“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.” — John 15:4
When Jesus describes Himself as “the true vine” in John 15, He is likely referring to Isaiah 5. There Israel was like a choice vine on which God “lavished care and attention…He longed for fruit, but the vine (Israel) became degenerate and produced rotten fruit” (Bible Knowledge Commentary, Vol 2, page 325).
Jesus fulfilled what God intended for Israel. And the only way for anyone to fulfil what God intends for their life is to abide in Christ. This means that they believe on Christ, they show true faith by their fruit, and they live in loving obedience to Christ.
John 15:8 tells us that the Father is glorified when we bear much fruit. So God wants us to be fruitful, but the only way for that to happen is to abide in Christ.
So, how do we abide in Christ:
- We make sure that we have believed on Christ alone for salvation (v.1). When we do that, we are eternally united to Christ (john 6:56).
- We submit to the pruning work of the Father (v.2-3). Just as pruning helps a plant be more fruitful, so the Father works in our lives through His Word to clean us and to make us more fruitful.
- We realise our absolute dependence on Christ (v.4-5). Just as there is no way for a branch to be fruitful on it’s own, there is no way for us to be fruitful apart from Christ.
- We get the Word of God into us so much that we begin to live out in obedience (v.7-10). To have the Word of God abiding in us is the same as having Christ abiding in us.
There ought to be a hunger and desire in our lives to be fruitful. But we cannot be fruitful in our own power. We must look to Christ for everything. We must believe on Him and keep on believing Him. We must let Him clean us through His Word. And we must let His Words abide in us so that we meditate on them and then live them out.
He wants us to produce fruit. That is how God is glorified. But there is no power for us to produce that fruit apart from Christ. So let us abide in Christ and let Christ abide in us, and watch as Christ produces fruit through us.