Thursday, March 01, 2007

Day Three: The Proof is in the Fruit

“Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2).

So far we have learned that Jesus Christ is in absolute and willing subjection to God the Father, and that the Father’s will for the Son is that he be the one true vine, that he be the one true source of nourishment and growth and passion and power and fruitfulness and purpose and joy. In verse two we learn that the proof of whether or not we are in the true vine is whether or not we bear the fruit of the vine. In other words, discerning our actual relationship to Jesus is not a mystery because the proof is in the fruit.

In the original language of the Bible, the phrase “every branch of mine” literally reads “every branch in me.” And any branch that is rightly connected to the vine, and ever drawing life from the vine, will bear fruit. It is as Jesus said in Matthew 7:16-18: “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.”

The one who is rightly connected to the vine, will bear the fruit of the vine. Indeed, the proof of our actual relationship to Christ is in the fruit.

Prayer Focus: Pray for eyes to see if the fruit of the vine is being borne in your life, or not. Both are a grace: the one for rejoicing and the other for repentance. Jesus Christ came “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), and if we are to experience his grace we must know the truth.

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