October 21, 2017

Jesus is the one and only True vine of love, joy, and peace

Jesus is the one and only true vine of love, joy, and peace

Shortly before His death, Jesus told His disciples – “’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 bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.’” (John 15: 1-4) We know what the fruit of the Spirit is from what Paul taught the Galatians – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Gal. 5: 22-23)

What a remarkable relationship Jesus was calling His disciples into! What many people do not realize is that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with God. Jesus had told His disciples that He would pray to the Father, and the Father would give them a Helper that would abide with them forever. The Helper, the Holy Spirit would indwell them forever (John 14: 16-17). God dwells in the hearts of believers, making each one of them a temple of His Holy Spirit – “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6: 19-20)

As believers, unless we “abide” in Jesus Christ, we cannot bear the true fruit of His Spirit. We may be able to “act” peaceful, kind, loving, good, or gentle. However, self-generated fruit is often revealed as what it actually is. Only God’s Spirit can produce true fruit. Self-generated fruit is often found alongside the works of the flesh – “…adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries…” (Gal. 5: 19-21)

C. I. Scofield wrote about abiding in Christ – “To abide in Christ is, on the one hand, to have no known sin unjudged and unconfessed, no interest into which He is not brought, no life which He cannot share. On the other hand, the ‘abiding’ one takes all burdens to Him, and draws all wisdom, life, and strength from Him. It is not unceasing consciousness of these things, and of Him, but that nothing is allowed in the life which separates from Him.” That beautiful relationship and fellowship we have with Jesus was further illuminated by the apostle John when he wrote – “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you may also have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1: 3-10)

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