John 15:4, 5 - The Crucial and Vital Relationship With Christ.
John 15:4, 5 - The Crucial and Vital Relationship With Christ.
John 15:4, 5 (KJV) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch
cannot 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.
John 15:4, 5 (TEV) Remain united to me, and I will remain united
to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if
it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit
unless you remain in me. "I am the vine, and you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you
can do nothing without me.
John 15:1-17: Jesus' Allegory of the Vine and the Branches.
"Remain in Me," the KJV says, "Abide in Me." The same point is
made by both words: live in intimate union with Jesus. The analogy
itself tells us why. A branch draws its vital juices from the vine to
which it is united. In the same way we draw the spiritual vitality
that enables us to produce fruit from Jesus. Thus Jesus says clearly,
"Apart from Me you can do nothing." The Christian life is a
supernatural life, flowing from Jesus to us. It can be experienced only as we
live in intimate fellowship with our LORD. [The 365-Day Devotional
One of Jesus' favorite words was translated "remain," "stay," or
"abide." It describes a profound, intimate, and enduring relationship.
For example, Jesus used this word when he said, "You are truly my
disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings" (John 8:31). The idea is
that our lives are fully formed by Jesus' word. Jesus described how
the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son (John
14:10-11). Likewise, when we remain in Christ, the Son is in us, and we are
in the Father and the Son (John 17:21). Both the Father and the Son
come and make their home within us. This mutual indwelling is
precisely what it means to remain in Christ. We cannot gain the permanence
of our relationship by our own effort. This relationship is only
made permanent by the gracious initiative of God indwelling our lives
through his Spirit. This means commitment on the part of both God and
us. God's dwelling in us and our dwelling in God is not a fleeting
or temporary commitment but an enduring, permanent, and eternal
relationship (see 1 John 2:14, 17). [One Year NLT SB]
This verse presents an important theme in this passage:
Believers are to abide or remain in Jesus, the Vine. The Greek word for
"abide" is spoken as a command. It also has an ongoing emphasis; that
is, the command to "abide" is not fulfilled in a single act.
Abiding, for the disciples and for all believers today, means to make a
constant, moment-by-moment decision to follow Christ. And we must not be
passive -- believers don't just sit and "abide" until they die. Instead,
we must be active -- we have a lot to do.
Abiding in Christ means:
* believing that he is God's Son (1 John 4:15)
* receiving him as Savior and Lord (John 1:12)
* doing what God says (1 John 3:24)
* continuing to believe the gospel (1 John 2:24)
* relating in love to the community of believers, Christ's
body (John 15:12)
Each of these activities begins at some point, but the
long-term (branch-to-vine) practice is "abiding." [Life Application
A union with Christ by living faith is enduring; every other
union must perish. Christ first chose us, paying an infinite price for
our redemption; and the true believer chooses Christ as first, and
last, and best in everything. But this union costs us something. It is
a relation of utter dependence to be entered into by a proud
being. All who form this union must feel their need of the atoning
blood of Christ. They must have a change of heart. They must submit
their own will to the will of God. There will be a struggle with
outward and internal obstacles. There must be a painful work of
detachment, as well as a work of attachment. Pride, selfishness, vanity,
worldliness--sin in all its forms--must be overcome, if we would enter into a
union with Christ. The reason why many find the Christian life so
deplorably hard, why they are so fickle, so variable, is, they try to
attach themselves to Christ without detaching themselves from these
cherished idols. 5BC1143
When I was a new Christian, my pastor encouraged me to
memorize portions of Scripture. This seemed like an impossible task. The
Bible as a whole can be intimidating, and I wasn't sure where to
start. I had been told to open to the New Testament, and I had also
been told that the Gospel of John is a good place for beginners.
In chapter 15, the last few words of one particular verse
stood out. It wasn't that they were lofty or spiritual, but they were
sur-prising. They made a claim that I needed to weigh. Speaking to his
disciples at the Last Supper, Jesus said, "Apart from me you can do
nothing." Nothing? I can do nothing without him? I didn't understand.
Millions of people on the planet were doing things every day, and yet
they had no awareness of or connection to Jesus. I needed to know why
Jesus would make a claim like that. So I chose to memorize John 15:5.
I read it every day until one day I finally got it, and I
cried deep, soul-satisfying tears. It's true: I can do nothing without
you, Jesus. Everything I have ever done before I knew you and
everything I try to do without you add up to nothing. The only things that
have meaning are done with you and in your name and for you.
I have been saved fifteen years now, and this verse is still
my favorite. I come back to it time and again to keep myself in him
and to remember that I am nothing without him.
Oline Stehr is a homemaker, a wife, and the mother of three.
[The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional]
Jesus gave a clear picture of what our relationship to Him
ought to be like. He is the vine, the source of our life. We are the
branches, the place where fruit is produced. As we receive life from
Christ, the natural, inevitable result is that fruit is produced in our
In our zeal to produce "results" for our Lord, we sometimes
become so intent on fruit production that we neglect abiding in Christ.
We may feel that "abiding" is not as productive or that it takes
too much time away from our fruit production. Yet Jesus said that it
is not our activity that produces fruit, it is our relationship
Jesus gave an important warning to His disciples. He
cautioned that if they ever attempted to live their Christian life apart
from an intimate relationship with Him, they would discover that they
ceased to produce any significant results. They might exert great
effort for the kingdom of God, yet when they stopped to account for
their lives, they would find only barrenness. One of the most dramatic
acts Jesus ever performed was cursing a fig tree that had failed to
produce fruit (Mk 11:14). Are you comfortable in abiding, or are you
impatient to be engaged in activity? If you will remain steadfastly in
fellowship with Jesus, a great harvest will be the natural by-product.
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby]
The Presence is everything in the Christian life. Maybe that
seems like an overstatement. Surely obedience is important, along with
bearing fruit, being loving and compassionate, praying, growing in
faith, overcoming obstacles, dealing with relationship issues, and so
much more. That's why so many books are published and so many sermons
preached about these things. Christian living is a vast array of
disciplines, attitudes, and activities, and we have to know how to approach
But think about it. What happens to your attitude when you
have a palpable sense of God's Presence around you? How fruitful does
your prayer life become? How strong does your faith grow? What
obstacle seems large when you're aware that God is in the room? How hard
is it to obey when He is present to empower you? How hard do you
have to try to bear fruit if He is spilling out from within you? What
relationship issues remain unyielding when His power overwhelms? The truth is
that His Presence working within us is the key to everything, and
without Him we can do nothing.
That's why cultivating both an awareness and an ongoing
experience of His Presence is vital. When God shows up, miracles happen.
Life comes out of death, beauty comes out of ashes, dancing takes the
place of mourning, futility gives way to fruitfulness, confusion is
replaced by order, and obstacles bow to His will. Even the hard side of
His Presence - the convicting and correcting truth we don't want to
hear - eventually gives life. When God is at work in and around us,
Zealously, relentlessly, passionately pursue God's Presence.
Every endeavor in the Christian life is futile without that. But with
it, everything is possible.
Jesus, I need You - Your Spirit, Your life - in me and around
me. I'm not content just to know about You or to believe the right
things. I want to experience Your Presence. I know You want that too.
Please, Lord, let me sense You always. [The One Year Experiencing God's
Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
Let Me prepare you for the day that stretches out before you.
I know exactly what this day will contain, whereas you have only
vague ideas about it. You would like to see a map showing all the
twists and turns of your Journey. You'd feel more prepared if you could
somehow visualize what is on the road ahead. However, there is a better
way to be prepared for whatever you will encounter today: Spend
quality time with Me.
I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will
thoroughly equip you for the journey. My living Presence is your Companion
each step of the way. Stay in continual communication with Me,
whispering My Name whenever you need to redirect your thoughts. Thus, you
can walk through this day with your focus on Me. My abiding Presence
is the best road map available. (Exo. 33:14; John 15:4-7) [Jesus
Calling by Sarah Young]
I am preparing you for what is on the road ahead, just around
the bend. Take time to be still in My Presence so that I can
strengthen you. The busier you become, the more you need this time apart
with Me. So many people think that time spent with Me is a luxury
they cannot afford. As a result, they live and work in their own
strength ~ until that becomes depleted. Then they either cry out to Me
for help or turn away in bitterness.
How much better it is to walk close to Me, depending on My
strength and trusting Me in every situation. If you live in this way, you
will do less but accomplish far more. Your unhurried pace of living
will stand out in this rush-crazed age. Some people may deem you
lazy, but many more will be blessed by your peacefulness. Walk in the
Light with Me, and you will reflect Me to the watching world. (Isa.
64:4; John 15:5; Psa. 36:9) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Do everything in dependence on Me. The desire to act
independently - apart from Me springs from the root of pride. Self-sufficiency
is subtle, insinuating its way into your thoughts and actions
without your realizing it. But apart from Me, you can do nothing: that
is, nothing of eternal value. My deepest desire for you is that you
learn to depend on Me in every situation. I move heaven and earth to
accomplish this purpose, but you must collaborate with Me in this training.
Teaching you would be simple if I negated your free will or overwhelmed
you with My Power. However, I love you too much to withdraw the
godlike privilege I bestowed on you as My image-bearer. Use your freedom
wisely by relying on Me constantly. Thus you enjoy My Presence and My
Peace. (John 15:5; Ephesians 6:10; Genesis 1: 26-27) [Jesus Calling by
I empower you - infusing inner strength into you so that you
are ready for anything and equal to anything. It's essential to
remember that this inner strength comes through Me, through your
connection with Me. It comes to you as you need it - as you take trusting
steps of dependence, moving forward with your eyes on Me. This promise
is a powerful antidote to fear - especially your fear of being
overwhelmed by circumstances you see looming ahead. They may look daunting,
but in Me you are indeed ready for anything and equal to anything.
Of course, you're not currently ready for every imaginable
situation. I carefully control what happens in your life. I am constantly
protecting you from both known and unknown dangers. And I provide strength,
just when you need it, for everything I allow to touch your life.
Many of the future things you anxiously anticipate will not actually
reach you. My promise is for things you face in the present, and it is
sufficient. So when you are feeling the strain of an uphill journey, tell
yourself the truth: I have strength for all things through Christ who
empowers me!" (Phi. 4:13; John 15:4; Psa. 28:7) [Jesus Today by Sarah
When I give you no special guidance, stay where you are.
Concentrate on doing your everyday tasks in awareness of My Presence with
you. The Joy of My Presence will shine on you, as you do everything
for Me. Thus you invite Me into every aspect of your life. Through
collaborating with Me in all things, you allow My Life to merge with yours.
This is the secret not only of joyful living but also of victorious
living. I designed you to depend on Me moment by moment, recognizing
that apart from Me you can do nothing.
Be thankful for quiet days, when nothing special seems to be
happening. Instead of being bored by the lack of action, use times of
routine to seek My Face. Although this is an invisible transaction, it
speaks volumes in spiritual realms. Moreover, you are richly blessed
when you walk trustingly with Me through the routines of your day.
(Col. 3:23; John 15:5; Psalm 105:4) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Come to Me when you are hurting, and I will soothe your pain.
Come to Me when you are joyful, and I will share your Joy,
multiplying it many times over. I am All you need, just when you need it.
Your deepest desires find fulfillment in Me alone.
This is the age of self-help. Bookstores abound with books
about "taking care of number one," making oneself the center of all
things. The main goal of these methodologies is to become
self-sufficient and confident. You, however, have been called to take a "road
less traveled": continual dependence on Me. True confidence comes
from knowing you are complete in My Presence. Everything you need has
its counterpart in Me. (John 15:5; James 1:4) [Jesus Calling by
You can find joy in the midst of brokenness. One of the
hardest times to be joyful is when you're dealing with multiple problems
- seeking solutions but finding none - and then several new
difficulties beset you. If you focus too much on finding solutions, you will
sink under the weight of your problems. So it's vital to remember
that I am present with you in adversity. I am at work in your
situation, and My matchless wisdom enables Me to bring good out of evil -
ultimately outsmarting evil with good!
The way to find Joy in adversity is to encounter Me. You can
pray, "Jesus, help me find You in the midst of this mess!" As you
unplug your emotions from all the problems and plug them into My
Presence, good things start to happen. Your dark mood grows steadily
lighter and brighter. Also, as you remain in Me - plugged in to My
Presence - I enable you to see things from My perspective. You can be
joyful in the midst of brokenness by staying connected to Me. (Jam.
1:2, 3; Rom. 11:33; John 15:4) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
The secret of true obedience is the clear and close personal
relationship to God. All our attempts to full obedience will be failures
until we get access to his abiding fellowship. It is God's holy
presence consciously abiding with us that keeps us from disobeying Him. I
must consciously include the Lord in every thought, activity, and
conversation until the habit is established. Andrew Murray
My dearest child, It breaks my heart to see the way you struggle
and struggle in your own strength. So often you feel depleted. You
push and fret and end up feeling burned out and alone. There is no
need for you to go on like this. I long to give you inner strength.
Draw on my resources and live as you were designed to live--as a
branch attached to the vine of my eternal love. All that you require
will flow from my abundance to your need. And when my life has filled
your emptiness to overflowing, it will branch out into the lives of
those around you. I am the vine; you are the branch. Come to me and
live. Abundantly yours, God [Postcards from Heaven by Claire
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
[March 21-26, 2016: Charlotte, NC in person live with live
streaming and multiple outreach locations]
Revelation Today Series by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded Sermon Series by Pastor Ron Clouzet: