Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. … By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (
As a branch separated from the grape vine cannot produce fruit, neither can we generate spiritual fruit unless we faithfully abide in Christ. He is the source of life, and all that is good. We may think we can do something ourselves, but it will not stand the test of eternal judgment. Men may commend us for our work, but it will not last beyond our lifetime. God says it is nothing—and no other opinion matters. He gets the final word!
What does it mean to abide in Christ? It is to stay connected to Him through the Word, prayer, and surrender to His will. This is suggested in
15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask
what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” How can I abide in
Him without His Word abiding in me? In
the pages of that Holy Book, I meet with Him.
To abide in that Word is more than a casual reading of a verse or two—it
is purposeful consideration and persistent contemplation. In the Scripture, God speaks to me, and then
I talk with Him—and I don’t change the subject.
My desires will be linked with His designs, so that I can ask for
absolutely anything and He will do it in and through me, for I only want what
He wills. Prayer gives me that
connection with Heaven’s resources—and all that is to produce fruit. Abiding means what God has said to me, and
what I have asked God to do through me, is produced as I yield to Him. James reminds us that we have deceived
ourselves if we think hearing is enough—that we will even forget what we have
heard—unless we do the Word (see James
1:21-27). This is abiding
What fruit is produced? It is this, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (
is the very life of Jesus manifest in us by the Spirit’s indwelling and
empowering. It is Jesus being Jesus in
me—the life of the Vine flowing into the branch connected with Him. This is preeminently the fruit of character
that cannot help but be expressed in conduct.
What is the goal of such a life? “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (
John 15:8) Our objective is not to receive accolades
from men for our accomplishments, but to bring glory to God for what He has
wrought. The more fruit we bear, the
more glory we bring. That is why we are
here; it is the grand design of discipleship.
The disciple is one who has been summoned to follow Christ, to abide with Him and learn from Him. Then, they will replicate His life from this association. When the disciple speaks, it is as though the Teacher is speaking through them, for His Words abide in them. What they do is the extension of the Master’s hands. ABIDE IN HIM!