The parable of the vine and the branches is a parable of mutual residency – the absolute necessity OF BEING ONE WITH JESUS. There must be room for Him to live in you, and you must likewise be dying to self in order to live in Him. Self cannot enter the kingdom of God.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the Husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; nor more can ye, except ye abide in Me.”
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
“Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.”
John 15: 1-8
Who are the Branches?
There is a critical truth in this parable which must be brought to light. The question we must ask is, “Who are the branches?”
Jesus said that every branch in Me that does not bear fruit will be taken away and burned. Only a born again believer could consider himself to be “in” Christ. Only by personal repentance and receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior could anyone consider themselves to be IN HIM – in the VINE.
So now you realize that Jesus is talking about born again believers. It is only the believer who is abiding – living in Him and He in them – that is able to bear the fruit of the Spirit. And what is the fruit that we bear?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Is your life full of His Fruit?
Is your Christian walk cluttered with sin? Is there unbelief, resentment and pride? These are evils that will not enter the kingdom of God. Your life must be cleaned – and you must be constantly cleaning your life in order to allow the fruit to grow. The Holy Spirit is your only answer. He is the One whom Jesus promised to send to give us power.
The Holy Spirit gives you power, not just power to do His miracles, but more importantly, power to overcome! He gives you power to conquer the sin nature which has been en-grained in our being for so many years. It is impossible to do it without His supernatural indwelling, infilling and anointing!
Living in Him is to live in His Word and obey His Word. His Word is our daily bread. Without it your spirit is unable to remain alive. And by living in His Word, our natural man – our human nature – is gradually put to death, and the Holy Spirit is given invitation to occupy all of our being.
If you haven’t made the Word of God part of your daily appetite, how can you remain in the vine?
Remember what Jesus said about washing your feet? “He that is clean (born again and washed in His blood) need only to wash his feet. Washing your feet symbolizes the complete separation between you and the world. Your feet represent the symbolic connection between you and your old way of life – between you and the world’s thoughts and ways.
In the parable of the vine and the branches, Jesus is saying that now that you are clean, you must ABIDE IN HIM. It’s another way of saying to you that you have to totally put off the old man and live completely in your new nature, which is His nature.
Jesus is showing you that THERE IS MORE TO YOUR SALVATION THAN A SINGLE STEP – A ONE-TIME FOR ALL-TIME DECISION. He is clearly showing you that it is only through a totally surrendered life – a life that “endures to the end” – that salvation is secured. The apostle James confirmed this when He wrote:
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
Jesus is telling His believers, telling you, that unless you are totally surrendered to the Father’s will – and His Word – that you will not be able to live in Him nor will He be given a place to live in you. But what is an even greater consequence is that you will be in danger of being cut off from the Vine and thrown into the fire.
Your salvation experience has been given to you as a free gift. But it has been given with a price. And what is that price? The price is your appreciation and love for Him which can only be manifest through your surrender to His Word and His will. It is evidenced by your “hungering and thirsting for righteousness.” It is the evidence that the seed of your salvation was planted on “good soil.”