Originally posted on my blog unmskedtheologian.wordpress.com 5/13/15, modified 5/8/16
I am the true vine (John 15.1a)
Abiding in Christ leads to an abundant life. We have joy in knowing that we will live eternally. But, Jesus intends for us to experience a life filled with His presence. Despite difficult circumstances and difficult people we can have joy in Christ. Embracing God’s love, and His sanctification can bring about God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. As we are changed into the image of Christ we become more like Him, and more like our true self, created in the image of God. We will face a lifelong battle with our flesh and enemy, live in the reality of the Savior’s grace. Stay in God’s Word, (close to Jesus) meditate day and night, and pray without ceasing.
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. 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. John 15.4-5
We could be offended by the words of Christ (for without me ye can do nothing.) But only if we are trusting in our own good works to gain favor with God. As we get close to Christ our insufficiency only manifests itself. It is only when we keep our distance from Christ that we begin to think we have something to offer Him. As I evaluate myself, I can recognize, with clarity, my futile attempts at righteousness. I am grateful that He does the work. I would just mess everything up.
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3.30