“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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
What believer hasn’t at times been discouraged by their lack of fruitfulness? Many believers have felt disconnected, alone and doubtful about their own faith. In John’s fifteenth chapter we have the answer to a joyful, exciting, productive lifestyle by simply living from Christ’s abiding presence.
The “Branch” here refers to a shoot which extends from the vine. The life and health of the branch wholly depend on the vine. The branch “in me” that Jesus refers to is the believer abiding in him as he instructs in verse four of this same chapter. Jesus is saying that we are entirely dependent on him for his life-giving life-sustaining Spirit to live a productive Christian life together.
As the branch grows through the seasons of its life there will be dry branches which must be removed, or they will hinder the growth of the healthy branches. Just as the vinedresser removes the dead wood from the live branches so they may become more productive, so too does the Father remove what we surrender to him so we may live a more productive life for his glory.
Called and Grafted in by Grace
Keep in mind the grace of God in calling those who are gentiles into the family, keeping his promise to Abraham “in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Not only should we who are gentiles be thankful for Christ giving us life and sustaining us by his Spirit, but we also need to be grateful for being grafted into the vine which is Christ.
Consider these verses;
Ephesians 2:18-22 “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
Ephesians 3:6 “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
Romans 11:17-18 “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you (Gentiles), although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others (redeemed Jews) and now share in the life-sustaining root (Christ) of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.”
The grafting process entails the joining of two plants together to grow as one. The branches, both Jews and Gentiles together are now one with Christ who sustains life and produces fruit through the branches.
When grafting, the vinedresser chooses a branch (Gentiles) he desires, which cannot produce fruit by itself, it must be grafted into a suitable vine (Christ), the branch will now live by the life of the vine flowing through it.
Chosen and Loved
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I 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. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
What empowering facts these are! If you live the simple lifestyle of faith by abiding in Christ, allowing His words to be taken to heart, you’ll experience greater answers to prayer.
Peace of Mind and Praying that Receives Answers
Living in unbroken fellowship with Christ by simple faith, and following His simple instructions allows Him to release his peace and life transforming power in you and through you.
When we the Church are collectively “abiding in” Christ, we begin to see what He sees, think like He thinks, feel what He’s feeling, and want what He wants, for His glory. Abiding in Christ takes our lifestyle, our praying and serving to a whole new level.
We will no longer stress over prayer trying to get God to do what we want, we’ll willingly surrender to all He wants instead, to see His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. When focus on seeking God to meet the needs of others, God commits to supplying ours.
So abide in Christ continually living by simple God-given faith, following His simple instructions, and see the miraculous results He promises to do for you and through you.