The Way We Live Matters for Eternity

John 15:1-2 ESV

“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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

Jesus Christ is the true vine, and we who believe in him are his branches. Or he is the head of his church, and we are his body. We are joined to him and him to us. But if there is a branch in him which does not bear fruit, God the Father takes it away. It is no longer a part of the vine.

And I am thinking here that this parallels the parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9,18-23). This could be the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. Or it could be the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

And then we have to consider here the teachings of the Scriptures on the subject of our salvation and eternal life. For the Scriptures teach progressive salvation. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present active), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns for his bride, and he takes us to be with him for eternity, which is when our salvation will be complete. But all of this is dependent on us daily dying with Christ to sin and to self, and us following Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands, and us continuing in this walk of faith steadfast until the very end.

[Matt 24:9-14; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 1 Jn 2:24-25; Lu 9:23-26; Matt 7:21-23]

And this goes along with John 15:6 here which says:

“If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”

And to abide in Christ is to remain in him, to continue in him, and to comply with, obey, follow, hold to, conform to, and act in accordance with him and his word and his righteousness and holiness. And the Scriptures teach us that if we do not abide in him, and if we do not obey him, and if righteousness and holiness are not our practice, but sin is our practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God. Heaven is not our destiny. So that is the same as being thrown away like a branch and burned in the fire.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

But every branch in him which does bear fruit he prunes, that it might bear more fruit. And this is what is talked about in Hebrews 12:1-11, where it talks about how our Lord disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. And the discipline is painful, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. And we read in other Scriptures about how we will go through trials and sufferings to test our faith and to help us to grow and to mature in our walks of faith.

[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13]

John 15:3-5 ESV

“Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Now Jesus was speaking here to his 11 remaining disciples, for Judas had already deserted the Lord. Satan had already entered his heart, and he had gone off to betray Jesus into the hands of his enemies and his persecutors who were plotting his death. So, when he said to the 11 that they were already clean, he was saying that they were spiritually clean because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

But even though they were clean, still he let them know that they must abide in (obey, conform to, continue in) Christ, for the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine. We cannot bear spiritual fruit in keeping with repentance and for God’s eternal kingdom unless we are walking in obedience to our Lord in walks of holiness and righteousness. All else is of the flesh and it profits us nothing and produces nothing but flesh. The only way we can be fruitful spiritually is if we are obeying our Lord.

And this is where we have verse 6 which says:

“If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”

So, he is telling those who are clean in him that if anyone, which includes them, doesn’t abide in (walk in, obey, continue in) him that they can be thrown away and burned in the fire. And this is taught all throughout the New Testament (see noted verses above). For we are not saved by a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Our salvation is dependent on us walking no longer according to the flesh but now according to the Spirit, in practice, and us no longer walking in sin, in practice.

So, we need to take this to heart, for this means that a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ does not secure us heaven when we die nor eternal life with God in heaven. For we must walk the walk and not just talk it. We must live what we say we believe. It doesn’t mean we will be perfect, but lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for deliberate and habitual sin. But we must be daily dying with Christ to sin and to self and walking in obedience to his commands, for if we walk in sin, we will die in our sins. We will not have the hope of heaven as our eternal home.

Pray, Pray, Pray

An Original Work / September 6, 2012
Based off Various Scriptures

Pray that eyes may enlightened be,
So they may know Christ.
Pray that they may Him better know,
Strengthened by His pow’r.
Pray that they may grasp
How wide and long
And high and deep
Is Christ’s love.
Pray that they may be filled
To the fullness of God’s love.
Pray with thanksgiving.

Pray for an open door for me,
So I may share Christ.
Pray when the gospel is proclaimed –
Shared with clarity.
Pray words are given me so
I declare the gospel fearlessly.
I pray for you to be active
Sharing your faith, too.
Pray continually.

We oft not know for what to pray,
So we ask for help.
The Spirit intercedes for us –
Words cannot express.
Just keep on praying for the saints
With all kinds of requests to God.
Pray they may have faith to
Please their God in ev’ry way.
Pray with joyfulness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s