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.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 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.
5 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.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
This area of Scripture is addressed to believers and is teaching about believers bearing fruit.
McGee: “This passage is directed to believers, to those who are already in Christ. Jesus is not talking about how a person gets saved. He is not actually talking about salvation at all in this passage. Rather, He is talking about fruit-bearing, and that is the next word we wish to mark.” Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Rather than talking primarily about reproduction, or salvation of new believers, McGee feels, and I agree, that this passage is talking about the kinds of fruit being evidenced in the believer’s life.
It is a dangerous thing when I encounter “believers” who do not exhibit these fruits of the Spirit; I do allow for the fact that I see both imperfectly and only the few surface things I happen to be around. Nonetheless, when I encounter professing Christians who show little evidence of living a Spirit-filled life, I have encountered a Christian who is endangered. If there is little or no evidence of changes, has there really been a conversion? John tells us in his epistle “that they went out from us because they were really not of us.” Seeing believers who have little or no change makes me do reflective prayer, asking God to convict the person of their sin, and of his righteousness, and that is work done in an individual’s heart prior to conversion.
The last verse in today’s passage should be most sobering. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is burned. Perhaps in the light of other verses that do assure salvation, and God’s continued purpose, this is best looked at as a Christian continuing in sin that leads to death. Paul teaches of a Christian doing nothing right, and going to the Bema seat of Christ, where all Christians will go, and all of his works being burned up, yet he himself is saved. Remember the primary purpose of the Christian’s life is “to do good works, which God prepares in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10) It is God at work in us, bearing the fruits of the Spirit. Our job, however is very important, and not emphasized enough by some Bible teachers. Our job is to submit to God, that His Spirit may work His will out in us, and much of Scripture teaches us about this submission.
McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 103097-103099). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Breathe on Me, Breath of God
1. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.
2. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until my will is one with Thine,
To do and to endure.
3. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.
4. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.
Lyrics: Edwin Hatch