“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.” - John 15:1-4 (ESV)
Jesus asserts that He is the “light of the world” (John 8:12) and whoever follows him will not walk in darkness.
The Reformers in the late 16th century adopted a slogan, “Post Tebebras Lux”, (Latin for “After Darkness, Light”). This captures the crowning success of the Reformation movement, that of uncovering the gospel of Jesus and brought it back into the light.
Here in the text in John 15, He commands us to “Abide” in Him in order to be fruitful.
First note, this command is given to those who are already in HIm. Before we are in Him we were in nature (our understanding, will, affections reside in sin), and therefore, in death. To be in Him is to be in grace, which raises us above nature, purifies us and directs us to a proper end.
In nature, the “flesh” is influenced and governed by the body, its appetites and senses, and as the apostle Paul says, under the influence of “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).
We must obey this command to abide in Jesus to come under the Spirit of Christ and come His influence and government.
The principal benefit of abiding in Christ is He will abide in us. He abides in us:
- By His word, teaching, instructing, directing, strengthening, supporting, encouraging, comforting us (Rom 15:4).
- By His Spirit, in His witness as a Spirit of adoption, and in His fruits, which are “love, joy, peace,” etc. (Rom 8:15; Gal 5:22-23).
- By the efficacy of His body and blood (John 6:56-57).
- By His indwelling presence, as our “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption” (1Co 1:30); and,
- By permitting us to have fellowship with Him (Rev 3:20).
Pastor Robert Chew