Q. My question is about John 15:1-6. In v.2 there are some who are connected to Jesus but if no fruit is a result they are taken away. Who are taken away because I believe OSAS? I understand abiding should be our response to the gift of life given to us, but what is meant in v6. If anyone does not abide in me he is cast out as a branch and is withered, and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. Who are the ones cast out and burned since in v.2 states they are apparently in Jesus?
A. Because of other statements Jesus made about salvation (John 3:16, John 6:28-29) and security (John 6:38-40 John 10:27-30) we can tell John 15:1-6 is not about either. In John 15:3 Jesus said, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” That means they were already saved. Then He went on to speak about bearing fruit. It’s important to understand that salvation is not a fruit bearing fruit event. It’s what you do after you’re saved that determines whether you’re fruitful.
Jesus explained that believers can only bear fruit if they remain in Him, that apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). That means the things we do have to be at His request and in His strength to have value to Him. Things we do on our own have no value. They’re like a withered branch that is burned in the fire. So this passage is not about whether we can lose our salvation. It’s about whether the things we do as believers have value to Him or not. Otherwise Jesus would have been contradicting His earlier statements.
Paul explained this in 1 Cor. 3:10-15 saying some of our work is like gold, silver, and precious gems. This is the work we do in the Lord’s strength and has much value. Other work is like wood, hay, and straw. This is the work we do in our own strength and has no value. In 1 Cor. 3:15 Paul said even if all our work is burned up, we’ll still be saved.
So, as you can see there’s no connection between OSAS and fruitfulness. That’s because it’s our belief that saves us, not our behavior. Unfruitful believers may not receive crowns or other heavenly rewards, but they cannot lose their salvation.