What does it mean to Abide in the Vine?

Jesus said; "I am the Vine, you are the branches." 

The same life that flows in the Vine flows in the branches. Therefore, it is the life in the Vine that produces the fruit of the branches. The branch in and of itself has no ability to produce fruit! That is why it is a "fruitless" endeavor to try and be Christ-like by doing the do's and not doing the don'ts of the Law or keeping religious rules and rituals, because it is man attempting to get in God's favor and gain His blessing by his own doing. Though the branches are different than the Vine in one way, in substance they are one. If you remove a branch from the Vine, it will dry up and die because it does not have life of its own. Though God and man are two separate entities, they are connected spiritually and oneness with each other. Religion is DEAD because it  is a branch that is removed from the Vine. Man feels separated from consciously because of the religious carnal mind. As the branch and the vine are one God and man are one because the life of God  produces life and fruit in the believer. The life that flows through the Vine flows through the branch. So Jesus says that if we abide in Him we will bear much fruit.

The fruit that we bare is not the number of salvations that we can claim to have influenced no matter how good we may feel about it. The fruit of the Vine is the reproduction of God growing within us and the manifestation of the nature and characteristics of God working through us. If the nature and characteristics of God we portray are not inline with the characteristics that Jesus portrayed of His loving Father then we are portraying a false image of God and we are baring the rotten fruit of Satan and not the good fruit of the Spirit. The only way to know if we are abiding in Christ is by the fruit that we produce. If we are still producing hatred, unforgiveness bitterness, judgmentalism and fear-mongering we are not abiding in Christ. This is the rotten fruit of the devil working through our carnal nature, it is not the good fruit of Christ working through us. 

I may not like what you do in the natural, but if I am mature in Christ and I am abiding in the Vine, I will love you. I must understand that on the Cross of Calvary every act of transgression was forgiven. Sin is no longer an issue with God, through Calvary I must see Christ in you. Through practice and application, we will begin to see with the eyes of the Spirit and experience the love of God for all of creation.

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" (John 15:6). Most sermons I have heard in the denominated arena told me that the branches which didn’t bear fruit were cast into the hell fire to burn for ever and ever. If you believe such please do a study on the word fire in the Scriptures. The word fire in the original language is the word pur, Strong’s #4442. We get our English words pure, purity, and purify from this word.

If you are a Christian and you are not abiding in the vine, if you are producing bitterness and hatefulness, criticizing one another and producing the works of the flesh, then you will be cast  into the fire of purification until you understand that you are not to bring condemnation judgement or to fear-monger people with the threat of hell on anyone at any time.

"Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses" (Matt. 18:32-35).

To abide in the vine is to abide in His presence. Because of Grace...in His presence we experience the love of God. We turn from the Adamic nature (our natural life) to the Christ within. When you touch the love of God, it becomes your nature to love everyone and to believe the very best of people. You can see all of their faults and yet realize that you love them and want to minister the love of God to them realizing that you yourself are not faultless. Whenever I see someone and I have a tendency to bring judgment on them, I am immediately confronted with the Cross of Calvary, the love of God and realize that I have no godly right to judge them.

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:19).

If God is not holding sinners accountable for their trespasses because of the finished work of the cross, then I have no right to hold sinners accountable either. I must continually minister to sinners and intercede for them, that their eyes would be opened to see that they are spiritual beings. Many believers operate in the natural more natural than spiritual. We are not natural beings but spiritual beings living in a body. God will take that fallen nature into death so that you will manifest everything that He is to a lost and dying world.

The Apostle Paul said, "What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (2 Cor. 6:16).

When you realize that you are the dwelling place of God, you no longer desire to criticize and condemn people You do not know you are the temple of God when you display such a character. You may know it intellectually, but you have no reality of it when you are manifesting the character of Adam. The character of God being formed in you does not act unbecomingly. You may have to bring correction to someone, but it will be in love. If you are really bringing spiritual correction, your heart will be breaking for that person and you will have a burning compassion to help them and to relieve them of their wrongdoing. If you do not have that kind of an attitude, then no matter how wrong someone is, you have no right to correct them. When God’s people begin to understand these things, we will have people turning to Christ, because there will be unconditional love and acceptance.

Do you know that it is not our job to change anyone? There is only one person in all of creation that can change anyone and that is God. Believers are not to try to control and manipulate and try to change people in an outward way. Leaders try to control what others do if they do not have the power of the Spirit of God to speak life to them. If someone is disobedient and has problems and hangups, you are to minister and speak life into them. However, if you go to them and try to correct them in an outward way and try to get them to conform to what you feel is best for them, you are taking the place of the Spirit of God in their life.

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