Jesus calls us to abide in deep, enduring and fruitful relationship through the grace, love and joy He instills within us by His Spirit. In John 15, Jesus conveys what the abide relationship encompasses by His illustration of the Vine and the branches.
“1I am the true vine, and my Father is the vintner. 2He cuts off every branch that does not produce fruit in me, and he cuts back every branch that does produce fruit, so that it might produce more fruit. 3You are already clean because of what I’ve spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I will abide in you. Just as the branch cannot produce fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in me while I abide in him produces much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Unless a person abides in me, he is thrown away like a pruned branch and dries up. People gather such branches, throw them into a fire, and they are burned up. 7If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you can ask for anything you want, and you’ll receive it.” John 15:1-7 ISV
Jesus is the true Vine. Our Father is the Vintner, the one who raises grape vines and produces wine. As vintner, God cuts off branches that do not bear fruit and prunes back those that do so they produce more fruit. This reminds us, God disciplines those He loves (Heb 12:4-12). Jesus has made us clean (John 8:33-36).
Abide indicates our deep and enduring relationship in Christ Jesus. Life giving sap flows from the Vine into the branches, producing and imparting life in and through us as we abide. As fruit bearing branches, we abide in Christ Jesus and He abides in us by His Spirit.
And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments abideth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he gave us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us. 1 Jn 3:23-24 ASV Cf: 1 Jn 4 love
Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2Cor 3:17-18 ASV
If we abide in Christ Jesus and His words abide in us, we can ask for anything we want and it shall come to pass. If Jesus words abide in us, we will not ask amiss (Jas 4:3). When His words abide in us, they are spirit and life.
It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life. Jn 6:63 ASV
And Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people. Mt 4:23 ASV
And ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all the things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, even he that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that confesseth the Son hath the Father also. As for you, let that abide in you which ye heard from the beginning. If that which ye heard from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son, and in the Father. 1 Jn 2:20-24 ASV
“This is how my Father is glorified, when you produce a lot of fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:8 ISV
In the perfect unity of will between the Son and the disciple, which results in the disciple’s obtaining whatever he asks, the Father is glorified. To this effect is John 14:13, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” The design of this glorification is that you may bear much fruit. VWS
“9Just as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. So abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you’ll abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I’ve told you this, so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:9-11 ISV
There, Jesus explains the depth of His Fathers love and His love and urges us to abide in it. That is His side of deep and enduring relationship. If we keep His commandments, we abide in His love and His joy is in us. Paul calls this walking worthy of the vocation to which we are called in terms of keeping the unity of the Spirit (Eph 4:1-6).
“12This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one shows greater love than when he lays down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends, if you do what I command you. 15I don’t call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. But I’ve called you friends, because I’ve made known to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father.
“16You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you. I have appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 17I am giving you these commandments so that you may love one another.” John 15:12-17 ISV
Abiding in the love of Jesus, we obey His commandment to love one another and Jesus tells us we are His friends. Thus, we produce fruit that will last and whatever we ask the Father in Jesus name, He will give it to us. “8This is how my Father is glorified, when you produce a lot of fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
This is how we learned what love is: He gave His life for us. We should give our lives for our fellow Christians. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his fellow Christian is in need but shuts his heart against him, how can he still be loving God? Children, let us not love only in words or in talk, but let us put our love into action and make it real. 1 John 3:16-18 AAT
May our God “make you worthy of His calling and by His power accomplish every good thing you decide to do and every work of faith, so as to glorify the name of our Lord Jesus among you, and you in Him, according to the grace/charis of our God and Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Th 1:11-12 AAT).