A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
It’s important to understand that salvation is not a fruit bearing event, so in this statement Jesus was talking about our life after we’re saved. Even after we are saved, believers are not automatically fruitful. But if we yield our lives to Him, (Romans 12:1-2) and respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit He sent to guide us (John 14:26) we can bear much fruit.
If we don’t yield to Him, our lives will be unfruitful, because without Him we can do nothing of spiritual value. We’ll still be saved, but we’ll be of no more use to the work of the Kingdom than the unfruitful branches the gardener discards at pruning time. Paul confirmed this in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. The unfruitful believer will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
Fruitfulness is not a matter of success or failure from a worldly stand point. It’s a matter of motive. Many of us will see some of our greatest accomplishments burn in the fires of judgment because we achieved them with wrong motives, like self satisfaction, or recognition from others, or even a desire to “make points” with God. Only those things that are prompted by the Holy Spirit and where our only motive is gratitude for all we’ve been given will survive.
And what have we been given? Here is a list of just some of the things He has given to each and every one of His children:
We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We have been made perfect forever (Hebrews 10:14)
We are anointed, sealed, and have His Spirit in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
We are children of God and co heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17)
We are seated in the heavenly realms with Christ, above all rule, authority, power and dominion (Ephesians 2:4-7)
We are set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2)
We are kings and priests (Revelation 5:10)
We have the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)
We are more than conquerors (Romans 8:27)
And there is nothing (not even ourselves) that can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:38)
Spend some time today thanking the Lord for His blessings, great and small. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17) and He longs to give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) Out of gratitude, let Him prompt you to do good works. Remember that these works won’t necessarily be big deeds in our minds. The smallest of gestures, the kindness we show (Proverbs 19:17), and even a cup of cold water (Matthew 10:42) when prompted by the Holy Spirit and done out of gratitude bring eternal rewards and are fruit that survives.
Our prayer: We thank you, Lord for the abundant blessings you’ve given to each of us, your children. We are grateful to be called your sons and daughters. You have given us everything, and we are overcome with gratitude. Help us bear fruit in you and help us remember that apart from you we can do nothing. Prompt us to do good works, not in fear or out of obligation, but in gratitude for all you’ve done for us and for your glory. Amen.