I Am the True Vine
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down His life for His friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants,for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
The Gospel of John is my most favorite Book in the Bible. It shows everything that I need to know. This time, I am going to share to you the focal point of God’s sovereignty. He is sovereign even in salvation. Sometimes we think that we are saved because God saw something good in us, but the truth is ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD (Romans 3:23). There’s no room for us to consider that we have been chosen because GOD saw something good in us. Because if it is, we can boast about it, but Ephesians 2:8-9 says:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Just imagine the power of God over us. Jesus is the Vine, God the Father is the Vinedresser (gardener); we are nothing but branches.
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
Apart from God, WE ARE NOTHING!
If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
If you turned your back to God, and love darkness because you don’t want your sins to be exposed, you will be thrown away and become worthless twigs thrown in fire.
Imagine God’s illustration. Every branch is attached to God, but He pulled away those who didn’t bear fruit. It shows us that although you profess yourself as a Christian, you can still be subjected to hell. Remember the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)? All of them are on the race to meet the groom, but some of them are foolish enough and did not bring with them reserved oils for their lamps. That’s why it is important to examine ourselves and see if our faith is genuine (2 Cor 13:5). It’s so easy to profess you are a Christian, but the truth is, God’s grace is not cheap for it will cost you EVERYTHING!
But see the benefit of being joined with God:
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
Some might see this by looking at the benefits of answered prayers instead of looking at the benefits of eternal life and being with our God. But for me, being with Him is the greatest gift. That’s the greatest thing we should be thankful for because we all sinned, but He chose to save us and call us His chosen ones.
Abiding in God is not limited in going to church every Sunday, helping the needy, and giving tithes. Hypocrites can do that, but a true believer can do so much greater than that. A true follower delights more on what other people do not see. He prays in the secret place, he helps people without telling the world about it, he joins church gatherings without posting it in social media profiles. That’s humility. We cannot take pride on something that has given to us despite of our sins. We are left to praise the One who shows us mercy.
Abiding in God is also keeping His commandments. There has been many instructions Jesus gave before He went back to heaven. We must take those commandments so dearly and make it all happen in accordance to what God wills for us.
Obeying Him, is hating what the world gives. Not just that, we are to deny ourselves because our fallen man still desires to sin. In this journey on the narrow road, we are obliged to walk it with our hands and body free from any luggage. The road is narrow, thus you can only bring yourself and nothing else. That’s the essence why being followers of Jesus Christ need complete surrender because we cannot bring anything with us in the narrow road.
In the broad road, you can bring everything you want. You can even travel it with your cars if you want to. You can bring your money and everything else you want. That’s why it is heavily traveled.
Have you not witnessed that there are so many professing Christians, but only few are willing to surrender everything to God? Ask your Christian friends if they are willing to die for God, and you can only hear few true answers to it. Many can say ‘yes’, but in the back of their minds, they have doubts and start asking, ‘what does it mean when you have to die for Him? will I lose everything, even my family?’ Yes! You need to lose everything even your family. Although I thank God that me and my family are followers of Christ, but my parents always show me that the walk in the narrow road is not taken as a family. Because if it is, I could have accepted Christ even before I understand His gospel. But that’s not how I met Jesus. My journey with Him only began when I was away from them. My true journey only started during my college days (although my start was a bit rocky).
What else is waiting for those who abide in Him? We are to bear fruits! And those fruits are not glorify its branches, but the Vine itself and the Gardener. We bear fruits to magnify our Creator. We are here to think about Him, talk about Him, worship Him, and love the things He loves. We are not here to glorify ourselves through our wealth, fame and other achievements in life.
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.
I also love this one:
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
There’s no more greater than the joy of being in HIM! True joy only comes from Him. Although we are to deny ourselves, but God chose us to become joyful in Him. After all, we are the ones who benefited so much in this walk. How great is His love for us! My heart can’t contain the fact of His great love for I know I don’t deserve any of it but He still freely gives it!
And here’s another thing:
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down His life for His friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.
God’s friendship with us is also one of the greatest gifts. We don’t deserve His friendship with us, but He still freely gives it to us! But let’s not forget that friendship with God only starts when we OBEY HIM! We cannot become His friends if there’s no room in our hearts to obey Him. You are just deceiving yourself if your say Jesus is your friend but your life show no evidence of that friendship. Obey Him all the days of your life! Don’t neglect even one of His commands.
And here’s the most important verse among all of these:
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.
He chose us to bear fruits! On our own, we have no capacity of drawing Him near to us! He needs to show us first who He is before we can truly say we believe in Him. That’s why our Christian life should be lived with so much awe in His sovereignty!
When you know God convicts you and shows you how sinful you are, and you’re left with nothing but repentance, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEART! Pray and ask forgiveness. Deny yourself and surrender all the burdens you have in your heart. He convicts you for a reason. You should never neglect it.