“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
If I get separated from Christ I can do nothing of any value. If I am separate from Christ and don’t know Him or love Him, I am doing nothing of any value. Only God can turn these situations around. We cannot know God’s joy unless we know Him. Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and unless the Spirit dwells within us, we don’t know joy, realise it, or even feel it. Joy causes us to praise God and glorify His name in every area of our lives.
The vine is a picture of the Lord Jesus and also the glorious kingdom of Christ. We, the people of God are the branches, attached and growing on this mighty tree. If we should be grafted into the body of Christ, or grafted into the Old Testament saints of God, we are alive to Jesus Christ and are able to live and work for Him. To do so is life and peace for the Christian believer, and the heights of glory in the heavenly kingdom.
The branches cannot be separated, but can remain not as fruitful as they could be, because of lack of dedication and devotion. Christ does not force His ways on us, but waits for us to learn and grow and embrace His will for our lives. If we remain in the love of Christ we will certainly bear much fruit and gain great glory. Our strength will grow and our courage will make us particularly successful in the work we are called to do, whatever is set aside for us. Without the love and power of the Holy Spirit our lives are empty and dull and we will produce nothing of any value. We need the power of God to keep us walking and working against the odds and against lack of encouragement.
God will keep us interested. It is He who will produce the fruit in us, but our responsibility is to keep ourselves in the love of Christ and remain faithful to Him and the heavenly way. If we do, we will know increasing joy and strength to keep going and to continually step out for God. Our fruit may be seen in this life, or maybe it’s breadth and depth will not be known until we reach the other side of eternity. God is faithful and will keep us faithful in His Word and faithful in prayer.
Others may look busy, but there may not be much fruit to show for God. Some look busy, and may be busy in this world, but there is no actual spiritual fruit. They are doing nothing, because it will not last. When the work is tested, it will be found wanting and really only done for self and selfish motives. This will not count for Christ, and if we follow this agenda, we will suffer loss. We will have become dried up and not operating as the branches on the tree. We have become somehow separated and therefore not bearing the fruit. These branches, are not really grafted in and will never bear the fruit required by God. Jesus cursed the fig tree that did not bear the fruit He required. No fruit means we are doing nothing and therefore will have no spiritual life in us and are not true branches.
There must be fruit. Lazy Christians are a misnomer, and only those who are working for their Lord with all that they are, will bear the fruit and enter in.
“Remain in me, as I also 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.”