“Jesus Is The True Vine – Followers Are Branches,” by Dr. John Mac Arthur

The True Vine vs the false vine – True believers vs false believers

“I am the true vine – My Father is the vine dresser – Abide in Me, and I in you – he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit – My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit”

John 15:1-11, New American Standard Bible)

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Scofield’s Reference Notes

Verse 1
“True” in contrast with Israel. Isaiah 5:1-7.

Verse 2
Three conditions of the fruitful life: Cleansing, John 15:2; John 15:3. (See Scofield “John 13:10”), abiding, See Scofield “John 15:4”, obedience, John 15:4; John 15:10; John 15:12 (See “Law of Christ,”) Galatians 6:2. See Scofield “2 John 1:5”.

Verse 4
To abide in Christ is, on the one hand, to have no known sin unjudged and unconfessed, no interest into which He is not brought, no life which He cannot share. On the other hand, the abiding one takes all burdens to Him, and draws all wisdom, life and strength from Him. It is not unceasing consciousness of these things, and of Him, but that nothing is allowed in the life which separates from Him.
See “Fellowship,” 1 John 1:3. See “Communion,” 1 Corinthians 10:16.

Verse 8
much fruit
Three degrees in fruit-bearing: “Fruit,” John 15:2, “more fruit,” John 15:2, “much fruit,” John 15:5; John 15:8. As we bear “much fruit” the Father is glorified in us. The minor moralities and graces of Christianity are often imitated, but never the nine fold “fruit” of Galatians 5:22; Galatians 5:23. Where such fruit is the Father glorified. The Pharisees were moral and intensely “religious,” but not one of them could say with Christ, “I have glorified thee on the earth” John 17:4

Reformation Study Bible Notes – Dr. R.C. Sproul, Editor

15:1 I am the true vine. As elsewhere in this Gospel, “true” means “genuine.” Jesus is the final, real “vine,” as compared to Israel, which was a type foreshadowing the reality. Israel is called God’s “vine” or “vineyard” in the Old Testament (Ps. 80:8–16;Jer. 2:21). Israel is judged for not bearing fruit, while Jesus is and does what the type signified. This is the last of the “I am” sayings in the Gospel (6:35 note).

15:2 does not bear fruit. No branch that is Christ’s can be wholly fruitless. But branches that belong to Christ will bear fruit, and undergo the pruning necessary to increase. The lack of fruit described in Ps. 80, Is. 5:1, and Jer. 2:21 is failure to be obedient to God. These Old Testament discussions of the vine and its fruit, combined with Christ’s command to love in this chapter, indicate that “fruit” refers to a Christ-like life produced by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23), rather than to the number of people converted under a believer’s ministry.

15:4 Abide. Jesus emphasizes permanence and steadfastness in His relationship with the disciples. “Abide” is repeated ten times in vv. 4–10. The metaphor of the vine illustrates the point; it is only when nutrients flow freely to the branches that fruit can be borne.

15:5 apart from me you can do nothing. The total inability of the unregenerate sinner makes saving grace absolutely necessary for the beginning, the development, and the completion of salvation.

15:6 If anyone does not abide in me. Those that do not remain show that they never had a saving relationship with Christ. Their destiny is described with the language of damnation (cf. Matt. 3:12; 25:41; Jude 7; Rev. 20:14).

15:8 so prove to be my disciples. The works spoken of are not the ground of acceptance with God, but the result of a saving union with Christ received through grace, not merit.

15:11 my joy. Many imagine that obedience to Christ is burdensome because it requires sacrificial self-surrender and service (Rom. 12:1, 2). Jesus teaches the opposite, associating obedience with joy.

Consider my Blog Page , “About Equipping The Saints, John 17:3,” for a discussion of “Abiding In Christ.” (check immediately below the large photo of the “Right To Life March.”)

Click onto the above link to see the post, as it is shown on the blog. It is important for the video to be seen.


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