I'll admit I've had this rolling around in me for months. This blog I am going to be raw and real. I'm going to share and explore some questions on my heart. "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. 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." (John 15:4,5)
Would you humor me for a second and read that again? How about one. more. time.
Let me put it in my words real quick. If we do not abide in Jesus we cannot do any good thing, we can bear no "fruit". He is the vine and we are branches, if we abide in Him then we will do MANY good things, we will bear MUCH FRUIT. If I do not abide in Him than I can do nothing.
Let's start with the two important questions that stick out when looking into this verse. 1) What is or how do we abide? 2) What is fruit? I know those seem simple and basic, but if we really pick this apart, I believe there is something we must catch.
According to the greek dictionary abide is the word "meno", it means to remain in, to tarry, not to depart from, to be held and kept continually, to endure, or my personal favorite "to remain as one, to not be different". Everything Jesus says is always backed up by scripture. He prays in John 17 that we would be one as He and the Father are one, that we would remain in Him, in Proverbs 3 it says "In all your ways acknowledge Him", Galatians 2 says "we no longer live, but He lives in us". I could go on and on and on with scriptures that support "abiding in Christ" meaning we do not depart from Him, we remain constant with Him, we find our life in Him, we decrease and He increases, we die and He lives in us and through us, we have our being IN HIM, our identity is now found IN CHRIST, and behold we are new creatures with renewed minds to be like Him.
How about the second question. What is fruit? The word in the greek is "karpos", it has many meanings of course including simply "fruit" (apples, oranges, etc.) the meaning here would consist of an effect, a result, a work, a deed, an action. What is the fruit of abiding in Christ? My mind jumps to several scriptures. Let's start with those right there in John 15. "abide in my love, if you keep my commandments you will abide in my love" "this I command you, love one another" Obviously 1 Cor. 13 says we can have all the "deeds" of giving, self sacrifice, discipline, discipleship, but if we have not love we are nothing. So the first "fruit" that comes to mind is.... love. Then I think of the "FRUIT" of the Spirit found in Galatians 5. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Then I think of the signs Mark 16. That we will lead people to Jesus, baptize them, cast out demons, speak in new tongues, be protected, and heal the sick.
I know this is getting long, so I will wrap up.
"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, PROVING to be my disciples" (John 15:8)
Here is what is on my heart. He says in verse 9 to abide in His love and then the Word says that if we abide in Him, we will BEAR MUCH FRUIT. He says that we give God glory and prove we are His disciples by bearing MUCH FRUIT.
Are we bearing MUCH FRUIT? If not, then we're not abiding in Him.
It wasn't a conditional statement, it was a fact, if you abide in Me, you will bear much fruit. I've been doing self examination the last few months. I WANT TO BRING GOD GLORY, I WANT TO PROVE I AM HIS DISCIPLES, I WANT TO ABIDE IN HIM AND HIS LOVE. If I abide in Him, I bear much fruit, so I can look at my life and if I'm not bearing much fruit then I'm not abiding in Him!!! OOOOUUUUUCCCCCCHHHHH......
Are we leading people to Jesus? Are we seeing God use us to break off addiction, depression, and chains that bind people? Have we stepped out of comfort zone and encouraged people? When was the last time we witnessed to someone outside of the church walls? How about the last time you prayed for someone? Got out of your comfort zone? Is there fruit of love in your life? How about the fruits of the Spirit? Have we seen any of Mark 16 in our lives? Demons casted out, healings, salvations, supernatural protection? Have you produced fruit?
IF WE ABIDE IN HIM, WE WILL BEAR MUCH FRUIT.
I'm not saying this from a point of condemnation, I'm saying it from a place of conviction for my own life. If we can't say "i'm bearing much fruit" then we must say "I am not abiding in Him". I will push into Him more, to abide in Him MORE, because without Him I CAN DO NOTHING and with Him I will bear much fruit, which will bring my Daddy God glory.
As we fall madly in love with Jesus, we choose to pursue after His heart more, as pursue after Him, we abide in Him, we live with Him, dwell in Him, acknowledge Him, consumed with Him. As we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit for His glory.
Be Blessed, J. Tate