The True Vine: Without Me
The relationship between the branch, the fruit, and the vine will show us the importance of this comparison between branches. We see that all the resources the branch uses to produce the fruit come from the vine. We see this in our own lives; everything produced in the believer’s life that is pleasing to the Husbandman has come from spending time with Jesus. Through the process of abiding, heavenly resources flow from Christ, through us, and into a form pleasing to God.
By spending time with our Savior, having a relationship with the Person that He is, we are able to live His life, having crucified our own (Gal. 2:20). We cannot produce fruit by ourselves, and without Christ we can do nothing to please God. Christ is the Christian life. There is nothing more to the Christian life than Christ; there cannot be anything more.
The gospel encompasses all the blessings we receive in Christ. This includes our post-conversion lifestyle and the eternal state of our souls. In no way are our works tied to our receiving justification, but our works are a direct result of our justification (Eph. 2:8-10). We do not know what is in man; we simply see the fruit. The Spirit of God knows what is within.
What is the end of this dramatic and daring picture that the Lord reveals to us? It is fruit. Spiritual fruit, seen here as the love and joy of God Himself, available to us as an outpouring of Jesus in our lives! Jesus Christ is the one we must know and in whom we must abide. Jesus Christ is the channel of all God’s resources, the resources themselves, and the secret of the resulting fruit. Jesus is the Christian life, and without Him we can do nothing.