Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
We have already spent some time in John 15, but we left at least one nugget of truth to be mined from this beautiful passage. The word “remain” in John 15 is taken right out of 1st Century agriculture, namely, viticulture. There are powerful organic connotations to the ideas Jesus is communicating. For example, a branch can only abide in one vine at a time. If it is separate from a vine, it dies. If it abides in a different vine, it may not bear fruit. The Father knows that the ultimate BEST for our lives is to bear eternal fruit for His glory as we abide in His Son. In this organic relationship, we are given a constant, minute by minute choice to REMAIN in Christ. Consider the following questions:
Who gets the glory when fruit is borne in our lives?
What is OUR job in producing fruit?
What is Christ’s job in producing fruit through us?
What does prayer and the Word of God have to do with remaining in Christ?
How does someone “stop” remaining in Christ?
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.