139. “I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches”
1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser.
2Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.a
3You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you.
4Abide 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.
5I am the vine, you are the branches.b He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
6If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”c
9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.”
a “Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”—When we enter the kingdom, we have only begun our efforts to perfect ourselves in the doing of our Father’s will. We enter the kingdom as little children, but the Father requires that we grow up by grace to spiritual adulthood. When we follow in the way of the spirit we increasingly give forth the fruit of the spirit in our daily lives. Spiritual fruit bearing is the proof that we are living in the kingdom—doing the Father’s will. The Father requires that we bear much fruit, and he prunes away our unfruitful branches.
The fruits of the spirit are simply the character traits that Jesus manifested in his life on earth; thus he is our ideal example.
b “I am the vine, you are the branches.”—This is a wonderful thought for meditation.
c “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”—To increasingly and spontaneously give forth the fruit of the spirit in our daily lives is the test and measure of our following in the way of Jesus—doing the Father’s will. Some of the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, patience, and kindness. Of these love is the greatest.