SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Jesus’ Warning about Spiritual Fruit
John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (KJV)
WHAT is the emphasis on our producing fruit? It is OUR abiding in Christ! It is on our abiding, on our fellowship with Christ! That is what Jesus clearly states in verse 4. The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine. Unless we abide in Him, and He in us (Rom.8:9), we CANNOT bear any fruit! NO branch can bear fruit by itself . . . it must abide in the Vine (is attached to the Vine).
Jesus reminds and challenges to us that we NEVER confuse our priorities as God’s TRUE children. IF we are in Christ . . . we are branches connected to the Vine (Christ), and our priority is to stay connected to Christ! Only when we stay connected to the Vine, stay close to Him, will He work in and through us.
The priority for TRUE believers is NOT production, it is to be in God’s grace, through fellowship with Christ Jesus. And when we have a healthy abiding with, relationship with and fellowship with Christ, fruit will abound! We cannot produce fruit, God does . . . it is Christ Jesus at work in us that produces fruit. That’s what Jesus says in verse 5.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (KJV)
It seems to me that we can see how important our abiding in Christ is in verse 6. There are those who say that this is about unbelievers, or that this is about a believer who loses his salvation. I disagree. Jesus is speaking to believers! To His disciples! Because Jesus was speaking to the 11 disciples here, and has made it clear that they are in Him. And dear one, anyone who is in Christ is kept by Christ.
John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (KJV)
But I do think that this is a warning to those who are in Christ. Jesus warns about what can happen when we do not stay connected to Christ, and when we do not abide in Him. If we do not abide in Christ, we become worthless for the purpose of God’s Kingdom.
A true branch, when united with the Vine, will always bear fruit. Not every branch bears a bumper crop, just as not every field has a bumper harvest (Mat.13:8, 23). If there is no fruit, the branch is worthless and it is cast away and burned.
God is NOT the Author of confusion (1 Cor.14:33). I think that the Bible teaches ETERNAL life . . . meaning that once a person is TRULY saved, they are always saved! In this Passage, the Lord is NOT teaching that TRUE believers can lose their salvation, for this would be a direct contradiction to what He taught in John 6:37 and 10:27-30.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (KJV)
John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one. (KJV)
I think that Jesus was teaching the fruitful life of the believer. Just as an unfruitful branch is useless . . . so an unfruitful believer is useless. It seems to me that John 15:6 describes divine discipline, not eternal destiny.
This we should know . . . God is at work, growing the faithful, pruning the faithful, producing fruit in the faithful . . . fruit that is for our good and fruit that brings Him glory.
Holy Spirit Empowers Believers
Fruit, How It Is Produced
Fruits Are Spiritual Attributes
Fruits of the Spirit
Fruits, How to Live a Holy Life