Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you…
"I am the True Vine."
I. Christ sets forth the GENUINENESS of His union with His disciples.
II. In the REALITY AND COMPLETENESS of His life-giving power Christ infinitely excels all His forerunners and types.
III. This relationship is much NEARER than that of the shepherd with the sheep.
IV. This union is COMPREHENSIVE, embracing many besides those who are usually recognized as believers. "Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit."
V. Our union with Christ should be CONSTANT. Twelve times in this allegory the word "abide" is used. They were in danger of unfaithfulness and apostasy. Christ sought to fortify them. He assured them that He would keep them if they would trust Him.
VI. This communion is one of LOVE (vers. 9-16). "As the Father hath loved Me, even so have I loved you." "Abide in My love." The believer lives in the love of Christ. Christ loves all men; but He manifests His love in a peculiar manner to those whose hearts are given to Him. If we love God, we will delight in His character, we will be drawn by those Divine attributes which Jesus reveals. Love of a holy Being implies hatred of sin. The Spirit convicts the loving heart of sin. Is my fruit recognized as Divine fruit, such fruit as Christ bore?
1. One of the fruits of union with Christ according to this lesson is patience under discipline (vers. 1-3). "My Father is the Husbandman." "He purgeth it," etc. "Ye are clean through the Word," etc. The lot of Jesus was one of severe trial." He was made "perfect through suffering." Those who become Christ-like must expect Christ-like trials. The believer can maintain his union with Christ only by uncompromising opposition to every form of evil.
2. Another result of this union is the spirit of dependence on Christ (vers. 4, 5). "Apart from Me ye can do nothing." This sense of dependence on Christ, instead of paralyzing human energy, becomes the source of its power. It enables the soul to look up and confidently exclaim with the apostle, "I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth Me."
3. This suggest another fruit of union with Christ, namely, life (vers. 6-8). "If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered." Christ came that we might have life. All the vital juices of the branch and its power to bear fruit come from the vine. So, for every good desire we ever formed, or good word we ever spoke, or good deed we ever did, evidencing a renewed life in us, we are indebted to Christ. He "is our life."
(G. H. Cheney.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.