Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

John 15 series...verse 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."
John 15: 2 KJV 
"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:2 NAS 
I had always thought that this parable was talking about those who follow Christ and those that don't. But when I slowed down and really paid attention to what I was reading, I noticed that the verse says, "every branch in Me" So that would indicate that the two branches being spoken of are, in fact, talking about those who follow Christ. The difference in these two is one bears fruit and the other does not.
"As the branches are dependent upon their connection with the stock for life and productiveness, so the Christian is dependent upon union with Christ for spiritual life and fruitfulness."
SDA Comm. Vol. 5 pg. 1042
The fruit that this parable is speaking of is the fruit of the Spirit - we find a list of them in Galatians :
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, self-control: against such there is no law." 
Galatians 5:22-23
The branch that does not bear fruit would represent one who does not stay in an abiding relationship with God, because only through an abiding relationship does one bear fruit.
And what happens to the branch that bears fruit?

"He purgeth it."
In my Bible commentary, the Greek word for purgeth is "kathairo"(with line over the "o") = "to cleanse," in this case, by removing the superfluous growth. There is a word play in the Greek in the words for "taketh away" (airo - line over the "o" again). And "purgeth " (kathairo ~line over the "o" again) that can not be reproduced in English. The character is "purged" by the tests and trials of life.
Lucky for us, our heavenly Father is the husbandman and He oversees the process!
"There can be no life without growth. As long as there is life there is need of continual development. Character development is the work of a lifetime."
If there were no growth in our lives we would become stagnate. And that is no good. The purging may be painful at times but it's the only way to develop our characters and bring us more and more into the likeness of Jesus.
I wanted to leave you with this thought that I found in my Andrew's Study Bible:
A grapevine has only two uses: either it produces food and drink
or it must be cut down to provide fuel.
Come back next week when we look at verse 3


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