We read Jesus’ words, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
We learn, from Him, that fruitfulness is God’s purpose for our lives. Before we can be fruitful, we must know that God loves us and that Christ has redeemed us through the shedding of His precious blood (Romans 5;8; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
* Bearing fruit for Christ arises out of being cleansed by Him – “You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you” (John 15:3).
* Bearing fruit for Christ arises out of abiding in Him – “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me” (John 15:4).
Cleansing begins when we put our faith in Christ – and it continues throughout our life of faith. It is a continuing and ever-deepening reality which becomes more and more real to us as we learn to walk with the Lord, trusting in Him and obeying His Word. This cleansing does not end with ourselves. We are to have a godly influence on other people. We are to “bear fruit” for our Saviour.
We learn so much from Jesus’ words about the vine and the branches.
* The vine and the branches belong together.
* There can be no branches without the vine.
* The vine bears fruit by way of its branches.
What are the lessons for us?
* Christ and Christians belong together.
* There can be no Christians without Christ.
* Christ bears fruit by way of the lives of Christians.
If we are to be fruitful for Christ, we need more than His promise (John 15:5). We also need to hear His Word of warning: “If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned” (John 15:6). The promise encourages us to keep on walking with our Saviour. The warning calls us back to Him when we start to walk away from Him.
How are we to keep on abiding in Christ? How are we to bear fruit for Him?
* We must remember His “love” (John 15:10). Everything comes from His love. Our obedience to Him means nothing if it’s not grounded in His love for us.
* We must get to know Him better, as we read His Word and speak to Him in prayer (John 15:7). Our walk with the Lord will never become a close walk, if we don’t spend time in His presence, learning from His Word and receiving His strength.
* The more we remember the Lord’s love for us, as we feed upon His Word and draw strength from Him, the more our obedience will be filled with His “joy” (John 15:11).