"No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine." That’s Botany 101. Jesus uses that simple illustration to make a serious point: "Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." That’s Spiritual Life 101 – there is no life with God apart from Jesus, the life-giving Vine. Jesus gets even more direct when He says, "apart from me, you can do nothing." Some people point to the good they do as their claim to life with God, but that’s as backwards as a branch claiming it receives life because it’s fruitful... No, it all depends on the connection to the vine, and our life with God all depends on our connection with Jesus, the life-giving Vine. This simple illustration with its blunt words is Jesus’ loving but serious way to get you to see and understand that life with God does not and cannot depend on you or what you do, but can only come from Him. (John 15:1-8)
This is why Jesus says, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you." (v4) When you are connected to Jesus in faith, you are connected to the very Son of God. You are connected to the One who made you and the One who saved you. You are connected to the perfect life He lived for you and the full price He paid for your sins by His death on the cross. You are connected to His resurrection from the dead and to the heavenly home He has promised to prepare for you. The life that flows from this Vine to every branch connected to Him is the forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and life everlasting. The result here and now? "If a man remains in me and I in him, he WILL bear much fruit." (v5) IN JESUS YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A FRUITFUL LIFE.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.