.Jesus is the True Vine:
(Read John 15:1-10)
John's Gospel chapter 15 is all about Christian relationship. Here we see our relationship with Jesus and with one another (15:12-17). The image of a vine and branches highlights how our salvation works from beginning to end. Jesus is the true vine and believers are the branches. In the Old Testament vine is the symbol of Israel. Jesus is the true vine. We did not choose Jesus, but he chose us and appointed us that we should bear fruit (15:16). Jesus is the life giver. He is the living water. He is the bread of life and the source of eternal life. Christians cannot bear fruit unless they have an abiding relationship with the Jesus Christ (15:5). To abide means to live by faith in Christ. We become the branches of true Vine when we believe in Jesus Christ. By the Holy Spirit we have been united to Jesus as branches. We are in Jesus This relationship between Jesus and the believers is invisible but real. When we abide in Christ we become fruitful. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. When we bear fruit, God is glorified. Fruit bearing is the proof that we are his disciples (15:8). We should stay close to the Master to be fruitful. God the Father is the Gardner. He prunes the branches to bear more fruit. Pruning is a painful process but it is necessary to produce more fruit (Heb 12:6-11). It is done through the word of God (17:17). But every branch that does not bear fruit is removed from the vine and thrown into the fire (15:6). This verse does not mean that believers can lose their salvation. This verse should be understood contextually with the exit of Judas Iscariot. The fruitless branches are counterfeit Christians who are not saved.
The secret of fruit bearing is abiding:
(Read John 15:11-17)
We must depend on Christ to bear fruit. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. We do not bear fruit in order to be accepted by God. We obey Christ because we love Him. Someone has said "The secret of fruit bearing is abiding, the secret of abiding is obeying, the secret of obeying is loving, and the secret of loving is knowing Christ". When we abide in Christ our prayers will be answered. Jesus said "You are my friends if you obey me" (15:14). We can not earn His love or forgiveness by good work. They are given freely by grace. His friendship towards us is constant and real. He does not threaten us to stop loving when we fail. Christ commands us to love one another as he loved us. Love is more than an emotional feeling but a sacrificial act of giving. Abiding relationship with Christ also produces joy in all circumstances (John 15:11). When we abide in Christ, we are assured of his love. His love motivates us to serve one another. Christ's commands us to love one another. Because of Christ's amazing grace Hid commands are not burdensome. Jesus called His disciples friends. Grace transforms our status from servant-hood to friendship. Jesus came to reveal all that he heard from the Father (15:15). Knowing Christ intimately gives assurance and confidence in life. Only grace can free us to obey Jesus out of love and friendship. The disciples are chosen and appointed to bring forth fruit. Only fruit produced through union with Christ will remain for eternity. Are we the fruit bearing Christians? Do we love one another? When the Holy Spirit transforms our heart, his commandments become our delight.
Christ’s said that the world would hate us:
(Read John 15:18-27)
The more fully we give ourselves to a life of abiding in Jesus, the richer our fellowship will be with the Father. The more we abide in Jesus, the more we will be serious about witnessing Christ. Grace comes to us so that it might flow through us. Christians should not be surprised at the growing opposition in this world. The world that rejected Christ will reject His followers also. We are entrusted with the gospel so that it should flow through us. The world system is under the control of Satan. The world loves it's own. Christians are chosen out of the world to represent Christ. Why does the gospel draws opposition from the world? Because, it points out sin and offers grace to rescue those who cannot save themselves We are not of this world, but just passing through. Even though Christ has performed many miracles, many Jews rejected Him. They are without excuse. Christ promised the disciples that they are not alone in this world. He will send the Holy Spirit to comfort them. The Holy Spirit will give them the power to witness Christ. The best way to show our love for Christ is to obey his commands. Then we will experience the overflowing joy. The obedient Christian is the happy Christian. Are we the fruit bearing Christians? Do we enjoy Christ’s friendship in life? Do we love one another?
Pray that the suffering and endurance of Christ would comfort and strengthen us as we face trials for the gospel.