Bible Reading: John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit”. (John 15:1-2)
Yesterday, we talked about Christ as the true vine. He is the faithful one; He is the one who is righteous and only in Him can we ever bear fruit and be renewed from a sinner living for self to a saint living for God. As we continue to read through this small passage, truly God’s word is abundant. Observe v. 1-2.
1. The vinedresser is God the Father.
Christ is the root of the vine, and we are the branches. But who is the one who is ultimately in control? God the Father. God is a sovereign God who is in full control of the assurance of our faith. It is not us that is faithful, but He has promised to hold on to our faith to the end.
2. The works of the vinedresser.
Pay attention to what God does towards His branches (His people). Towards those who call themselves followers of Christ but ultimately are imposters, wolves disguised in sheepskin, God will take them away to be burned (v. 6). The sign of those who are not of Christ is that they bear no fruit. As Matthew Henry puts it in his commentary, “Were they really united to Christ by faith, they would bear fruit; but being only tied to him by the thread of an outward profession, though they seem to be branches, they will soon be seen to be dry ones.” Those who are not of Christ may act like a Christian, but ultimately, he is only an outward professor, his heart was never changed.
But, those who are in Christ, those who are truly Christ’s followers, blessed are you because the almighty and sovereign God is the vinedresser. No matter how small our faith or fruit may be, v. 3 says, “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you”. Despite all our past sins, despite our quivering and doubting faith, God says to those who are truly His, “You are mine”. Christ is the one who unites us with Himself, and the seal of that promise is Christ’s blood. Trust in Him. Will Christ’s sacrifice in blood ever fail to forgive and unite us with Him?
Moreover, the Father, who is the vinedresser, promises to prune the branches that bear fruit so that they may bear more fruit. No matter how small our faith may be, the sovereign God promises to cleanse us and sanctify us, that we may grow and bear more fruit. If you are truly Christ’s, spiritual growth is inevitable. It is not because of our work, but because God actively works to nurture, water, and bring our faith to grow.
3. Method of growth
Lastly, pay attention to how God grows our faith. It is through pruning or in the original language it means cleansing. Growth comes from God, who deals with our impurity and sins. It comes from the crucifying of our old self, and knowing the Truth and the new life in the Truth. So, what must we do? v. 4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me”.
God calls us to abide in Him. What does that mean? It means to place our whole trust in Him and continue in a daily relationship with Him. A relationship of love with God comes from obedience to His word (see v. 10). And so, as we walk to know God, approach Him each morning to listen to His Word. Talk to Him in prayer and plead for strength to obey His Word. Confess our sins and turn to become doers of His Word.
As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (emphasis added). God, the vinedresser is faithful. He will succeed in blossoming us until we bear sweet fruits of faith pleasing to Him. Trust in Him and watch God Himself work out His faithfulness in your life.
Lord, thank You that Christ is the vine and the Father is the vinedresser. Help us to know that You are always faithful and in control, pruning our small faith. Give us the courage to obey You in the little things so that we may learn to abide in You. Work in us that we may be able to testify to Your faithfulness and praise You for it. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.