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Abiding in the vine

Been studying John 15 and am learning a lot.  How I want to abide more in Christ.

“4 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. 5 “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.

6 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. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:4-11).

It is impossible for me to accomplish anything when I am doing it apart from being connected to Christ.  I automatically think that the primary goal of the branch according to this text is to bear fruit. But when you look really closely you se that the focus of the branch can not be to bear fruit. If that is the focus then the branch will fail miserably. The primary goal of the branch needs to be to just live. The primary goal of the Vine is to bring the life to the branches.  The primary purpose of a grape vine being planted in the first place is to bear fruit for the Gardner or planter of the vine.  God’s purpose is to bring forth fruit for His glory. Jesus said he was there to do His father’s will; to become the life bearing power for all those branches that were to be connected to him.  Our primary purpose as branches is just to live.  If we focus on bearing the fruit and not abiding in the vine that brings us life, our fruit has no life to it.  It is plastic and worthless.  If it isn’t fruit that comes from abiding in Christ, then it isn’t fruit at all.

When we are in Him we will bear fruit.  The primary goal of the gospel in our lives is not to bear fruit but to remain connected to the true life in order to live. When we are connected to Him we have life and we will bear real fruit that will last. It means being satisfied and delighting completely in Him. He is the only source of life and joy. He alone brings strength and hope.  He alone encourages my heart and brings me fullness of life.

When we are abiding in the vine we display the fruit of the spirit. Genuine, Christ-glorifying, joyful obedience to God. When we abide in the vine and are in Christ  we are empowered to bear His fruit.  Our righteousness flows from Him, and it is in Him that we begin to display the fruit of who we already are in Him.

Good quotes about this passage

Charles Spurgeon:

“We are plainly taught in the Word of God that as many as have believed are one with Christ: they are married to him, there is a conjugal union based upon mutual affection. The union is closer still, for there is a vital union between Christ and his saints. They are in him as the branches are in the vine; they are members of the body of which he is the head. They are one with Jesus in such a true and real sense that with him they died, with him they have been buried, with him they are raised; with him they are raised up together and made to sit together in heavenly places. There is an indissoluble union between Christ and all his people: I in them and they in me.

“Thus the union may be described: “Christ is in his people the hope of glory, and they are dead and their life is hid with Christ in God. This is a union of the most wonderful kind, which figures may faintly set forth, but which it is impossible for language completely to explain.

Oneness to Jesus is one of the fat things full of marrow. For if it be so, indeed, that we are one with Christ, then because he lives we must live also; because he was justified by his resurrection, we also are justified in him; because he is rewarded and forever sits down at his Father’s right hand, we also have obtained the inheritance in him and by faith grasp it now and enjoy its earnest.”