In John 15 Jesus said He was the “True Vine”. Obedience to the words of Jesus keeps one “clean” for when they sin, they can obtain forgiveness.
In the book of Acts one can see that people heard about Jesus, believed in Him, turned from their sin, confessed Him as the Son of God and were immersed for remission of their sins. They then were to live faithful lives. God realized the difficulty in living perfect lives so God has given man the opportunity not only to obey the gospel but a way to receive forgiveness when they sin again (1 John 1:7 – 2:3). Yes, one can sin after obeying the gospel thus the statement that the Husbandman will remove branches that fail to produce. Some have the idea that those who sin are not branches but “suckers”, therefore they were never saved is false. Those who have ever raised a tomato plant know that “suckers” do exist, but they are part of the vine. They draw their life from the vine and will hinder the production of fruit. All who obey the gospel draw their life from the Vine.
Those who fail to remain faithful and do not produce fruit can hinder those who are seeking to produce fruit.
There are those that teach that the branches on the True Vine represent different groups. The Lord in this passaged shows clearly that the branches are individuals. He is speaking to His disciples and He states, “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 15:5). This means that every true follower of Jesus is a branch, and they must abide in Jesus and He will abide in them. The true follower seeks to be Christ like, not only knowing the truth but living it every day. This will help them to bring the lost to the Lord.
Jesus again showed that the branches are men and not groups by saying that if one did not abide in Him, they would be, “cast forth as a branch” (John.15:6). Those who fail to be faithful to the Lord are like withered dead branches which are gathered up and put in the fire.
James Coffman wrote, “This verse is not a lesson in horticulture. The casting into the fire and burning are references to the final fate of the wicked who know not God and obey not he gospel of Christ.” (Coffman, 370). This lesson should cause all Christians to seek to be Christ like in all they do for the Kingdom.
Abiding in Christ not only means to be a part of His body the Church, but to have His mind and Spirit. Paul spoke of having the mind of Christ as he wrote to the Philippian brethren. Christ was in the form of God but became a servant in the likeness of men. The Lord humbled Himself and obeyed the wishes of the Father giving Himself to die for the sins of the world. (Phil. 2:5 – 11). Those who truly abide in Jesus live lives showing those around them the blessing of being in Christ and thereby make the opportunity of bearing fruit ever present. The promise of asking whatsoever ye will is not unconditional. It is for those who are truly abiding in Christ, and those who are will not ask for things forbidden or for God to change His will.
Jesus is the True Vine, and all mankind should seek to be branches of the Vine.