Abide in Me
John 15:1 “I am the true Vine, and My Father is the husbandman.”
I want to explain, that this illustration of the Vine and the branches….was not a parable….it was an illustration of what would be.
(Parables were like shadows…..the image was there, but unclear…..Christ gave them to the general people who came to see Him….to test whether they wanted to know more about what He was saying….or just wanted to listen to stories and see the miracles He did… Luke 8:10)
But this message was to His disciples….on the way to Gethsemane….and Calvary.
This was to explain the life they would have now,….a life…”in Him”…..not just with Him.
“Abide”. (From verses four to ten, Jesus speaks of “abide”, eight times!)
This “abiding” is to remain in constant fellowship with the Lord.
How could they do that, if He was going away?
The answer is The Vine and the branches.
Jesus is the Vine….the source of all our life, strength, joy, and fruit bearing.
We (the disciples then,….us, now) are the branches….the extension of His life, strength, joy, and fruit bearing,….here,…since He is in heaven.
This illustration, is for the individual….our abiding is personal.
It is always “first in me”…….this is where everything for our spiritual life, is tuned into the harmony of vine and branches….into the song of union with our risen Lord.
(Yes, it leads….and He requires….fruit from us….the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23]…..and the fruit of a Christian, which is another Christian.)
But the main stress of this illustration….is abiding.
This is an amazing term…especially when we think that Christ Jesus…the Son of God…is saying this….to me….to us.
John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit the Father taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
Since the Holy Spirit is within us, as our Holy Guest….we would think abiding would be easy…..but….
There are many things in our lives which keep us separated from Christ….
…..many things which we often keep hidden….except from Him….
….but which have never fully been “cut off”….pruned by the Father.
(Perhaps it is because in some way, we are hanging on to them….maybe….because we wish they had just never happened…..instead of letting God deal with them.
…..we would like God to just make the whole thing go away….but unfortunately, once things happen…..and we react to them…they are part of our history….
There is only freedom from them….when we allow the Father to “purge” these.
“Purge” is to cleanse….to prune….to expiate….
Cleansing in this fashion is to be brought to the point where the pain and resentment is gone…..but the lesson remains. It is a time between you and your Lord….bringing the whole thing to Him….
and Him “cutting off”:
..from the influence of the devil in it….for a lot of the pain we feel, often, is his twisting the knife that someone stabbed us with.
…from the unforgiving part of us…that says…
….”no, I will not be treated this way! I will not forgive….I will take my revenge in my emotions and thoughts, if not in action.”
This is life-killing, by the way….been there…terrible time to get out of the imaginary pit I dug for myself and that person.
…then…taking the pain…..how beautiful this fruit is!!!!!!! And giving us freedom.
That is why He says…John 15:3 “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
For you feel clean….like the smell after a gentle rain,….it is the cleansing of the soul….you stand purified before the Lord….from guilt, anger, hurt, etc.)
Joshua said to Israel, when they refused to go in to have what God promised because of fear….”they are bread for us”. So, going through these things with our God….will make us stronger. “Let us go up at once.” (Numbers 14:8-9)
And the Lord is saying the same to the disciples….they were afraid because He was leaving them.
So He says, “…..the things that you will pass through, will make you stronger…..remember My Words….and trust….and I will send My Spirit to you, and we will be in constant communion still.”
John 15:4-6 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch can not bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.
I am the Vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without Me ye can do nothing.”
If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered: and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
Abiding is the answer. To remain in constant fellowship with the Lord by the Holy Spirit…..by yielding to the Vine’s life giving flow,…
Maybe someone is saying, “I know I am born again….but hearing the Lord in the hustle and bustle of my life is….hard.”
That is where abiding is so important.
There is hiding behind Jesus….and that is good….He will allow it….
….but He invites us to “abide in Me, and I in you”……union with HIm in everything, and…
That is best…
When you have a child, and you are out in public, you are constantly aware of where they are….your eye is on them.
So is God’s eye on us….watching for the danger ahead:
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way that thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.”
When you, as a parent, think there is “something”….all you have to do is reach out and touch your child….or call to them.
The Holy Spirit does the same….He touches our spirit, impresses our mind with His Word, and gives us a feeling of unease,….or peace. (John 16:13)
Abide means, that during your day, you keep your eye on the Lord….knowing He is keeping His eye on you.
Praying in the Spirit….if you feel uneasy….letting Him know.
Psalm 32:6 “For this shall every one that is godly pray unto Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.”
“Quench not the Spirit” (1Thessalonians 5:19)
We abide in Him when we no longer resist His Will in anything…being obedient to the gentle impressions of the Holy Spirit…yielding to Christ’s life through Him.
A branch of itself can do nothing,….but abiding in the Vine, it will bring forth much fruit.
John 15:7 “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
(Notice….”unto you”…..this is all about our personal relationship with Christ Jesus….by the Holy Spirit.)
This is an amazing verse. If we are born again, and we are being obedient to His Word to us….we can ask what we will….and He will work it…in us!
He will work, by His Holy Spirit, that God honoring fruit, in our life….and it comes by yielding to His life giving flow….just yielding.
John 15:8-10 “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be My disciples.
As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love.
If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.”
And herein is the choice fruit…..His love.
We will have an abiding knowledge of His Will…..for the Father Husbandman will cut off those things which hinder our knowing, and doing.
We will, by HIs Spirit, bear fruit to the Lord, in our life.
We will, know His love, personally….He in me, and I in Him….a union….abide in Me.
This is the illustration Jesus gave His disciples….and us.
It is a life….of yielding, and receiving….and of knowing His eye is upon us, and His love surrounds us.
He asks all of us, to: Abide in Me.