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I AM The Vine

22 Nov

 

John 15:1-8

What does this passage teach about salvation? Discipleship? Eternal Security?

In John 15, Jesus describes how He is the vine. Christ claims that He is the vine, and we are the branches that should produce fruit since we are attached to Him (v. 5). Jesus also claims that the Father is the vinedresser, or gardener (v. 1). Whoever does not bear fruit, the Father cuts off so that the vine will be even more fruitful (v. 2). It is also noted that we cannot do anything apart from God and would be foolish to assume we could do so.[1]

Is Jesus stating that we do not have eternal security? This is the first area that needs to be addressed. Many people use this set of verses to denounce eternal security. However, the passage is not talking about eternal security; it is talking about bearing fruit.[2] Towns believes that this is symbolizing a “taking up” of the believer to become fruitful.[3] Ryrie also agrees that it is symbolizing a gardener taking a branch and pointing it to the sun to encourage growth.[4]

This passage is also a reminder that Christians are marked by their fruit. Christians, true followers of Christ, will always persevere and bear much fruit.[5] Romans 7:4 testifies to this stating that we are dead to the law, but alive in Christ that we might bear the fruit of God. The purpose of a Christian is to bear the fruit of God.

Though not directly mentioned, the passage also speaks to discipleship. Verse 8 shows that by bearing fruit, we show ourselves to be Jesus’ disciples. Discipleship will always have a call to service.[6]


[1] Leon Morris, Jesus Is the Christ : Studies in the Theology of John (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1989).

[2] Paul S. Karleen, “The Handbook to Bible Study: With a Guide to the Scofield Study System,” (1987).

[3] Elmer L. Towns, The Gospel of John : Believe and Live, Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary Series (Chattanooga, TN.: AMG Publishers, 2002).

[4] Charles Caldwell Ryrie, “Ryrie Study Bible: New International Version,” no. Expanded ed. (1994).

[5] Ted Cabal et al., “The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith,” (2007).

[6] M. S. Mills, “The Life of Christ: A Study Guide to the Gospel Record,” (1999).

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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in Theology

 

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