John 15:1-2 “1 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, that it may bear more fruit”
The foundational principles for knowing and living in the will of God as a Christian is to abide in Christ and bear fruit. Acts 17:28 reads “for in Him we live and move and have our being” a summary of John 15 in my judgment. John 15 is one of the most important chapters in all the Bible, it has wealth of treasure we will look at in the next few postings.
The opening of John 15 begins with one of the Jesus’ “I AM” statements. These statements distinguished Him from others who may have used some of these metaphors He used to describe Himself. In this “I AM” statement, He wants us to understand who He is, who we are and the connection we have to the Father through Him. Jesus is encouraging His disciples as they know His time on earth was drawing near, crucifixion and ascension were not far from this time.
In the nature of this relationship, Jesus begins by saying vs. “1 I AM the True Vine…” , God the Father as the vine dresser (Gardner) and the believers are the branches. Jesus distinguishes Himself from any other vines. He acknowledged that there were vines, He stands alone as the True Vine which means “genuine.” Jesus is the final, real “vine,” (last Adam) as compared to Israel, a type foreshadowing the reality. Israel is called God’s “vine” or “vineyard” in the Old Testament (Psalms 80:8–16; Jeremiah 2:21). Israel is judged for not bearing fruit and Jesus does what the type signified. In the same vs. He tells us that God is the gardener who is not looking for branches but fruit
To describe the Nature of our relationship to Him He says Vs. “2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; …” Jesus desires for us to know that even though we will not see Him, we are as closely connected to Him as the branches of a vine are connected to its stem, “for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”, Acts 17:28. Believers are called to bear fruit, production is of God, Philippians 2:12-13. Our source of life and spiritual fruit is not in ourselves; it is outside of us. Our life is hidden in Christ Jesus. Those who abide in Christ, the true vine are inspected by the Father (the vine dresser) for fruits. What kind? Good fruit Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 3:8-10, Matthew 7:16-20. The well spring of righteousness flows from Christ, the Living Water. A believer who has the root of righteousness will “bear fruit”, the fruit is an evidence of growth. The fruit tells you more about the condition of the soil and the roots. We live rightly, and serve Him effectively only if we are rightly connected to Him in a faith/love relationship, Philippians 1:6, Colossians 1:10.
The process is Fruitful Growth in the Faith, “…and every branch that bears fruit He PRUNES, that it may bear MORE fruit”. Every branch that is pruned will be like what 2Peter 1:8 says “8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Majority are stuck at bearing fruit, the Lord wants us to bear more fruit and the way to bear more fruit is by pruning.
Pruning is the practice of removing diseased, non-productive, or otherwise unwanted portions from a plant. The purpose of pruning is to shape the plant by controlling or directing plant growth, to maintain the health of the plant and increase the yield or quality of fruits. Pruning requires cutting back, cleaning, removing dead leaves for a reason (setbacks). Pruning makes you grow more in faith, patience, love, joy, peace, grace, prayer, His word, reaching the lost. Cutting back is most necessary because it propels you to grow more and more under what you would call adversities. Cutting back is not meant to destroy but build, it means the branch through the vine has potentials to grow more if pruned. How can we abide on the true vine and remain the same?
Proper pruning is as much a skill as it is an art, since badly pruned plants can become diseased or grow in undesirable ways but the Lord is the Master in pruning. He knows how best to prune each of us so as to bear more fruit and much fruit. David says, Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted (pruned), That I may learn (grow) Your statutes”. Pruning can either make you or break you depending on how you respond to it.
I believe Jesus was speaking these words as he prepared His disciples for perilous times. Not long after this did Peter hear from Jesus letting him know that Satan had desired to sift (prune) his as wheat. The Lord allowed the pruning process even through an agent of destruction who had limited access to what he could do to him because Christ was in control.
Without a strong foundation where virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness are ingredients in your life, your growth is in jeopardy and pruning is the remedy for your growth. Only the skillful gardener knows what you need and does it for His own glory. To continue Blessings Ev