Shepherd to Sheep
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “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. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:1-6, NIV.
First I would remind you of our motto that it is “all about Jesus”! He is the root and the vine. We as the branches derive our life from Him. It is good to know that God the Father is the gardener Who tends and prunes us as needed. As we stay connected to Him we will bear much fruit. Apart from Him our lives are empty, hopeless and fruitless.
But also notice the serious warning in this text. We are told to “remain” in Him. “Abide” in the NKJV. What does it mean to abide or remain in Him? Can a person refuse or choose not to abide and as a result be cut off? What is Jesus actually saying here?
The scriptures offer both great promises of assurance and great warnings against falling away. If we are to be balanced believers we must believe and embrace both the warnings and promises.
For further personal study on this topic look up these verses –
Romans 11:17-22; Galatians 5:4; Hebrews 3:12-13 & 6:4-8; 2Tim 2:12; James 5:19-20; Matthew 13:18-23.
And don’t forget the blessed promises of assurance –
John 6:37-40; 10:27-39; Romans 8:28-39; Hebrews 13:5
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16, NIV.