Posted by: Brad Beaman | December 14, 2007

Abide in Christ: The Vine and the Branches

Morning in the vineyard
             
                                        

The Great Vine in the Hampton Court Palace Gardens outside of London is the oldest and largest known vine in the world. The Great Vine is more than 230 years old. It measures 12 feet around the base. Its longest rod is 120 feet. The fruit produced each year averages 500 to 700 clusters of grapes that weigh over 500 pounds every year.

But guess what. There is an even greater “Great Vine” who is Jesus. He is the vine, and we are the branches. We abide in him to bear fruit.

Read John 15:1-17
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.

We are the branches, Jesus is the vine. God’s purpose is for us to bear fruit. When you became a Christian there was a living union between you and God. Just as the branch gets life from the vine so the believer gets his life from Jesus.

Bearing Spiritual Fruit

A branch does not bear fruit for itself but for others. God’s purpose for the apple is to produce a tree that produces more fruit with seeds to produce much more fruit. It is the principle of spiritual multiplication. “I tell you open your eyes and look to the fields! They are ripe for harvest…for the crop of eternal life. (John 4:34-35) The parable of the fig tree reminds us that it is not acceptable to not bear fruit. (Luke 13:1-9)

Bearing the Fruit of Christ like Character.
We have the list in Galatians 5:22-23 known as the fruit of the spirit. We must abide in Christ to bear these fruits.
“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness and self control.”
These spiritual fruit come in our life through abiding in Christ. in our life by being branches in the vine. Fruit-bearing is a process: First there are leaves then flowers and then the fruit develops. There is fruit to be produced when you abide in the vine.
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John 15:8 says, “Bear much fruit.” How do we bring about this increase of fruit, more fruit and Vs 5 much fruit? First as we establish a deeper relationship with Christ the hindrances affecting fruit-bearing are removed.

For fruit bearing there must be abiding. Repeatedly in John chapter 15 Jesus uses calls us to abide in him. He says this because abiding is the key to fruit-bearing. When you walk through a vineyard you do not detect a struggle and tension among the branches. There is a calm confident resting and abiding as the branches draw life from the vine

When you trusted Christ to save you, the Holy Spirit united you to him in a living relationship, a union was formed and you became a branch in the vine. Where there is fruit there is life, where there is life there is seed for more fruit. Be willing to yield yourself to Christ for the purpose of bearing fruit.

Divine Pruning
The Fathers relationship to the branch is the gardener. He prunes, cuts away the excess. Purging gets rid of the bitterness. Your pruning is for your good and his glory. If you want your fruit tree to produce you have to get rid of the sucker branches. These unnecessary branches sap up the flow that should go to the fruit. Pruning often means cutting back drastically. It may be painful when God prunes something out of our life, but the goal is always more fruit.

These words I wrote wile reflecting on God’s pruning:
I don’t care what you’ve got to cut out of my life,
I’m tired of living in rebellion and strife,
Wilderness days are gone, fruitful days have come
Abiding in Jesus, the vine.

Pruning isn’t pretty. The vine looks all butchered, but just wait until harvest time. The vines that have been pruned are filled abundantly with fruit.

Abiding is an outflow of love. We abide in Christ because of our love for him. We abide not as a slave fears his master as a close friend. He gave his love as he laid down his life at the cross.

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Responses

  1. You make some interesting points. Reminds me of something I read in a book once but I can’t remember the name of the book right now.

  2. It makes Christ seem/be more alive in my heart


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