Christ is the True Vine
What is a Vine? It is the portion of a plant that transfers vital nutrients from the roots to the branches of the plant. It is interesting to note that if the roots are cut, the vine can manufacture new roots. Also, if the branches are cut the vine can produce new branches. So, the Vine is the central most important part of the plant. Just as The Lord Jesus Christ is to be the central most important part of our lives.
The Vinedresser is someone that cultivates and prunes vines. When the branches get dangly and unproductive, the Vinedresser prunes them away so that the productive branches can receive more nutrients for their growth and production.
God the Father in His perfect justice and righteousness both shuts doors for us and disciplines us so that our hearts are pruned for producing the best fruit possible. 1 Cor 11:28-32; 2 Tim 3:16; Heb 12:6, 10; Rev 3:7, 19
John 15:2, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He (Father) takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
We have been entered into salvation not just to be saved but to do the work of God in our lives.
Jesus Christ desires to pump the vital nutrients of His Word into our beings so that we can produce much fruit. And not just any fruit but the plumpest, tastiest fruit ever.
As we receive these nutrients, it also has a cleansing effect on our souls so that we become stronger and healthier. This is a cleansing of the Sin Nature’s and the World’s influence over our way of thinking.
“He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.“
“Takes away” is the Present Tense, Active Voice, Indicative Mood of αἴρω, airó (ah’ee-ro) – A primary verb; “to lift; by implication to take up or away; figuratively to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind); specifically, to sail away, (that is, weigh anchor).
“Prune” is the Present Tense, Active Voice, Indicative Mood of καθαίρω, kathairó (kath-ah’ee-ro)
It comes from the word, Katharos; “to cleanse, that is, (specifically) to prune; figuratively to expiate: purge.” καθαρός, katharos (kath-ar-os’), which means, “Clean (literally or figuratively): clear, pure.”
Even when you think you are doing many great and diverse things for God, you can find yourself focused in wrong areas of ministry. The ministries you have may be good ones but some of them are not for you, nor are they done the best that they can be done, because they are not intended for you to do them.
There are many branches that come from the vine and each is intended for its own fruit production.
Be careful not to produce someone else’s fruit, because it will not be as bountiful as God desires and you may be casting a shadow on another branch’s ability to grow and produce.
John 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”
Divine production begins with the relaxed mental attitude of knowing your eternal fate is sealed and secure.
At the moment of your salvation, God cleansed your soul through the forgiveness of all your sins. John 13:1-10
You believed in the Word of the Gospel message, and were placed in union with Christ forever. 1 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30
Eph 1:13, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
You were given a perfect nature (clean) called the Human Spirit so that you could have an eternal relationship with God.
God tells us we must rest in our relationship with Him in order to produce. Heb 4:1-3
If you are constantly worried about your salvation, you will never get beyond that point to the point of producing fruit.
John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
“Abide” is the Aorist, Active, Imperative of μένω, menó (men’-o) – it means, “to remain, stay with, or continue with someone or something.”
The Imperative is a strong appeal, desire or command.
1 John 3:24 explains this:
1 John 3:24, “The one who keeps His (Christ’s) commandments remains with Him, and He in him. We know by this that He remains (Present, Active, Indictative) in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
The Spirit speaks with our spirit so we know and understand when Christ is working in us. Rom 8:16
Rom 8:16, “For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.”
You cannot produce bountiful fruit if your relationship with the Lord is casual or occasional.
Remaining with the Lord means a consistent and continual relationship with Him, reading His word, studying His word, applying His word – daily.
And you cannot fully receive the nutrients of Christ apart from your Pastor Teacher in your local church who feeds you those nutrients. Eph 4:16
Eph 4:16, “From whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who remains in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:6, “If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”
Here we see the Vinedresser tending to the branches of the vine that are non-productive and don’t have a shot at further production.
The believer who ignores their relationship with God, and stops receiving the vital nutrients from the vine, will shrivel up and wither away in their souls. (Black out of the soul.) Because of the lack of the Word of God in their soul, they have nothing to sustain their spiritual life.
“Burned in the fire” does not say that you will lose your salvation and be thrown into the Lake of Fire. That would contradict verse 3.
Here the context is divine production, not salvation.
The Bible tells us in 1 Cor 3:9-15 and 2 Cor 5:10 that all believers will stand before Christ, and He will judge our fruit bearing as if going through a fire. Fire typically stands for judgment in the Bible and all judgments are not the same.
2 Cor 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Fruit bore with the nutrients of Christ and the Holy Spirit will be rewarded.
Fruit bore with human power and the sin nature, apart from God’s power, will be burned up, yet the branch will be saved.
1 Cor 3:15, “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
For the unbeliever, all they are able to produce is human good, and they are called fruit from the vine of the earth, (a reference to Satan). Rev 14:19
Rev 14:19, “So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.”
Just as there is no salvation for the unbeliever, there is also no reward, only loss.
John 15:7, “If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Here we see that nothing can be truly accomplished without prayer.
Phil 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thes 5:17, “Pray without ceasing;”
So, we see that we cannot produce divine fruit without first going to the Father in prayer, in the name of the Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
God did not create us for condemnation nor for non-production. He created us for salvation so that we could bear much fruit.
In order to bear fruit, we need to tap into the vine of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to take in the Word of God on a consistent basis through our right Pastor-Teacher in our right local assembly.
Once we take in the Word, we then must apply it to our everyday lives and the ministry God has specifically chosen for us.
And we always need to remember to offer our petition, as well as our thanksgiving prayers to God prior to every endeavor; whether it is the intake or application of God’s word or the special ministry God has for us. When we do, we will be producing the fruit that God intended for us as noted in Gal 5:22-23.
Gal 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
When we do, God is glorified in and through us.
John 15:8, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; remain in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
Eph 5:8, “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”