Fruit of the Vine
What type of believer are you? Are you one who does not bear fruit for Jesus? Do you only bear some fruit? Or do you bear much fruit?
This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.
If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to BibleGateway.com or another online Bible.
1. “This is the last of seven claims to deity in the form of ‘I AM’ statements by Jesus in the Gospel of John (see 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14: 11:15; 14:6).” MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1406)
“In the Old Testament passages and in the parables, God is the owner of the vineyard. Here He is the keeper, the farmer, the One who takes care of the vineyard. Jesus is the genuine Vine, and the Father takes care of Him.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 465)
2. He takes away. “The picture is of the vinedresser (i.e., the Father) getting rid of dead wood so that the living, fruit-bearing branches may be sharply distinguished.” (MacArthur, 1406)
He prunes. “God removes all things in the believer’s life that would hinder fruit-bearing, i.e., He chastises to cut away sin and hindrances that would drain spiritual life just as the farmer removes anything on the branches that keep them from bearing maximum fruit (Hebrews 12:3-11).” (MacArthur, 1406)
“There are only two groups of people: those who are in Christ and those who are not in Christ. How do you get ‘in Christ?’ By the new birth. When you trust Christ as Savior, you become a child of God through faith. You are born again by the Spirit of God.” (McGee, 465)
“The sooner we as believers discover that we are but branches, the better we will relate to the Lord, for we will know our own weakness and confess our need for His strength.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 355)
3. “The purging is accomplished by the Word of God.” (McGee, 467) 1 Peter 1:22-23
“God uses the Word of God to reveal to us when we are not walking according to His will. The real test which reveals whether a person is genuine in his relationship to God is whether he is studying the Word of God and whether he is letting it have its way in his life! God intends for us to be obedient to His Word.” (McGee, 467)
4. “What does it mean to ‘abide’? It means to keep in fellowship with Christ so that His life can work in and through us to produce fruit. This certainly involves the Word of God and the confession of sin so that nothing hinders our communion with Him (John 15:3).” (Wiersbe, 355)
5. “The fruit or evidence of salvation is continuance in service to Jesus and in His teaching (8:31; Colossians 1:23; 1 John 2:24)…Abiding and believing actually are addressing the same issue of genuine salvation (Hebrews 3:6-19).” (MacArthur, 1407)
6. “The imagery here is one of destruction (cf. Matthew 3:10-12; 5:22; 13:40-42, 50; 25:41; Mark 9:43-49; Luke 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:10-15). It pictures the judgement awaiting all those who were never saved.” (MacArthur, 1407)
Obey the Lord
7-8. Jesus “indicated that fruit-bearing is to the Father’s glory and that those who bear much fruit demonstrate their relationship to Christ.” [Max Anders and Kenneth O. Gangel (2012). HNTC Vol. 04: John. [B&H Publishing Group.] Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
“True believers obey the Lord’s commands, submitting to His Word (14:21,23).” (MacArthur, 1407)
9-10. “Jesus set the model by His perfect obedience to the Father, which we are to use as the pattern for our obedience to Him.” (MacArthur, 1407)
“They (believers) are devoted to His will, thus their prayers are fruitful (14:13-14), which put God’s glory on display as He answers.” (MacArthur, 1407)
11. “Just as Jesus maintained that His obedience to the Father was the basis of His joy, so also the believers who are obedient to His commandments will experience the same joy (17:13; cf. 16.24).” (MacArthur, 1407)
“There is no doubt that the Lord does some pruning. He moves into our lives and takes out those things that offend, and sometimes it hurts. He removes things that are hindering us.” (McGee, 466)
Wiersbe has several pages on the vine, the branches, the vinedresser, and the fruit, which I liked. One might want to read it in his commentary starting on page 355.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25B, John 12-21. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
Gangel, Kenneth O. © 2000 Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. Database © 2005 WORDsearch Corp. [Max Anders and Kenneth O. Gangel (2012). HNTC Vol. 04: John. [B&H Publishing Group.] Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004