The True Vine on Earth

John 15  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
John 15
Jesus is that true vine on earth. Vines are not grown in heaven. The subject relates to fruit-bearing on earth. The subject of salvation we find elsewhere.
The disciples are the branches of the true vine. If a branch never bears fruit, the Father, who is the husbandman, takes it away. Christ, the true vine, is the source of strength to bring forth fruit; this is His relationship with His disciples on earth. Fruit is always through the true vine, Jesus. He is needed for fruit-bearing as much as for salvation.
The branches bear different measures of fruit. These the Father (the husbandman) purges in order that they might bring forth more fruit. Pruning is the government of the Father over His children.
We, as branches, are assured that we are clean-purged from all of our sins through believing the Word of God and trusting in the finished work of Christ. To know that we have life that can never be taken from us, because our life is in Christ, gives us assurance as fruit-bearers.
Abiding
We must abide in Christ, practically, or there can be no fruit. He is the source-the strength of the branches that bear the fruit. If we abide in Him and He in us, we will bear, not fruit merely, nor more fruit merely, but much fruit. If we do not abide in Him, we cannot bear fruit. One who does not abide in Christ is an unbeliever, and they will burn such branches in the fire (judgment). Judas is an example.
Abiding in Christ gives liberty to ask whatever we may ask, providing His words abide in us. Discipleship is connected with bearing fruit, and the Father is glorified by this. Fruit is the proof of inward reality. Judas only believed outwardly.
Divine Love
The love that the Father has for Christ is the same love wherewith Christ has loved us. This is the love we continue or abide in. It is not our love that we abide in, but His love. By keeping His commandments, we show that we abide in His love, because this is what Christ did in obedience; He abode in the Father's love. The measure of love (seen in the cross) in which He has loved us is given as a pattern for us to love one another.
Obedience is the means of abiding in His love. It is the power for walk and strength so that we can fully enjoy the love of Christ with an unclouded heart.
He spoke of His joy remaining in us. That joy may be found daily by us from His Word, and through it our joy will be full.
Friends
A man can show no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. Jesus told His disciples that they were His friends, providing they followed His commandments.
We believers today are in a new place. We started as servants, but now we are friends and more-we are the children of God. All of His thoughts, as coming from the Father, are made known to us; nothing is held back. These are family things.
As branches, Christ has chosen us to bring forth fruit, the kind of fruit that remains. In these verses we learn what fruit is-gathering souls (fruit) unto life eternal. Fruit is a sign of maturity; it is the result of full growth; it is not the result of a moment. Such a branch does not cease to bear fruit.
Think, beloved; this blessed work of being fruit bearers is for His people here, those who abide in the true vine. His command is for us to love one another.
Being hated by the world, we know that Jesus also was hated. The world hates us, because we have been chosen out of it by Jesus. The world that persecuted Jesus will persecute His followers. Those who keep Christ's sayings will keep ours also.
All that the world does to Christ's friends, they do be-cause they do not know the Father who sent Jesus. Israel would not have had sin had not Christ come and spoken to them (John 15:2222If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. (John 15:22)). But man's heart is ex-posed, because He rejected Jesus. The Spirit has witnessed of Jesus, and by rejecting Him, there is no forgiveness forever. In John, the Lord presents Himself, in His Person, as the Son of God to Israel. By refusing Him and His works, they have sin.
Two verses in John's gospel clearly set forth the common guilt of mankind. The first is John 8:4646Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? (John 8:46): "Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me?" The second is John 15:2424If 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. (John 15:24): "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.... They hated Me without a cause."
When Jesus was asked, "Who art Thou?" He an-swered, "Altogether that which I also say to you." John 8:2525Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. (John 8:25) JND. In John 8, Christ's word is rejected; in John 9 and 15 His works are rejected.
Christ sends the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father. He will testify of Christ. The credentials for witness for the eleven apostles are that they had been with Christ from the beginning.