard failed
to produce righteousness.
God chose the vine and
planted it. The Hebrew poet describes it this way:
"Thou didst remove a vine from Egypt; Thou didst
drive out the nations, and didst plant it. Thou
didst clear the ground before it, and it took deep
root and filled the land" (Psalm 80:8–9). He
concluded with a prayer, "O God of hosts, turn again
now, we beseech Thee; look down from heaven and see,
and take care of this vine" (v. 14).
Moreover, the prophet
Jeremiah picked up the same lament as Isaiah with
these words: "Yet I planted a choice vine, a
completely faithful seed. How then have you turned
yourself before me into the degenerate shoots of a
foreign vine?" (Jeremiah 2:21).
The prophet Ezekiel
reminds us the vine is good for nothing except to
bear fruit. The vine was a symbol of the spiritual
relationship between God and Israel. The fruit of
righteousness was to honor and glorify God. The
crooked, dwarf is worthless wood as fuel because it
flames up like paper and is gone instantly. You
could not use it to make furniture. It was too soft
and no good for lumber. You cannot use it as a tent
peg because it crumbles or flexes when you hit it.
It fulfills only one purpose by bearing rich,
delicious fruit. Israel was a wild, rotten grape.
Ezekiel tells us she was ripe for the great
winepress of the wrath of God (Ezekiel 15:1–6;
JESUS IS THE TRUE VINE
In John chapter fifteen
Jesus and His disciples had just celebrated the
Passover. The disciple Judas has left the group to
set up the betrayal. Jesus and the eleven remaining
disciples left Jerusalem, and went down into the
Kidron Valley and up the slope of the Mount of
Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane.
As they walk along the
trail Jesus and the disciples pass through the
vineyards that surround the city. Perhaps they can
see the beautiful golden dome of the Temple lit up
with the festive candelabra. Along the trail are
gnarled grapevines that showed the scars from recent
One New Testament scholar
thinks they can see in the distance "the Temple at
Jerusalem, above and round the gate, seventy cubits
high, which led from the porch to the holy place, a
richly carved vine was extended as a border and
decoration. The branches, tendrils, and leaves were
of finest gold; the stalks of the bunches were of
the length of the human form, and the bunches
hanging upon them were of costly jewels . . . this
vine must have had an uncommon importance and a
sacred meaning in the eyes of the Jews. With what
majestic splendor must it likewise have appeared in
the evening . . ."
Jesus picked up a cutting
and turned to His disciples. "You know how Israel is
pictured as a vine which is to produce refreshing
fruit. Well, she failed. I am the authentic Vine. I
am the true and genuine Vine as opposed to a mere
copy or symbol. I am the fulfillment of all that
this symbol suggests. I am the Vine, the true One.’’
The word "true" is also
used of that which is the ultimate realization.
Jesus is the fullest realization of the hope of
Israel, of her expectations, of what God intended
her to be. Israel as a vine never achieved her goal.
She was a failure. However, the Lord Jesus Christ
Who came as the True Vine accomplished all that God
intended His Messiah to do. In rabbinical literature
the vine became the picture of the restored Israel.
The vine stands for the Messiah, the Anointed of
God. Jesus' claim to be the Vine is a claim to be
the Messiah. In Him the true destiny of Israel is
fulfilled and consummated. Jesus is the genuine
Messianic Vine. In Him the Messianic age is
Jesus drew a sharp
contrast between the degenerate vine of Israel and
Himself. He transferred the privileges and
responsibilities from the Hebrew people to Himself.
Jesus' secret is
with His Father
This was the secret of
His experience with His Father. "I am in the Father,
and the Father is in Me" (John 14:10–11). The only
way you can explain Jesus is His communion with the
Father. There was perfect union with Him. "I and the
Father are one" (John 10:30). There was never any
disunion or disharmony. It was perfect fellowship.
The Father and the Son are never regarded as
separate entities each going His own separate way
regardless of the other. They are always seen
The secret of the
With this vine Jesus
illustrated the most fundamental and basic secret of
the Christian life. Jesus says this is the secret of
the Christian life: "You in Me, and I in you." Look
at John 15:1–2. "I am the true vine, and My Father
is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not
bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that
bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more
fruit." The basic idea is vital union with Christ.
It speaks of an intimate love relationship with Him.
Campbell Morgan suggested
the whole plant is the vine. Christ included in the
vine not only the branches but the stem and root.
When we are united in Christ we are one with Him. It
is our identification with Christ. Jesus is the only
source of spiritual life. When we are united with
Him, we are identified with Him. The fruit of such a
vine is the natural outflow of the life of the vine.
THE PURPOSE OF THE
The purpose of the vine
is to bring forth fruit. The whole emphasis of the
allegory of the vine is fruit bearing. God expected
Israel to produce luscious, beautiful, rich choice
grapes of righteousness. She produced sour, rotten,
stinking, tasteless grapes. God was looking for
justice and righteousness; instead he found
oppression, cruelty, exploitation of men. Jesus said
the purpose of the vine was "that it may keep on
bearing more and more fruit."
What is the fruit God is
producing in your life? The fruit of the vine will
be the natural outflow of the life of the vine.
Jesus is the Vine. When we are united with Him we
are identified with Him. We produce His wine. We
reproduce Christ. He works in us what He produces.
God expects the fruit of
the Holy Spirit produced in our lives. Only Jesus
living in us can produce the fruit of the Spirit.
God expects to see likeness to Jesus Christ. He
examines our lives and expects to see love, joy,
peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
and self–control. The fruit is Christ–likeness. The
fruit is the righteousness of God in the heart. It
is the likeness of Christ.
GOD THE FATHER IS THE
We who name the name of
Jesus Christ are God’s great vineyard. God expects
us to produce His fruit in His vineyard. John 15:2
reads, "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit,
He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He
prunes it, that it may bear more fruit."
Merrill Tenney wrote in
his commentary on the Gospel of John this
observation on the vinedresser or viticulturist and
the pruning process.
". . . In pruning a vine,
two principles are generally observed: first, all
dead wood must be ruthlessly removed; and second,
the live wood must be cut back drastically. Dead
wood harbors insects and disease and may cause the
vine to rot, to say nothing of being unproductive
and unsightly. Live wood must be trimmed back in
order to prevent such heavy growth that the life of
the vine goes into the wood rather than into fruit.
The vineyards in the early spring look like a
collection of barren, bleeding stumps; but in the
fall they are filled with luxuriant purple grapes.
As the farmer wields the pruning knife on his vines,
so God cuts dead wood out from among His saints, and
often cuts back the living wood so far that His
method seems cruel. Nevertheless, from those who
have suffered the most there often comes the
greatest fruitfulness" (Merrill C. Tenney, John:
The Gospel of Belief. Grand Rapids: William B.
Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1948, pp. 227–28).
God prunes us (v.
Just as the viticulturist
must cleanse the vine, our heavenly Father must
cleanse us so we will bear more fruit. He finds a
branch that is producing fruit and He begins to cut
it back so it will bear more of the likeness of
Christ. His goal is to cleanse the branches that
remain, in order to produce fruitfulness. The whole
emphasis is "fruit," "more fruit," "much fruit"
again "much fruit." He won’t stop until He sees
fruit! God cuts away the dead wood, diseased and
rotten portion of our lives. Sometimes we feel that
His methods seem cruel. He does it so we will
produce the righteousness of Jesus. I have often
observed that from those who have endured intense
suffering there comes forth the radiant beauty of
the Lord Jesus. This pruning process is a cleansing
Jesus said in verse
eight, "By this is My Father glorified, that you
bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples."
He will do whatever cleansing is necessary to
produce His kind of fruit. Our heavenly Father finds
a branch that is beginning to bear fruit, beginning
to produce the likeness of Christ, and He cuts it
back, trims off shoots, so we will bear more fruit.
Have you been going
through the painful pruning process lately? He works
at cutting out everything in our lives that is
opposed to Christ–likeness. The Great Physician has
never let His scalpel slip. With precision He cuts
out the resentments, bitterness, anger, selfishness,
self–centeredness, arrogance, etc. Anything that is
not the fruit of the Spirit He will cut out of our
lives. If it is not Christ–likeness He will snip it
How does the Father
prune? (v. 3)
"You are already clean
because of the word which I have spoken to you" (v.
3). The Father employs the circumstances and
situations in our lives to make us heed and hear His
Word. He uses the Scriptures to confront our
carnality and selfishness. Have you found yourself
in a situation where you had to listen to God’s
Word? You couldn’t run away. All you could do was
stop and listen to His voice through the Scriptures.
It cuts into our quick. It hurts. You feel the sting
of it. That is the Father’s pruning knife cutting
off the sucker in our old self.
We carry over into our
Christian life a lot of things from our old life
that is not Christ–like. We brought a lot of old
luggage when we came to Christ. Remember He accepts
us in His grace. He does not expect us to "clean up
our act" before coming to Him. By grace He accepts
us just as we are, sinner and all. Through the
process of sanctification, God cuts the old man out
of our lives. He cleans us up through this process
of pruning. It doesn't happen suddenly, or once and
for all, but it takes a whole life time. He does it
repeatedly and often. Slowly and surely God's Word
is at work in our hearts pruning and cleansing and
causing us to bear fruit. The Father's pruning knife
cuts off the sucker shoots of our old life within
us, so that we become more Christ-like.
We have inherited a lot
of tendencies, philosophies and attitudes that are
not Christ–like. God cleanses us. He cuts off the
fat and causes us to lean on Him for His
The issue is
Christ–likeness, not salvation (v. 3, 6).
It is critical that we
note the difference between position and production
in this passage. Christ is speaking of our position
in Him. "Every branch in Me" speaks of our
unchanging position in Christ. The command to "abide
in Me" is given to those who are already branches.
This passage does not give proof that true believers
may fall away. Jesus is not teaching that we can
loose our salvation by failing to abide. However, He
is demonstrating that our responsibility is to abide
in Him. It is not an option in the Christian life.
It is a responsibility and requirement. It is only
part of the picture of the vinedresser and the point
cannot be made without it. The emphasis is on
bearing fruit, not salvation. Left by itself the
vine produces all kinds of unproductive growth.
Pruning is essential for production of fruit.
The disciples are already
cleansed by faith in His word (verse 3). The word
"clean" in verse 3 is the same expression used in
John 13:10. Jesus was referring to saving faith when
He said, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his
feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean,
but not all of you."
Consequences of not
abiding (v. 6)
Verse six gives us the
consequences of not abiding in the vine. "If anyone
does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch,
and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them
into the fire, and they are burned." Judas Iscariot
was with the Lord Jesus. He spent time with Him,
performed miracles, shared in the experiences of
Christ, but there was no life in Him. He did not
abide in Christ, and Christ did not abide in Him.
The disciples were surprised when Jesus told them
one of them would betray Him. The last person they
thought of was Judas. They all said, "Lord, is it
I?" Judas was the exception in terms of this
parable. He is an unfruitful branch that has to be
removed. The disciples who kept Jesus' word are
"clean" through His word. Judas did not abide in
Christ, and Christ did not abide in him. He was cut
off and he withered and died. He committed suicide
within a few days, and he was burned––eternally
lost. It is the most horrible tragedy in the Bible.
It ought to cause us to search our hearts.
Verse three, "You are
already clean because of the word which I have
spoken to you." Verse six, "If anyone does not abide
in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up;
and they gather them, and cast them into the fire,
and they are burned." Verse eight, "By this is My
Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so
prove to be My disciples." Verse 16, "You did not
choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that
you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit
should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father
in My name, He may give to you." Verse 19, "If you
were of the world, the world would love its own; but
because you are not of the world, but I chose you
out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
You cannot live the
Christian life in the power of the flesh. The flesh
always produces rotten grapes. The believer never
ceases to be a branch no matter how barren the
believer becomes. The works done in the flesh are
thrown in the fire and burned up. Do you have some
old fleshly branches God is cleaning up in His
The Apostle Paul helps to
distinguish our position in Christ and the
production of fruit in I Corinthians 3:11–15.
For no man can lay a
foundation other than the one which is laid, which
is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the
foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood,
hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for
the day will show it, because it is to be revealed
with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality
of each man's work. If any man's work which he has
built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If
any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss;
but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through
THE PRINCIPLE OF
Whereas verses 1–3
relates to our position in the Vine, verses 4–8
speaks of our practice as branches in the Vine.
Jesus looks for His own
life reproduced in us. He wants to reproduce the
life of the Vine in the branches. He tells us the
secret in verses four and five, "Abide in Me, and I
in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you,
unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the
branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he
bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do
nothing." The single most important thing in your
life is an intimate, abiding love relationship with
Jesus Christ. This is our responsibility in our
position in Christ. "You in Me, and I in you." That
was the kind of life Jesus had with the Father while
He was here on the earth. It is an intimate love
relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy
Spirit who lives within us. The Apostle Paul used
the expression "in" Christ to communicate this same
vital connection that exists between Christ and the
believer. The basic relationship is already
established by the coming of the Holy Spirit into
the believer's life.
Two things stand out in
these two verses. There is an activity that is to be
done, and there is a passivity that is to be
acknowledged. We are to abide in Christ. That is
active, something we do. We are also to let Him
abide in us which is passive. It is something we
allow Him to do in us. Both of these relationships
are absolutely essential if we are to live the
The "fruit" God is
looking for in the Christian is the likeness of
Jesus. It is the "fruit of the Spirit" in Galatians
5:22–23. This is the proof of discipleship.
as branches (v. 4–5)
Jesus said "Abide in Me."
To "abide" means "to remain in union, maintain a
living communion, to maintain unbroken fellowship
with another. This is our responsibility in Christ.
John uses the word "abide" over fifty times in his
writings; eleven times in John 15. When I am abiding
I am believing, reckoning on and persevering.
The "filling of the
Spirit" and the "abiding" are one and the same.
"Walk in the Spirit" keeps us abiding in Christ.
A vine–branch is lifeless
and useless unless it remains attached to the vine.
It can produce grapes only as it remains attached.
The moment it is severed it begins to die and
becomes fruitless. Believers in Christ can produce
the fruit of the Spirit only as they remain attached
to Jesus and draw their life in the Spirit from Him.
The Apostle Paul
expressed the same truth in Galatians 2:20. He
wrote, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is
no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and
the life which I now live in the flesh I live by
faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered
Himself up for me." The believer who is abiding in
Christ can say, "I can do all things through Him who
strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
I choose daily to
abide in Christ.
"Abide in Me" talks about
the will. It speaks to the choices we make every
day. I make a decision daily to abide in Christ. I
made a commitment a long time ago, but I also make
it every day. I begin my day, "Lord abide in me." I
make it many times during the day. I decide to
expose myself to Him, to His word, to fellowship of
other believers in Christ and maintain that
relationship of being yielded to Him. I choose to
read His Word, to pray, to obey Him. I choose to
make myself available to Him daily. We abide in Him
by allowing Him to abide in us. We have been placed
into Christ by the Holy Spirit. Now we choose to
maintain that relationship by the decisions we make.
That is the Spirit–controlled person.
"I in you." Jesus wants
to abide in us. Everything in your Christian life
depends on the quality of that relationship with
Christ. The quality of your Christian life depends
on the quality of your relationship with Him. It all
depends on an intimate love relationship with
Christ. He says, "Let me abide in you." You can make
choices but you cannot fulfill them. You are not
responsible for the power to carry them out. God is.
You depend upon Him to carry you through. If you try
to do the whole thing by yourself in your own
strength, you will fail. If you try to make all the
choices and carry all the responsibility on your
own, you will fail.
Yes, we must make
choices, and determine to follow Him. We must choose
to place ourselves so He can speak to us through His
Word. Then we have to count on Him to supply us and
empower us to live His life. "Christ in you is the
hope of glory."
God desires an intimacy
with you that is more real than any other
relationship in life. That is the only place you
will ever find the power to be all God wants you to
be. He does in us what we can never do for
ourselves. It is His power, His vitality, His
strength, His spiritual sap that enables us to be
Did you notice the
passive response on our part is the production of
fruit in verse five? "I am the vine, you are the
branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he
bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do
nothing." The command is not to produce fruit, but
to abide. When we are abiding in Christ the fruit
comes naturally. He produces it in us. If we abide
in Christ we will bear fruit. If we don’t we become
barren. The Vine is incomplete without the branches.
He must have His branches to produce His fruit. When
we abide He produces His fruit in us. We do not have
to work at it. We don't have to agonize over it. We
don't struggle to produce these characteristics of
Christ. The Vine brings them about naturally. Good
sweet grapes simply stay on the vine and let's the
life of the vine produce the fruit. Good spiritual
fruit comes naturally from God's vineyard.
When we abide in Christ
we are at the center of God’s will. It is impossible
to abide in Christ and be outside of His will. When
we abide in Him, He opens our spiritual eyes to see
where He is working. He doesn’t want us to bring to
Him our great plans, and goals and decisions and ask
Him to bless them. He wants us to seek His face and
allow Him to guide us in doing what He chooses for
us to do. When our hearts are right with Him, He
will reveal to us where He is at work. We can dream
up a lot of activities with lots of green leaves and
foliage, but no fruit of Spirit. "Apart from Me, you
can do nothing!" Will we ever learn that truth? We
can do many things; we can produce a lot of programs
and religious activities, without depending on
Christ. We cannot produce His likeness unless we
abide in Him.
PROMISES THAT ENABLE
US TO ABIDE IN CHRIST (15:7–8, 26).
We have the promise
The condition of the
promise is that we abide and that we will produce
His fruit. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide
in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done
for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you
bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples"
(vv. 7, 8). The sap, nutrients, energy must come
from Him. Again He says in v. 16, "You did not
choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that
you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit
should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father
in My name, He may give to you." When you give
Christ the desires of your heart then all you do is
touched and controlled by His love. We adjust our
lives to His will when we come to Him in prayer.
These are not "name it and claim it" proof texts.
There is nothing selfish here. The petition is,
"Lord where are you at work in my life?" Show me
where you are at work all about me.
Jesus made the same
promise to His disciples in John 14:13–14. He said,
"And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do,
that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you
ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." The
promise is made to those who remain in Him and His
words have a permanent residence in the believer.
Eternal life and resurrection power are always
available to the person who has faith in Christ.
Prayer is coming and
talking to the One whom we love and want to know
more intimately. It is sharing with Him the intimacy
of our heart. It is a beautiful and marvelous
experience of love. In prayer you share with Him
where you are spiritually. You share your desires,
your goals, ambitions, sins, failures, hopes,
struggles, burdens and love for Him. When you do it
daily Christ becomes real to you. You are abiding in
him in prayer. It is a delightful marvelous
There is a clear
demonstration of discipleship in verse eight. God
will be glorified in Christ–likeness. There will be
a deeper experience in Christ’s love. "Just as the
Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in
My love." It is easy to obey Him when our heart is
moved by His love. When we do not obey Him it is
evident we do not love Him. When we obey Him our
love grows deeper and deeper. We become something
beautiful. The more you love Him the more you want
to abide in Him. The more you abide the more you
We have the promise
of the Paracletos.
"When the Helper comes,
whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the
Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He
will bear witness of Me," (v. 26). If you are not
walking in the Spirit you are not abiding. We are
not saved and then left to live the Christian life
all by ourselves. We received the Helper the moment
we were saved,. The Holy Spirit lives within us. He
produces the likeness of Christ as we yield
ourselves to Him.
PROOF THAT WE ARE
BEARING FRUIT (15:7–11)
God answers your
prayers according to His will (v. 7).
You will see God at work
in your life. If you are abiding in Christ your
prayers will be "in the name" of Christ. They will
be in accord with all that Christ stands for and
demonstrate Christ–likeness (v. 8).
It is not activity that
glorifies God, but a Christ-like character. You may
be bedridden, or suffering from some debilitating
disease, but you can manifest a Christ–like spirit.
You are demonstrating discipleship. That is all He
asks of you. You abide; He will produce His
character in you. In this vital union there is much
fruit bearing. We will "keep on bearing" much fruit.
You will have a
growing experience of Christ's love (vv. 9–10).
What is your response to
God's love? There must always be a response if love
is to grow. When love is responded to it grows
deeper and richer. If you are not feeling the depths
of God's love you are not responding to it. You are
not loving Him back. You have to feed any
relationship to make it grow. Relationships don't
grow automatically. Love has to be responded to.
This is also true of our relationship with God. "We
love Him because He first loved us," says the
apostle John. We keep on loving Him in response to
"Just as the Father has
loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My
love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments,
and abide in His love" (vv. 9–10). Our love for
Christ is the result of His sacrificial love for us.
Are you growing deeper and deeper in God's love?
Abiding in Christ is an
intimate walk with Christ. We are enriched with by
Christ. In verses 10 and 11 He adds, "my love," "my
joy" and "my peace."
You joy will be
full (v. 11).
"These things I have
spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that
your joy may be made full" (v. 11). It is creative
joy. It is the joy of a finished work. Jesus calls
us into His joy. We can have Christ's permanent
absolute joy in our lives. It is the fruit of His
life in us.
Where is God at
work in your life?
Are you in the middle of
a pruning process? Where is God cleansing in your
life? Is the Father using the sharp knife of
circumstances to sanctify you with His Word? Are you
going through changes where you are being forced to
rely upon Him? Is He working on some old habits,
behaviors or attitudes that have to go? Don't resist
the Vinedresser's knife. Yield to Him, and allow Him
to do His deep work in your life.
What kind of fruit are
you producing? Are you beginning to look and smell
more like Jesus? Is there a cluster of riche
beautiful spiritual fruit that is looking more and
more like Christ? Are your lost friends and family
beginning to see God's love demonstrated more than
ever before? Do you bear a resemblance to your
How are you abiding? Did
you notice that abiding in Christ is a matter of
trust and obey? It is trusting our Lord and obeying
His word. There are no special techniques or
spiritual formulas. It is an intimate walk with
Christ moment by moment. Most of us are preoccupied
with performance and all that God asks is for us to
be preoccupied with the person of Jesus Christ.
In this passage of
Scripture it is crucial for us to bear in mind that
we have been describing the Christian life. It
begins with a spiritual birth. If you are not
bearing fruit it may be because you have never been
born again. That is where this kind of life begins.
We are always ready to help you put your faith and
trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Click
here to find out more about trusting in Christ as
Title: John 15:1–11 The
Vine and the Branches