"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)
Jesus Christ considers all believers as his earthly fruit-bearing branches. There are two premises to be considered. The first is that Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches. The second is that when severed from the stem, the branches will become ineffective and useless.The very existence of a branch depends on abiding with the life-giving stem. When the human souls are united with Jesus Christ, who is the eternal life streaming vine, they will bear much fruit. But severed from the vine it is impossible for them to bear fruit.We are the branches. When separated from Christ, we can do nothing at all. God can do without man, but man cannot do without God. For a branch to live, thrive, and bring forth fruit, it must be joined to the vine. If cut off from the vine, it cannot get the water to thrive and bear fruits. Separated from the life in the vine, its very existence or life will come to an end.
There are many Christians who live their lives with the attitude that God will help them win and gain everything they want on their own terms. This is a cheapened, commercialized version of Christianity. It will never produce the fruit of righteousness that is pleasing to God. Some people imagine they can have the person of Christ without doctrinal responsibility. They like the idea of a sympathizing and loving Jesus, but they do not want to accept His teaching. The result of such an attitude toward God and his purposes is always disillusionment, disappointment, doubt and despair. We approach him with our agendas and expect abundant spiritual life. It doesn’t work that way. God will bless only that which will bring him glory through an abundant life. The truth is God never blesses us on our terms or conditions. He will have nothing to do with it. However, he wants to bless each one of us abundantly according to his purposes.
Let us ask ourselves a few questions. Are we those who are joined to Christ and fruitful? In what ways are we useful to the kingdom of God? Are we no more than dead wood, or at best just beautiful leaves?
A. W. Pink lucidly said, “The Vine and its branches express oneness, a common life, shared by all, with the complete dependency of the branches upon the Vine, resulting in fruit-bearing.”
The true, authentic vine is Jesus Christ. The value of the vine lies in its fruit. Jesus came to bear fruit for the kingdom of God. His fruit always has the sweet, authentic fragrance of righteousness. If it is not characterized by righteousness it did not come from his vine. God expects every believer to produce “fruit,” and “more fruit,” even “much fruit” for his glory.
All powers to survive, to be strong and to be productive are derived from the supernatural source, Jesus Christ. Therefore, believers have to learn their constant need of spiritual contact with their invisible Lord. When a believer sever himself or herself from Christ, and live on his own supposed strength, on the clearness of his intellect, the vigor of his body and the eminence of his position, he can do nothing.
A person truly united to Christ as the branch brings forth fruit to the glory of his God. But to talk of being seemingly in Christ means nothing. The union of the branch with the vine must be firm and genuine otherwise it longer have any right or title to him or to his salvation. The person will be separated from God's people and from God himself.