Musings From the Gospel of John – Number 37

Scriptures covered in this post are from John 15:1-8 NASB

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself but must remain in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

Anyone who thinks that it isn’t necessary to be in daily fellowship or union with Jesus, or disregards that Jesus clearly illustrates how the top down hierarchy of this fellowship functions, really has not taken these words spoken by Jesus, to heart.

Jesus uses the analogy of a vineyard to provide a clear picture of how God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, interact with the children of God here on earth, along with the anticipated results.

John 15:1-2 NASB “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”

God the Father is the vine dresser. The vine dresser oversees the vineyard and cleanses the branches of bugs and diseases, and purges the vineyard of unproductive branches and prunes the productive branches to make them more productive.

Jesus is the true vine as in singular, sole original, all branches in this vineyard are physically connected to Jesus. I am reminded that Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Notice Jesus said He was the “true” vine (the truth), He is the only vine (the way) and no branch can live in this vineyard unless connected to Jesus (the life).

We, as the children of God, are the branches. Fruit is expected to grow from the branches. If there is no fruit, God the Father removes that branch and if the branch is producing fruit, God the Father prunes it so that it becomes more productive.

John 15:3-4 NASB3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself but must remain in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.”

Because we have heard and believed in the words that Jesus spoke to us, that originated from the Father, about the Son, and what He would do for us, that we in and of ourselves cannot do, we are clean (forgiven and righteous). Jesus paid the price that our sins demanded and because we believe and trust in Jesus, His righteousness is now our righteousness. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

In order for the branch (that would be us) to be able to produce fruit, we must, of necessity, remain connected to the vine and the vine also needs to be connected to the branch (both ways). And just in case we don’t comprehend the absolute importance of this vital connection, Jesus points out that the branch MUST remain connected to the vine in order to produce fruit. We CANNOT, independent of Jesus, produce fruit on our own.

That “must” that Jesus speaks about is an absolute.

There are no exceptions or alternates available to choose from. And yet, how often do we put the cart before the horse or plow ahead, in our own wisdom, hoping as an afterthought, that Jesus will sanction and bless that which we have decided to do. We often mistakenly assume. That is why that daily connection is vital, the daily committing of ourselves and whatever the day holds, needs to be put under the Lordship of Jesus.

John 15:5-6 NASB I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Jesus clarifies it for us once again, He is the vine, we are the branches, if we remain in Him, and He in us, we as the branches will bear much fruit. And just in case we didn’t grasp the absolute importance of this vital connection, Jesus clarifies it yet one more time: “…for apart from Me you can do nothing”. That would be nothing as in NO THING. Jesus is Lord, not an after thought. Kind of puts a whole new meaning behind “pray without ceasing” doesn’t it?

How does this apply? Do we need to get the go ahead to be kind or help someone? Obviously not, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a general all inclusive rule but anytime we are making an important serious decision, we should indeed, be laying it in front of the Lord and asking for His guidance and blessing, and listening for or paying attention to, the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, to continue or stop what we are doing.

John 15:7-8 NASB “If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

Verse 7 is really noteworthy (as if anything that Jesus says is not noteworthy) but ESPECIALLY noteworthy. Notice the two qualifiers. Be connected to Jesus (close fellowship with Jesus as Lord and us as a child of God) and the words that Jesus spoke remain in us. And what does every word that Jesus spoke and everything thing that Jesus did, always agree with? The expressed will of God the Father. Always, without exception. And Jesus tells us, that as long as those two qualifiers are present, we can ask whatever we wish for and it will be done for us.

Jesus then tells us that His Father is glorified by us bearing much fruit and in doing so, we prove that we are disciples of Jesus.

More to follow.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

9 comments

  1. Another excellent post here-thank you very much. God has spoken to me through this, and revealed something to me which I’ve been pondering about for awhile. Thank God for his kindness towards me, and thank you for using your gift of writing in this way. Every blessing to you.

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  2. Thank you so much for this commentary. I have a question about this verse – If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. – I have believed for a couple of years now that no one can “snatch a believer out of the hands of God” (eternal salvation cannot be lost), but wonder what this verse means. Is it related to the parable of the seeds being strewn about and some receiving with great joy and then falling away due to stress/life (I cannot remember the exact reasons)? How does “thrown away” and “burned” (I am thinking eternal damnation) play into the verse from John? I appreciate any insight you have. Thank you so much.

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    • Actually one of the regulars I talk with quite often had a post on Eternal Security just a few days ago ( https://ettingerwriting.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/followup-can-christians-lose-their-salvation/ ) and the group was split about 50/50. I personally would lean in the direction that it is possible to lose your salvation, due to this reference in John where the branches are removed and quite a few other Scripture verses such as Hebrews 6:4-12, James 5:19-20, and Revelation 3:5. I would say that salvation is conditional on being faithful unto death and that one can lose their salvation. I have yet to read a review on this subject that has made my decision iron clad, so I could be wrong. Hope this helps.

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  3. This is extremely helpful, thought-provoking, and I really appreciate it. With the opinions split so and multiple scriptures to support either, perhaps it is best to approach it with fear and trembling as well as gratitude and knowledge that some mysteries will not be revealed until later. Perhaps if it were known factually, it would lend to a lighter seriousness of the sheer life and death question it is – if once saved always saved was fact, then why fear and tremble? Maybe it is best that we don’t know, so we don’t slide into taking it for granted, even if it is. Thank you for the answer and the referral to the other post.

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    • A lot of the thoughts you mentioned Melody, are thoughts that have crossed my mind also. It’s right up there will predestination and free will, where I also see foreknowledge and humanity’s free will in play. Can we be taken from the hand of Jesus if our will is to be there, I don’t believe we can, because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world BUT if our will changes and we decide to turn our backs on Jesus, I don’t think He will violate our free will. Ultimately we trust or we don’t, or that is what my gut and I believe God’s Word tells me and if we trust, He indeed is faithful. If I am mistaken, that is great, but I would rather error on the side of caution. When Jesus said, “depart from me, I never knew you”, that statement is there for a reason. They obviously did know Him at one time and then they didn’t, there was a shift from a reliance in Jesus and His glory, to a reliance in the power and even there, that doesn’t fly. The glory is God’s and God’s alone. God is indeed sovereign but our will is pivotal, or that is the way that I see it. Now we know in part, one day we will indeed know. Blessings and thank you.

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    • As is the demonstration of the union of the Son with the Father and the Father with the Son. Not so much of the grace aspect but the sheer reality of it. How Jesus did nothing of Himself and how we can do nothing without Jesus. The reality of that reality is amazing and you’re right, when we are brought into that reality, it is simply all grace. Worthy is the Lamb indeed, hallowed be the name of our Father. Blessings Jim.

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