Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, 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, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)
Although these verses do not mention grace, they are a classic biblical explanation of grace bringing forth fruit in lives.
The language depicts an actual vineyard, where fruit grows on branches that are properly related to a vine. Then, this physical reality is applied figuratively to spiritual fruit developing in our lives, if we are relating correctly to Jesus.
In this teaching, our Lord reminds us that literal branches are not able to produce fruit themselves.
“The branch cannot bear fruit of itself.”
We are spiritual branches, so we will not be able to produce fruit either.
“Neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
In fact, our potential for manufacturing genuine spiritual fruit is zero.
“Without Me you can do nothing.”
The best we could ever hope to produce would be religious, wax fruit. Such would come from our fleshly attempts to appear godly or effective. People may be fooled by this, but God never will be. Furthermore, people cannot be edified by partaking of such, and God cannot be glorified.
True fruit results from the ongoing development of life.
Life is only innate to vines, not branches.
For a grape to develop on any grape branch, the life of the vine must flow into, and work within, the branch. So it is with us. “I am the vine, you are the branches.” This distinction is vital. We must never forget the difference, if we desire to bear fruit.
The life we need for fruitfulness is in Him, not in us.
How do we avail ourselves of that life which is essential for fruit?
“Abide in Me, and I in you.”
We are to look to Jesus for life, counting on Him to live in and through us. Then, His life, working in us, brings forth Christlike fruit.
How do we know if we are abiding?
If we are willing to depend upon Jesus for spiritual fruit as a grape branch relies upon its vine for grapes, then we are truly abiding in Christ. Such dependency brings valid expectation for great measures of Christlikeness to be developing in and through our lives. “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.”
This is clearly grace at work, as seen in the relational realities of humility and faith.
Humility is operating as we acknowledge”without Me you can do nothing.”
Faith is exercised as we believe” that He who abides in Me . . . bears much fruit.”
Lord Jesus, my true vine, I humbly agree with You that I cannot produce spiritual fruit on my own. I admit that apart from You at work in me, I could never manifest any genuine godliness. So, with great expectation I look to You to provide the life I need for much fruitfulness, Amen.
We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.
prayer for … – name
100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 56
Paul giving notice of the works we have to do
The works we have to do according to James the brother of Christ
Our life depending on faith
Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
James 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only
Passion fruit still on the vine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
- The way of salvation
- Faith Requires a Basis
- A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
- A Living Faith #4 Effort
- A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
- Faith and works
- Sharing your faith
- Bearing fruit
- Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
- The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
- Be holy
- 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
- Chief means by which men are built up
- Not to play at Christianity
- To be established in the present truth
- She who sows thistles will reap prickles
- Love for each other attracting others
- Share your faith
- Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
- Faith, storms and actions to be taken
- The longer you wait
- A call easy to understand