Passage To Study:

John 15:6-14

[6] “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. [7] “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. [8] “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

[9] “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. [10] “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. [11] “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. [12] “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. [13] “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. [14] “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

What are the facts of the passage?:

  • (Verse 6)– A contrast is drawn between those who are not “in Me” in verse 6and those that are “in Me” in verse 1.

  • (Verse 7) – Those that abide in Christ are the same who get the answers to their prayers and mentioned earlier.

  • (Verse 8) – Our bearing much fruit glorifies God, and demonstrates that we are His disciples.

  • (Verse 9) – Christ has loved us as the Father loved Him, we must abide in His love.

  • (Verse 10) – We abide in His love by following His example of obedience to the Father and keeping His commandments.

  • (Verse 11) – Christ has commanded these things that our joy be as full as it can be.

  • (Verse 12) – We are to love one another as Christ loved us.

  • (Verse 13) – The greatest demonstration of love is the laying down of one’s life for those He loves.

  • (Verse 14) – We demonstrate pour love for Christ if we use our life in obedience to God.

What do those facts mean?:

(Verse 6) - If a man, abide not in me—See John 15:4. If a man is not truly united to him by faith, and does not live with a continual sense of his dependence on him. This doubtless refers to those who are professors of religion, but who have never known anything of true and real connection with him.

Is withered—Is dried up. A branch cut off withers. So of a soul unconnected with Christ, however fair it may have appeared. However flourishing when a profession of religion was first made, yet when it is tried, and it is seen that there was no true grace, everything withers and dies. The zeal languishes, the professed love is gone, prayer is neglected, the sanctuary is forsaken, and the soul becomes like a withered branch reserved for the fire of the last great day. See a beautiful illustration of this in Ezek. 15.

Men gather them—The word “men” is not in the original, and should not have been in the translation. The Greek is “they gather them,” a form of expression denoting simply they are gathered, without specifying by whom it is done. From Matt. 13:40-42, it seems that it will be done by the angels. The expression means, as the withered and useless branches of trees are gathered for fuel, so shall it be with all hypocrites and false professors of religion.

(Verse 7) - My words—My doctrine; my commandments.

Abide in you - Not only are remembered, but are suffered to remain in you as a living principle, to regulate your affections and life.

Ye shall ask - See John 14:13. This promise had particular reference to the apostles. It is applicable to other Christians only so far as they are in circumstances similar to the apostles, and only so far as they possess their spirit. We learn from it that it is only when we keep the commandments of Christ—only when we live by faith in him, and his words are suffered to control our conduct and affections, that our prayers will be heard. Were we perfect in all things, he would always hear us, and we should be kept from making an improper petition; but just so far as men regard iniquity in their heart, the Lord will not hear them, Ps. 66:18.

(Verse 8) - Herein—In this—to wit, in your bearing much fruit.

Glorified—Honored.

Bear much fruit—Are fruitful in good works; are faithful, zealous, humble, devoted, always abounding in the work of the Lord. This honors God.

  1. Because it shows the excellence of his law which requires it.

  2. Because it shows the power of his gospel, and of that grace which can overcome the evil propensities of the heart and produce it.

  3. Because the Christian is restored to the divine image, and it shows how excellent is the character after which they are formed. They imitate God, and the world sees that the whole tendency of the divine administration and character is to make man holy; to produce in us that which is lovely, and true, and honest, and of good report. Compare Matt. 7:20; Phil 4:8.

So—That is, in doing this.

Shall ye be my disciples—This is a true test of character. It is not by profession, but it is by a holy life, that the character is tried. This is a test that it is easy to apply, and one that decides the case. It is worthy of remark that the Savior says that those who bear much fruit are they who are his disciples. The design and tendency of his religion is to excite men to do much good, and to call forth all their strength, and time, and talents in the work for which the Savior laid down his life. Nor should anyone take comfort in the belief that he is a Christian who does not aim to do much good, and who does not devote to God all that he has in an honest effort to glorify his name, and to benefit a dying world. The apostles obeyed this command of the Savior, and went forth preaching the gospel everywhere, and aiming to bring all men to the knowledge of the truth; and it is this spirit only, manifested in a proper manner, which can constitute any certain evidence of piety.

How do those facts apply to my life?:

 The matter of abiding in Christ is a key one to the Christian life.  We are to abide in Christ and thus we will bear fruit.  It is connected very closely to both loving Him and obeying Him.  As we have seen, if we say that we love Him and yet do not obey His Father’s commands, we are deceiving ourselves.  The transformation that occurs at salvation is such that obedience is the inevitable result of conversion.  Certainly, that obedience is to varying degrees depending on the particular believer, but we must be careful not to use it for an excuse for sin.  We must submit to the vinedresser and abide it the vine if we are to be what God desires us to be.

What should I do in response?:

Am I abiding in the vine?  How is my obedience to Christ?  How is my walk with Him in regard to His commands?  Does my activity match my feeling for Him?

 

Day
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Abide & Bear Much Fruit

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