I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Jesus Christ is the true vine; the Father is the vinedresser, and we are the branches. This is an apt analogy of our relationship with the Lord Jesus. How does this relationship affect us? What does our Father expect of us who are believers of Christ? How can we live up to His expectations?
Just as the vine sustains its branches, the Lord Jesus is our source of life. The life of Christ is manifested by the fruit of the Spirit; the ministry of Christ is accomplished by the gifts of the Spirit. God wants us to bear much fruit by which He is glorified. The gardener foresees the greater potential of the tree, and he accomplishes this by means of pruning. In the same way, the Lord foresees our potential, and He cleanses us to bear more fruit. The Lord’s pruning may come in various forms – through His words, the Holy Spirit, or tests and trials. Although God’s pruning may be painful at times, it shapes our character and trains us to bear more fruit.
The key of being a fruitful Christian is to constantly abide in Christ and for Christ to live in us. When a Christian fails to abide in Christ, he withers and dries up. Those who abide in Christ, and who permit His words to abide in them, have a blessed promise that God will grant whatever they ask. Christ remained in the Father’s love because He obeyed Him. We remain in Christ’s love because we obey His commandments. Through Jesus’ example of love, we learn to bear fruit in obedience to the Lord and to love one another. The abiding relationship also gives us Christ’s joy. Christian joy is found in obedience and loving God and keeping His commandments.
Jesus is the true vine. Our primary concerns are whether we remain attached to the vine and abide in His love, and whether Christ lives in us. We have been appointed to go and bear fruit, but apart from that relationship, we cannot bear the desired fruit which is pleasing to God. If we have an intimate relationship with God and Christ lives in us, we can see what Jesus can do through us. As the branches receive their life from the vine, bearing much fruit becomes natural.