The Vine and Branch Analogy
Jesus is the Vine – We are the Branches
Bearing Good Fruit For the Lord
Without question, one of the most important analogies God has given to us in His Word on the new restored relationship we now have with Him as a result of Jesus dying on the cross for all of us is the vine and branch analogy – where Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.
And not only does this analogy give us a very good visual of what we now have with the Lord, but it also gives us one more important piece of revelation – and this second piece of revelation being given to us by the Lord is what He will be expecting from each one of us once we are fully grafted back into Him.
As you will see in the second sentence of this verse, God will now be expecting all of us to produce good fruit for Him, and if we do not, then He may just cut us off from Him just like a branch can be cut off from a tree, and from there, we can wither and die and then be thrown into hell.
I remember when I first meditated on this verse years ago, I wondered if the Lord was implying a possible loss of our salvation if we did not produce good fruit and good works for Him once we got saved through the blood of His Son Jesus.
As we have said numerous times in our other articles, once you get saved and born again through the blood that Jesus has already personally shed for you, God will now expect you to do something with this new reality and new life that you have now been given.
God will now want you to come and “work” for Him. And if you do, there are other verses that will tell us that God will be rewarding us according to those good works.
When you put those kinds of verses next to this one special intense verse, you can tell that God is not pulling any punches.
Here is one of the most important verses in all of Scripture that each and every Christian needs to have a full and complete understanding on:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 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.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:1-8)
Again, this is one of those verses that really need to be meditated on and chewed on. Notice several things:
1. The first thing Jesus is trying to show us is now that we have been saved through His shed blood, we are now to Him like branches are to a tree. In the third paragraph in this verse, Jesus is now telling us that He is the vine and we are the branches.
And once you really grab a hold of that visual and compare it to the trees that are in our natural surroundings, the first thing you will see is that the branch of the tree cannot live apart from the tree.
That branch has to stay completely hooked into and grafted into that tree for it to continue to remain fully alive.
If for whatever reason the branch of the tree ever gets fully disconnected from the tree and falls to the ground, it will wither and die. And once that branch gets fully disconnected from the tree, it can never repair itself again.
In other words, that branch cannot get grafted back into the tree. The branch is now permanently cut off from that tree, and from there, it will wither and die.
And again, Jesus tells us the exact same thing will occur to all of us if we ever disconnect from Him. Jesus says if we do not abide in Him, that this person “is cast out as a branch and is withered.” And from there, that branch is gathered up and thrown into the fire.
I believe the word “fire” being used in this verse is talking about hell fire. In other words, if we ever get fully disconnected from Jesus, we are going to be cut off from Him like a branch can be cut off from a tree, and from there, we will be thrown into hell.
In one simple little verse, God is giving all of us a very strong visual of what we now have in place with Him once we are born again through His Son Jesus. Jesus is now the vine, God the Father is now the vinedresser, and from there, God will expect all of us to abide in Him and His Son Jesus.
And if we do not, then we will be cut off from Him as a branch can be cut off from a tree. And from there, God will have no other alternative but to let us descend straight down into hell once we die and cross over.
Not only is this verse giving us a strong visual of what we now have with God and Jesus as a result of being born again, but it is now giving us a very dire warning if we should ever want to pull away and disconnect from the Lord.
2. The second thing to pick up from this verse, and this is the part I want to key in on for the rest of this article, is what Jesus says in the second sentence above. Once again, here are the exact words in this second sentence:
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
Here is another very extreme verse saying the exact same thing:
“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10)
I do not think there is any other way to interpret these two verses other than once we are saved and born again, God is now going to expect something more from all of us with the brand new life He has now given to us – and that something more is that we start producing good fruit for Him.
What exactly is God meaning when He tells us that He wants all of us to start producing good fruit for Him? I believe the word fruit is meaning that God will want us to do good works for Him, with those good works then producing good results and good fruit for Him.
Example – if you are witnessing to another person and you end up getting them saved, then not only did you do a good work with that person by being willing to witness to them in the first place, but you also ended up producing good fruit as a result of getting them saved.
If you are discipling another new born and they start to really grow in the grace and knowledge of God as a result of your good mentoring efforts, then again, you have just produced good fruit for the Lord.
Here is a list of some of the things I believe God is looking for when He is talking about us producing good fruit for Him in this life. This good fruit God is looking for is going to cover many different areas of your walk with Him.
- Be willing to read and study from your Bible so you can grow in the grace and knowledge of God.
- Be willing to establish a strong, intimate, personal relationship with God, as this is the number one thing God is looking for from all of us.
- Be willing to establish a strong prayer life with God so He can then start to answer your prayers for any specific needs you may have, along with being able to pray for others for any specific needs they may have with the Lord.
- Be willing to enter into a full surrender with the Lord so He can then enter you into His perfect plan and destiny for your life. And when you start doing good works in that perfect plan and destiny for your life, then you will start producing good fruit for the Lord.
- Be willing to give God a good, solid green light to enter you into a true sanctification process so He can then begin the process of molding and shaping you into the express image of His Son Jesus.
This is also where the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit will be worked and meshed into the core of your personality so you can then start to become the true, sanctified saint God is calling you to become in Him.
- Be willing to witness to other people so you can get them saved and born again, especially if the Holy Spirit is leading you to do so.
- Be willing to disciple other believers so they too can grow in the grace and knowledge of God.
- Be willing to be a good, godly spouse for your mate if you are married, and a good, godly parent for your children if you have children. These two endeavors alone will be very good works and very good fruit that you will be producing for the Lord.
- Be willing to help family, friends and strangers with whatever they will need help on.
- Be willing to tithe to your church and any other causes God may lead you to give to.
- Be willing to be perfectly obedient to the Holy Spirit with whatever He will lead you to do on a daily basis for the Lord.
- Be willing to be a part of the Great Commission Command – which is to save, heal, deliver and disciple.
- Be willing to walk with any of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit if God should ever want to manifest any of these 9 gifts to you. Do not be afraid of these gifts if God would like to manifest some of them to you from time to time, especially if they are being given to you to help someone else out.
- Be willing to continue to pray for the salvation of all your close loved ones who have yet to receive Jesus as the Lord and Savior. Be willing to pray for them to the day they either get saved, or to the day they literally die and leave this life for good.
- Be willing to take a strong stand for Jesus in our public arenas on hot topics such as abortion, same sex marriages, trying to take Jesus out of Christmas, dark side material like the Harry Potter books and videos, defending the state of Israel and the Jewish people since they are still God’s chosen people, and every major area of our public life where they are trying to take out the basics of our faith such as our schools, judicial systems, and many our public offices.
- Be willing to provide for your own, especially those of your own household, as the Bible says in 1Timothy 5:8 that if you do not do so, that you have denied the faith and that you are worse than an unbeliever.
I could go on and on, but all of the above are some of the things that God will be looking for once we have been grafted back into Him through the shed blood of His Son Jesus.
Once God has fully restored us back to Himself, you can tell by the way the above verse is being worded, that He does not want us sitting around and doing absolutely nothing for Him.
In our last article titled, “Bible Verses on Faith,” we gave you one big, whopper verse showing us that our faith in God will be considered dead in His eyes if we do no back up that faith with good works. Once again, here is this verse:
“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead … Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? … You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only … For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:17-26)
Again, this verse is straight in your face and it is all literal language being used by the Lord. If you put this verse right next to the verse above at the top of this article, not only will our faith be considered dead in the eyes of God if we do not back it up with good works, but God is going to cut us off from Him like a branch can be cut off from a tree if we do not produce good fruit for Him in this life.
Here are 5 good additional verses on the importance that we do good works for the Lord and seek to produce good fruit for Him in this life with what time we still have left:
- “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.” (Proverbs 22:29)
- This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” (Titus 3:8)
- “… and each one will receive His own reward ACCORDING TO HIS OWN LABOR.” (1 Corinthians 3:8)
- “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone ACCORDING TO HIS WORK.” (Revelation 22:12)
- “… I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you ACCORDING TO YOUR WORKS.” (Revelation 2:23)
Again, all of these verses are really pointing to the extreme importance that we all do something in this life for the Lord, and that something is that we do good works for Him, and from those good works will come good fruit.
Do good works for the Lord, produce good fruit for the Lord, and you can then leave this live with absolutely no regrets and that you lived this life to its fullest for the Lord. And from there, God will highly and appropriately reward you for those good works and good fruit once you enter into heaven to be with Him for all of eternity.
I know some Christians get scared to death when they first read this verse at the top of this article. It first starts out on a very positive note – that as a result of being born again through Jesus, we have now been grafted back into Him just like a branch is with a vine.
But then no sooner does Jesus give us this nice visual, that He then comes down with the hammer telling us that once we have been grafted back into Him, that He will expect us to do something with this brand new life, and that something is that we be willing to produce good fruit for Him. And that if we do not, then we could possibly be cut off from Him forever.
Is this another verse possibly implying that it is possible for a Christian to lose their salvation? You can’t be cut off from Jesus unless you are first connected to Him like the branch is with the vine. And then from there, Jesus then says He will cut you off from Him if you do not produce good fruit for Him.
I believe the main reason God is using such intense and strong language in this verse is that He wants to use each and everyone of us in the specific callings that He has set up for us in this life.
As we have said in many of our other articles, we only have one short window to work for God so He can use us to help other people out and get as many people saved as we possibly can.
Once an unbeliever dies, there is no second chance for them. They will not get a second chance to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior once they die and cross over.
That is why I believe God has worded the above verse so strongly and so intensely, so we can all see and realize the gravity of the situation that we are all living with, and that we not waste and squander our one and only opportunity to be used by the Lord with whatever specific assignments He will be wanting to pass our way.
God Himself only has one short window to try and reach some of these unbelievers, and in many of these cases, He wants to try and reach them through us. We thus have to be willing to work for the Lord in whatever He will be asking us to do for Him on a daily basis.
We won’t know for sure whether or not a Christian can lose their salvation with the way the above verse is worded until we get to heaven and we see who has made it and who has not.
But with the strong wording being used by the Lord in this verse, I would not want to tempt my eternal fate with Him and just sit back and do nothing with the new life He has now given me.
Life is very short and the stakes are extremely high with so many unbelievers still running around refusing to accept the free redemptive pardon that Jesus is willing to offer to them.
We are living in a world where a certain percentage of the human race is going to end up in hell, and then finally the lake of fire and brimstone for all of eternity, And God only has one short window to try and reach some of these people before it becomes too late for them.
When it comes right down to it, each Christian must make a very big choice on how they are going to live this life once they are saved and born again.
Will you fully surrender your entire life and your entire being over to the Lord so He can then enter you into His perfect plan and destiny for your life, and from there, go to work for God for the rest of your earthly life, doing as many good works for Him and producing as much good fruit for Him as you possibly can?
Or will you seek to do your own thing, call all of your own shots, and refuse to accept the call that God has on your life? If you decide to forsake God and live this life for yourself and the world, remember what the second verse is saying above – that God will cut you off from Him just like a branch can be cut off from a tree.
Again, our life down here is very short and God only has one short window to use us in the ways that will produce the most amount of good fruit for Him.
For those of you who will be willing to go to work for God in this life, I can guarantee you that you will find a sense of purpose, destiny, and fulfillment that you will never find in any of the other worldly endeavors you can take on in this life. And that in itself will be your ultimate and highest reward.