1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
The Doctrine of Bearing Fruit: Eternal life is through Jesus Christ, the true vine. A ‘branch’ is corresponding to a saved person. ‘Taketh away’ – I believe that unproductive Christians might be taken home early. However, this might be implying that the person thought they were saved, but never produced any fruit, and thus were lost. Though, if it were talking about lost people, then why would He take them away prematurely; and why would they be considered ‘in Him’?! Another possibility is that it refers to a lost church member (in Me, but doesn’t bear fruit). Many try and teach this to mean that the person loses their salvation.
‘Purgeth it’ – God is going to try hard to get fruit out of you dear Christian; he will try hard to remove the weeds and break up the hard ground in your life so that more and more fruit can come forth. Ye shall know them by their fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 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. 5 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. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
The Doctrine of Abiding in Christ: Abide: “to continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand firm in” (Strong’s). My understanding of this passage is that Jesus Christ is speaking to His disciples and is instructing them about bringing forth fruit for God. Abiding in Christ does not necessarily mean simply to be saved; for the word ‘abide’ is not a ‘state of being’ but a ‘continuation, an enduring, a remaining’. We know that salvation is a state of being, a completed fact, and is not a continual process we are trying to maintain. Thus, to abide in Christ is referring to having a close relationship with Him; obeying Him. Some even think that it is referring to being a member of His body. Without Jesus Christ working in our life, we can do nothing… no fruit will be able to be produced. If you stay close to Jesus Christ and follow His Words (Bible), then you are ‘abiding in Him’; and, hence, you will be bringing forth much fruit. Now, the tricky part is verse 6: most believe this to be referring to being cast into Hell; however, the burning in fire may be referring to our works that we are doing (wood, hay, stubble) that are not done right (not abiding in Him) and are burned at the Judgement Seat of Christ! The pronoun switches from ‘he’ to ‘them’ (v.6).
A true Christian will have a life that is typified by ‘abiding in Him’; they will bring forth good fruit; God will be purging them to bring forth more fruit.
The Doctrine of Praise: Do you want to glorify God? Well, bear much fruit! Glorifying God is not really waving your arms back and forth to the Praise & Worship team’s song; it’s not showing up for church services regularly; it’s not any of this, necessarily… it is producing fruit…much fruit! You are not His disciple if you are not… and you are not truly saved if you are not bearing any fruit. Most Christians are not Christ’s disciples…they are disciples of Christendom; of Ecumenical philosophy; of their favorite televangelist; but not of Christ! You can not glorify God if you are not bearing fruit.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
The Doctrine of Love: We should follow the same progression: as God has loved us, so have we should we love the people around us. You will stay in a close, loving relationship with God if you are keeping His commandments. And, the opposite of this is true too! God has commanded us to love one another (fellow church members)… to the same level that Jesus loved His disciples. The greatest measure of love is the actual laying down of one’s life for his friend; this is not the same as being ‘willing’ to… it is the actual laying down of the life. You are not Jesus’ friend if you don’t do what He’s commanded you to do. Thus, if you don’t obey God, the loving relationship between you and He is broken, you are not His disciple, you are not His friend.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
The Doctrine of Bearing Fruit: You have been chosen and ordained to bring forth spiritual fruit in your life. This is your whole purpose for existence here on Earth, dear Christian! This is what you were created for. This fruit shouldn’t shrivle up and go away; it needs to be fruit that does something more than just look pretty for a while. God doesn’t want just ‘good-intentioned’ fruit. I suppose that ‘true fruit’ is that ‘fruit’ that ‘remains’; i.e., spiritual fruit that comes about and stays…like in the parable of the 4 soils…it is the good soil. Is it true fruit if you ‘lead someone to the Lord’ on their doorstep but never here from them again, and they won’t ever meet with you again?… Is it fruit when you invite someone to church and they say they’ll be there next Sunday, but they never show?…. Is it true fruit when you have someone come to church with you once, but then you never see them again?….
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. 23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
The Doctrine of the World: The world hates Jesus Christ… and, the world hates true Christians that are living for Jesus. Why? Because He (and we also) point out their sin. If the world gets along with you pretty good, then there is something seriously wrong… it should hate you, dear Christian! We are talking about the ways of the world, not specifically all the people in the world. Thus, living in the sin sick world should be pretty difficult for a true Christian; it should not be an easy life; one should have enemies; one should have persecution.
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
The Doctrine of the Holy Ghost: He is known as the ‘Comforter’ and the ‘Spirit of truth’. He comforts us while Jesus is gone. He is all about the truth of God’s word. The Holy Ghost never testifies (or points to) Himself, but rather, to Jesus Christ. The Charismatic movement is Holy Spirit centerred, and not Jesus Christ and His Word…. centerred.