John 15 … Consider Him, the True Vine

It’s a bit confusing, the life of faith. Do you ever find yourself asking, “What exactly should my faith look like, act like? How do I know I have faith?”

In this discourse, Jesus uses a visible and tangible illustration all could understand; a basic principle in nature: without the vine, the branch will not survive…period.

And in His teaching, the essence of faith is revealed. Faith is a call to a relationship that must live and abide in Him, the True Vine.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser…I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing,” (15:1, 5).

Consider Him, the True Vine

Everything we need and long for is found in Jesus Christ, the True Vine. And apart from faith in Him, we can never know and experience what He alone imparts.

  • He is the True Vine; Apart from Him we will not have life.
    • “If anyone does not abide 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,”  (15:6).
  • He is the True Vine; Apart from Him we will not know how to pray or what to ask.
    • “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you… so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you,”  (15:7, 16).
  • He is the True Vine; Apart from Him we will not bear lasting fruit.
    • “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples… 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain…”  (15:8, 16).
  • He is the True Vine; Apart from Him we will not truly know or give love.
    • “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love…. 12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends”  (15:9-10, 12)
  • He is the True Vine; Apart from Him we will not have fullness of joy.
    • “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full,”  (15:11).

How do we respond to Him the True Vine?

We respond in the only possible way… By faith.

  • By faith, we Agree with His Word.
    • “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you,” (15:3).
  • By faith, we Admit our need.
    • “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,” (15:4).
  • By faith, we Abide in Him, the True Vine and source for all life.
    • “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing,” (15:5).

The absence of trials and persecution is not the evidence we are His. We are His by faith; and the Father will use the difficulties of suffering and injustice to prune and strengthen our faith.

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit,” (15:2).

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you,” (15:18).

Faith-examination time: Am I abiding in Him by faith?

  • Have I received His gift of eternal life?
    • For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  • It is not anything we do or can do. It is His gift given and received by faith; for apart from Him, the True Vine, we can do nothing.
  • Am I offering effective prayers?
    • The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much, (James 5:16).
  • Only by faith in Jesus are we made righteous to pray in His Name; for apart from Him, the True Vine, we can do nothing.
  • Is there evidence in my life of the lasting fruit of faith?
    • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires, (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • The fruit of the Spirit cannot be achieved in our own strength or merit. His fruit is imparted by faith; for apart from Him, the True Vine, we can do nothing.
  • Is my life characterized by love for God and love for the body of Christ?
    • Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God… 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another, (1 John 4:7, 10-11).
  • Only as we receive God’s love for us through faith in His Son are we able to love; for apart from Him, the True Vine, we can do nothing.
  • Do I know and experience the joy of the Lord?
    • You will make known to me the path of life;
      In Your presence is fullness of joy;
      In Your right hand there are pleasures forever,
       (Psalm 16:11).
  • Joy is not dependent on our circumstances but is the result of being rightly related to Him by faith; for apart from Him, the True Vine, we can do nothing.

As we abide in Him, He is faithful and able to grow us in faith, love and obedience. It is His work in us, not our own; for apart from Him, the True Vine, we can do nothing.

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, (Philippians 2:13).

Let’s Grow Together!

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