Summary: If we are going to live fruitful lifes of eternal significance, we must maintain a meaningful connection to Jesus, the true Vine.
Our Lord uses the analogy of the vine and the branches to speak to us about how our lives are designed to be fruitful, filled with purpose and significance. Jesus is the vine, God the Father is the vine grower, and believers are the branches.
God looks for fruit in the lives of His people. In Isaiah 5;1-7, we are told of God’s disappointment at the fruitlessness of His people.
“When I looked for it to bring forth grapes,why did it yield wild grapes?” - Isaiah 5:4 (Amplified)
What kind of fruit is God looking for?
A. The fruit of the Spirit - Character of Christ.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” - Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
B. The fruit of our lips - Confession of Christ.
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name.” - Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)
C. The fruit of our lives - Conversions to Christ.
“I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles.” - Romans 1:13b (NLT)
When the Father looks to your life to find fruit, does He find what the Bible says He is looking for?
Since fruitfulness is so important, the question I need to ask is, “How can I live the fruitful, purposeful life of significance that God has saved me to live?” The answer? Through maintaining my connection to Christ, the true Vine.
The key word in this passage is the word “remain” or “abide.” It is the Greek word, “Meno,” which means “enduring communion.” It’s the idea of not just living somewhere, but being “at home.” From this, we learn four principles to help us remain meaningfully connected to the True Vine and live fruitful, purposeful lives of significance . . .
1. We must be “at home” in Christ - v. 4a - sufficiency
As verse 3 makes clear, our Lord is addressing those who have, by faith in Him, already been grafted into the vine. What they now need to do is continue to look to the vine for strength. What our Lord is telling us is that we need to continue to rest in Him, to rely on Him, to trust in Him. That is partly why the NIV translates “Meno” as “remain.” It is the idea of continued action. Paul put it this way:
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.” - Colossians 2:6 (NLT)
If we are going to live fruitful, purposeful lives of significance, we must trust Christ, not just with our eternal destiny, but with our daily life. As Paul put it, “For me to live, is Christ!” (Philippians 1:21a).
“Think about what ‘home’ means to us: home is where your heart is; it is where you want to be (especially during holidays); home is the place to which you return, the place to which you are eager to get back to (e.g., when you’ve been on vacation); home is where you feel comfortable, and can really be yourself; home is a place of safety and security; home is where you bring your friends when you wish to have fellowship with them; home is our base of operations; it is at the center of what we do; home is where you find your strength for life; it is where you eat and sleep; home is where the people and the things we love the most are found.” - Bob Deffinbaugh
Isn’t this what Jesus Christ should be for the Christian? Shouldn’t He be where our heart is?
“As Christians, we find complete sufficiency in Christ and His provisions for our needs. There’s no such thing as an incomplete or deficient Christian. Our Savior’s divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness. Human wisdom offers nothing to augment that. Every Christian receives all he and she needs at the moment of salvation. Each one must grow and mature, but no necessary resource is missing. There’s no need to search for something more.” - John MacArthur
2. Christ must be “at home” in us - v. 4b - purity
Interestingly enough, if I look to Christ as my sufficiency, then I will be motivated to live before Him in purity. Have you ever been made to feel uncomfortable in your own home? That’s the point here.
What would make Christ uncomfortable in his home (our lives)? Impurity.
Impure thoughts, words, practices. But purity relates not only to what I shouldn’t do, but to what I am willing to do. That is, if my motives and commitment to Christ is pure, He will be allowed free reign in my life.