“I am the vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not friut he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 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. 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” John 15:1-5.
Jesus Christ is the Vine, the True Vine. He is the Union of the human & Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit. Believers are branches of this Vine. Our life is hid with Christ, and in Christ flows all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root; thus, all true Christians, though in places, opinions and callings distant from each other, meet in Christ.
Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up, the Father who is the Husbandman tends them. Never is any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about His Church, which therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful!
From a vine we look for grape fruits, and from a Christian we look for spirit fruits and virtues- a Christian temper, disposition, and life. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitful branches need pruning; for the best have notions and passions that require to be taken away, which Christ has promised to forward the sanctification of believers. The Word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that Word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we are cleansed and purged, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified.
In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with Him by faith; Constantly keeping up dependence upon Christ, communion with Him, and being vitally rooted in Him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline and their corruptions to revive. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else.
The duty taught us by this similitude (of the Vine and its branches), is to bring forth fruit, and, in order to this, to abide in Christ. We must be fruitful! From a vine we look for grapes (Isa. 5:2), and from a Christian we look for Christianity; this is the fruit, a Christian temper and disposition, a Christian life and conversation, Christian devotions and Christian designs. We must honour God, and do good, and exemplify the purity and power of the faith we profess; and this is bearing fruit.
In John 15:1-5, it is well intimated that there are many who pass for branches in Christ who yet do not bear fruit. Were they really united to Christ by faith, they would bear fruit; but being only tied to Him by the thread of an outward profession, though they seem to be branches, they will soon be seen to be dry ones. Unfruitful professors are unfaithful professors; professors, and no more.
We need not to be persuaded over and over to live a fruitful life- diffusing God’s savour, love and grace- because the consequence are very much obvious to all;
The fruitfulness of all Christian, as such, in the diligent discharge of all God has called us into, either in ministry or secular is to the glory of God. By the eminent good works of Christians many are brought to glorify our Father who is in heaven. So shall we both evidence our discipleship and adorn it, and be to our Master for a name and a praise, and a glory, that is, disciples indeed. (Jer. 13:11)!
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCE: Col. 1:10, Eph. 5:9, Gal. 5:22-23, Rom. 6:22, Matt. 3:8.
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