John 15:1-5 ESV
“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. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
I don’t know anything about vine-dressing. But I have often read this and missed something. I always understood it to say that the branch that is not bearing fruit gets pruned so that it will now bear fruit. But to my surprise, that is not at all what it says. These branches, the ones that are not bearing fruit, they are cut off. Yeah. Cut off. If a vine-branch does not produce fruit, it is without use, without purpose. That branch is good for nothing. It is cut from the vine and cast into the fire.
Just as the vine is meant to produce fruit, so it is with God’s people. We are here to produce fruit for the kingdom of God. This word-picture is a vivid one. The vine-dresser simply cuts off the bad branch to make way for a branch that will serve the purpose for which it was created. This is such a good picture for us to consider. It is so obvious whether or not a vine-branch is serving its purpose. We can judge that with only a glance. This is how it is for God as he considers whether or not I am fulfilling my purpose.
We were carefully crafted in the very image of our maker for a specific purpose. We were made and placed on this small planet to give glory and honor to him who placed us here. This is the fruit that we are meant to bear. This is our purpose. This us why we are here. Those of us that do not bear such fruit are not fulfilling our purpose. We are not unlike a home without a roof. A home without a roof can not fulfill the purpose for which it was made. It is the same for you and for me.
How then can we be assured of fulfilling our purpose?
John 15:5 ESV
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Hear me clearly. The fruit that we are meant to bear is heavenly fruit. It is divine fruit. That is why it is essential to abide in Christ. He is divine. We are not. He is our connection to heaven. We can only produce divine fruit in and through Him. We can only fulfill the purpose for which Jesus created us in and through Him. Outside of Him we can do nothing. That is, nothing of eternal value, nothing we were made to do. We are of no greater use than a vine-branch that produces no fruit.
Producing fruit for God is what you were created to do. Isn’t that wonderful, exciting, and amazing? You have a very real and specific purpose. Yours is a greater purpose than any other on the whole planet earth. It is an eternal purpose! There is no greater purpose. Awesome!
How then do we make sure that we are producing fruit for our creator? Abide in Jesus. That is it. We can bear no good fruit apart from Him. We will never fail to produce fruit while abiding in Him. Abiding in Him means that we will absolutely bear much fruit. That is what it says. That means that abiding in Christ Jesus is the single most important focus of your life! Do not become distracted by any other thing then. Certainly do not allow anything to keep you from abiding in Christ Jesus. This is the only way to please God. This is the only way to bear good fruit. This us the only way to fulfill your purpose.
Abide in Christ Jesus above all things.