Abide in the vine

My wife loves to grow things. Whether it is flowers, trees, vegetables or whatever, she loves to plant, water and watch things grow.

But, there is one thing all plants have in common. They must be attached to a root system. If the bloom, fruit or plant is cut from its stem or vine, it will die. I learned this one summer when I mowed over some of my wife’s flowers. Needless to say, she was unhappy.

Jesus made a comparison about a vine. The Lord said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5 NASB).

Wood cut from the vine really has no purpose. One cannot make anything useful out of vine wood. The only useful purpose for the vine is when it gives life to and bears fruit. Jesus said, “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,” we cannot bear fruit unless we are attached to Jesus.

F.F. Bruce wrote, “Paul does not use Johannine idiom but he expresses the same truth when he says, ‘It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20), and ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13).”

There are people who think they can be religious while not connected to the church. Well, if the church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23, 30), and if we must remain connected to Jesus and abide in him, then how can we do that by spurning and leaving his body?

If we decide to stop obeying the commandments of Christ and think we can remain in a saved condition, we are fooling ourselves. In this same context, Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10).

If you have severed your connection to Jesus, you risk much. You should reestablish that connection by repentance. If a connection between you and the Lord never existed, you must obey the gospel and keep on abiding in the love of Jesus by obeying his commandments.

Unless we abide in him, our place in eternity is jeopardized. Jesus also said, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and men gather them and cast these into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:6 KJV).

If you wish to live, come to him. Obey him. Live for him. Abide in him.

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