John 15:1 says “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”
In this parable, we first see that Jesus is actually the vine and the Father is really the one in charge, because He is the vinedresser.
Verse 2: Every branch in us that does not bear fruit, He cuts away, and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes that it might bear more.
Once you start bearing fruit, doing Kingdom business, moving ahead and having success in the Kingdom, Jesus makes you better and causes things to happen which bring spiritual growth. Some things can come through trials and afflictions, and those things may appear to come against you. Those things, as well as disease and destruction, actually do not come from God, because He is a good God, but He will put us through our paces like a coach puts an athlete through race after race, practice after practice, to push and coach him. Jesus says here that God will coach us. He will prune us. He will cut us back and make us perform better.
Verse 3: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”
Jesus was saying here, “You are righteous; you are clean; you are washed. Everything is fine when you believe the things that I teach.”
Verse 4: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
Abiding in Jesus is not so much about simply going to church, praying and reading your Bible. It is about having Him run your life and having the Holy Spirit give you directions in life. Every Christian has the capacity to hear from the Holy Spirit: all it takes is prayer and some coaching. Abiding in Jesus is just like having His sap run out from the vine through the branch to bear fruit. So, if we are connected to Jesus and are allowing the sap to flow, we are abiding in Him. It is essentially doing and living as the Holy Spirit says. If you are making all the decisions yourself, you are not abiding. Life is fun and easier when you allow the Holy Spirit to give you directions each day.
Jesus said He wanted me to start doing a video series on the parables. We are now finished with the videos. He told me that He wants me to have them transcribed into a book. I thought I was going to pay the book off two hundred dollars from my pension each fortnight for the transcribers and the editors, and Jesus tells me, “No, you are getting a loan for one thousand dollars. You are going to pay it all in one go and get it done really quickly.”
That is an example of abiding. It is getting step by step instructions from the Holy Spirit to work in perfection. I found the list of parables on Google, but I just cannot believe the way Jesus listed them out in perfection. He is working them so well. Abiding in the Vine is working hand and hand with the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Jesus.
The parable of the vine and branches is one of my favorite passages and teaching this parable a few chapters from the end is just amazing.
“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).
With one week’s work and one thousand dollars, I am going to bear a tremendous amount of fruit and that is an amazing thing. You see I spoke the book, I didn’t manually type it up, and that is why it needed a lot of editing. I recommend that you buy the book, if you have the resources. Or you can look at the free website version that you can post on Facebook. When you abide in Jesus—when you are doing what Jesus tells you to do through the Holy Spirit, and through His voice Himself to your spirit—you will bear much fruit.
“For without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
It is indeed true that we are helpless; without God we can do nothing. I am helpless on my own, but as a Christian, God is always with me. He goes everywhere I go. That is why we should be mindful of not taking Him to places He would feel uncomfortable. The issue that most Christians have is they are not “depending” on Jesus. They are not listening to Him. Their lives are so busy that they cannot hear the Holy Spirit. If we read the Bible and get connected with Christ, we will know how to hear His Holy Spirit.
“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” (John 15:6).
We see here that if we do not bear fruit—for instance, although we go to church, pray and do godly things, we have never fully surrendered our lives to Jesus—we will wither. One thing is for sure: Jesus once again mentioned that there is going to be a fire for people who do not accept Him and walk with Him in this life. There are so many people who are outwardly religious but their heart is far away from God: they have no personal relationship with Jesus because even if they once said a prayer of invitation to Him, it may have been empty words coming from a hard heart and prompted by wrong motives.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).
I have to say that I am not strong on this one, asking for what I desire, but I do know that, sometimes, when I pray for other people’s desires, my prayers for them are answered.
I know my mother’s one desire, was that her mother would be saved. For almost thirty eight years she hung onto this promise and also one in Psalm 138:8 which says: “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.” She kept on claiming these verses for her mother’s salvation. She had received a prophecy that when her mother was old and was in some kind of home and was alone, then she would be able to lead her to Jesus. And that is exactly what happened. God had spoken to my mum on two occasions a year before grandma’s death, and told her that He was going to save her. My mother was so excited and shared that with all her friends. She was so excited even at her death-bed, because she knew Jesus was there! Her joy was overwhelming! It was the greatest testimony of the peace of God that she has ever experienced. Death had lost its sting!
James 4:3 says: “You ask and do not have, because you ask to fulfill your own pleasures.” There is a type of asking that God will not answer; that is when you want things for selfish motives or purely for material gain. If your motives are not good, and He knows that the things you are asking for are not good for you, you can ask God for them and they will not be given to you. However, if you have the Holy Spirit in you, you will know what to pray for, and when you are abiding in Christ, you will ask only for the will of God.
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:8).
Do you know that the way to find oranges is to go and find an orange tree? It should be the same way with Christians. When you bump into a person who is so full of love, compassion, joy and peace, you will know that you have met a real follower of Jesus Christ. You may watch some interviews of Heidi Baker on YouTube, and you will see God’s love pouring out of her. You will see that she is a blessed little Christ.
If you have ever met my pastor, Robin at church, you will realize that Christ is alive, and so bearing much fruit is having the personality and the works that show that you are a Christian. People ask me, “Why do you do what you do? Why would you do such a thing?” Why do I do it? It is because Jesus loves me and it is His will for me to do it.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love” (John 15:9).
Many people are afraid of the love of Jesus. They have been rejected and hurt so many times; they will not accept Jesus’ love. They will not allow Jesus to love them. Jesus says, “Let my Holy Spirit show you that I love you. Abide in Me. Start to accept My love. Start to listen to Me. Commune with Me; start a fellowship with Me and everything will be fantastic.”
“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” (John 15:10).
Jesus came down and did everything the Father told Him to do. In the same way, Jesus wants us to do everything that He tells us to do. This is not to give us a sense of obligation to the Lord that we are going to Hell if we do not obey Him, but we do it because we love Him and it is the most practical and spiritual way to live our life. Life is just so good when we do it God’s way!
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
I have been so full of joy since July 2010, when I was transformed by the doctrine of grace. Since then, the load of self righteousness, guilt, shame and condemnation has been lifted off my back. My whole life has been full of joy; I am energized. I almost feel that I am on some drug induced “high” at times. The verse in John 15:11 is true in my life.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
Some people may think that Jesus may not have loved them much. We do not walk and talk with Him or see Him in the flesh like the disciples did. For some, He is just someone in the sky. That is why it is hard for them to love others; and that is understandable. You need to get around people who are full of Jesus and let them love you, so you will get an example of that love for other people.
My pastor and her daughter are the expression of Jesus’ love for me. As I see their example, I am able to love like them. Above all, Jesus has loved me so much. I have a tremendous relationship with Him and have spoken to Him many, many times and so I love a lot of people.
“Greater love has no one that this, than to lay down ones life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Jesus did this for all of us. In the same manner, we can all lay down our lifestyle for another person. We can spend less on our own desires and give money to people who are not as well off. The day to day laying down of our lives for others is what Jesus wants from us.
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14).
In another parable, Jesus said that we are wise when we build our lives on His commands. Living the way that Jesus commands us means that He will become more than just God’s Son to us, but He will become our closest friend.
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I 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 remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you” (John 15:15-16).
We think that we are the ones who choose Jesus, but that is not so: He chooses us! That’s why no one can come to Him unless His Holy Spirit has already started a work in them. Perhaps God has been working in your life for years and you have been sub-consciously resisting Him. It is so great to know that it is God who initiates the relationship because you then know it will remain: He will not divorce you! What He starts, He finishes and He says that He hates divorce.
So, when you are abiding in Jesus, you will do what the Holy Spirit puts in your heart. When you are abiding in Jesus, you prove that you love Him. When you are abiding in Jesus, you will bear much fruit. If your life is directionless and purposeless, you need to listen to the Holy Spirit.
Get to know Jesus; allow Him to give you direction and you will find purpose in life and bear fruit that remains.