JESUS CHRIST IS THE TRUE VINE
July 1, 2018
BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JOH1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31)
Jesus Christ states in JOH 15:1: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” So, let’s start our study with a question: “What is a vine?” A vine is the portion of a plant that transfers vital nutrients from the roots to the branches of the plant. It is interesting to note that if the roots are cut, the vine can manufacture new roots. Also, if the branches are cut, the vine can produce new branches. So, the vine is the central most important part of the plant – just as The Lord Jesus Christ should to be the central most important part of our lives.
Second question: what is a vinedresser? A vinedresser is someone who nurtures and prunes (cuts) vines. When the branches get dangly and unproductive, the vinedresser prunes them so that the productive branches are able to receive more nutrients for their growth and production. God The Father, in His Perfect Justice and Righteousness, shuts doors for us and disciplines us so that our hearts are pruned for producing the best fruit possible. HEB 12:6 states: “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges [punishes] every son whom He receives.” And HEB 12:10 continues with: … but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. And JOH 15:2 says it all: “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He [God The Father] takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
Never forget that we have been entered into Salvation, not just to be saved, but to do the work of God. In the Bible, this is called bearing fruit. Jesus Christ, as the Vine, wants to pump the vital nutrients of His Word into us so that we can produce much fruit. And not just any fruit but the plumpest, tastiest fruit ever!! As we receive these nutrients, it has a cleansing effect on our souls so that we become stronger and healthier Christians. This is a cleansing of our Sin Natures and the world’s influence over our way of thinking.
Even when you think you are doing great things for God, you can find yourself in the wrong areas of ministry. The ministries you are involved in may be good ones but some of them may not be the right ones for you. If you’re in the wrong ministries, you won’t be producing the right fruit. You won’t be working as well as you can because these ministries aren’t intended for you. What you need to realize is that there are many branches that come from the vine and each is intended for its own specific fruit production. So, be careful!
Divine production begins with the relaxed mental attitude of knowing your eternal fate is sealed and secure. At the moment of your Salvation, God cleansed your soul through the forgiveness of all your sins. You believed in the Word of the Gospel message and were placed in union with Christ forever: In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise. (EPH 1:13) At Salvation, you were given a perfect nature (clean) called the Human Spirit so that you could have an eternal relationship with God. God tells us we must rest in our relationship with Him in order to produce fruit.
If you are constantly worried about your salvation, you will never get beyond that point, to the point of producing fruit. This is taught in JOH 15:4: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” The Message Bible translates JOH 15:4 like this: Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. “Abide” means to remain, stay with, or continue with someone or something.
The Holy Spirit speaks with our spirit so we know and understand when Christ is working in us. This is taught in ROM 8:16: For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. That is a beautiful and comforting verse, isn’t it?
You cannot produce bountiful fruit if your relationship with The Lord is casual or occasional. Abiding with The Lord means a consistent and continual relationship with Him, reading His Word, studying His Word, applying His Word – daily. And you cannot fully receive the nutrients of Christ apart from your Pastor-Teacher in your local church who feeds you those nutrients. JOH 15:5-6 says it all: “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who remains in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” In these verses, we see the Vinedresser tending to the branches of the vine that are non-productive and don’t have a shot at further production. The believer who ignores his or her relationship with God and stops receiving the vital nutrients from the vine, will shrivel up and wither away in their souls. This is called black-out of the soul. Blackout of the soul is a deep stage of reversionism which is where believers with negative volition to doctrine end up. Reversionism results in complete involvement in the cosmic system. Because of the lack of God’s Word in their soul, these believers have nothing to sustain their spiritual life. In JOH 15:5-6, “burned in the fire” does not teach that you will lose your salvation and be thrown into the Lake of Fire. You CANNOT LOSE your Salvation! Here the context is Divine Production, not Salvation.
Look at 1COR 3:9-15: For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s [a]field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, [b]precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test [c]the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. And also look at 2COR 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for [a]his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. These two passages teach us that all believers will stand before Christ and He will judge our fruit-bearing – testing it as though putting it through a fire. Fire typically stands for judgment in the Bible and all judgments are not the same. The Fruit produced with the help of the nutrients of Christ and The Holy Spirit will be rewarded. Fruit produced with human power and the sin nature – apart from God’s Power – will be burned up, BUT the branch will be saved.
As for unbelievers, all they are able to produce is human good. Without being saved, you cannot be filled without The Holy Spirit and therefore, cannot produce God’s fruit. Unbelievers are actually called fruit from the vine of the earth which is a reference to Satan. REV 14:19 tells about this: So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. What this verse is saying is that if you aren’t saved, your fruit will be WORTHLESS. Just as there is no salvation for the unbeliever, there is also no reward, only loss.
God created us for Salvation and so that we could bear fruit. In order to bear fruit, we need to tap into the Vine of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to take in the Word of God on a consistent basis, through our right Pastor-Teacher, in our right local assembly. Once we take in the Word, we then must apply it to our everyday lives and use it in the Ministry which God has specifically chosen for us. And we always need to remember to offer our petition (prayers), as well as our thanksgiving to God prior to every endeavor; whether it is the intake or application of God’s Word or the special Ministry God has for us. When we do, we will be producing the fruit that God intended for us as noted in GAL 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
When we produce “the fruit of the Spirit,” God is glorified. And that is why we were put on earth: “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; remain in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (JOH 15:8)