Bearing Kingdom Fruit
Category : General
St. John 15:2 (KJV)
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
As the vine-dresser will remove all branches that are dead or that bear no fruit, so will God take from his church all professed Christians who give no evidence by their lives that they are truly united to the Lord Jesus. He here refers to such cases as that of Judas, the apostatizing disciples, and all false and merely nominal Christians (Adam Clarke).
Everyone that is a true follower of Christ, that is united to Him by faith, and that truly derives grace and strength from Him, as the branch does from the vine. The word “branch” includes all the boughs, and the smallest tendrils that shoot out from the parent stalk. Jesus here says that He sustains the same relation to His disciples that a parent stalk does to the branches; but this does not denote any physical or incomprehensible union. It is a union formed by believing on Him; resulting from our feeling our dependence on Him and our need of Him; from embracing Him as our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. We become united to Him in all our interests, and have common feelings, common desires, and a common destiny with him. We seek the same objects, are willing to encounter the same trials, contempt, persecution, and want, and are desirous that his God shall be ours, and his eternal abode ours. It is a union of friendship, of love, and of dependence; a union of weakness with strength; of imperfection with perfection; of a dying nature with a living Savior; of a lost sinner with an unchanging Friend and Redeemer. It is the most tender and interesting of all relations, but not more mysterious or more physical than the union of parent and child, of husband and wife Ephesians 5:23, or friend and friend.
As some men corrupt the grace of God, others suppress it maliciously, and others choke it by carelessness, Christ intends by these words to awaken anxious inquiry, by declaring that all the branches which shall be unfruitful will be cut off from the vine But here comes a question. Can anyone who is en-grafted into Christ be without fruit? I answer, many are supposed to be in the vine, according to the opinion of men, who actually have no root in the vine Thus, in the writings of the prophets, the Lord calls the people of Israel His vine, because, by outward profession, they had the name of The Church. By these words, He shows that believers need incessant culture that they may be prevented from degenerating; and that they produce nothing good, unless God continually apply His hand; for it will not be enough to have been once made partakers of adoption, if God do not continue the work of His grace in us. He speaks of pruning or cleansing, because our flesh abounds in superfluity and destructive vices, and is too fertile in producing them, and because they grow and multiply without end, if we are not cleansed or pruned by the hand of God. When God says that vines are pruned, that they may yield more abundant fruit, He shows what ought to be the progress of believers in the course of true religion.
Have a great and God filled day!