Highlight: Abiding in the Vine

“It’s hard being a bold witness for Christ in this world because Jesus says you will be persecuted. Never forget when that persecution comes, when they’re getting after you because you’re Christian, who are they really attacking? They’re really attacking Christ.”

Even in the face of persecution, God wants us to be fruitful for His Kingdom. How do we ensure that we are fruitful in this life? Jeff Verdoorn says that the answer is found in abiding in the vine.

“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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:1-5

When we abide in the vine, which is Christ, we will bear much fruit. What happens if we don’t abide in the vine?

“That Greek word for takes away is actually Ario, and it really means to lift up. Jesus is never going to cut off a Christian, a person who is connected to the vine. He will never cut off a believer from himself, ever.”

This idea of Jesus lifting us up instead of tossing us aside is consistent with practical gardening techniques.

“When you think of the picture of a gardener, you’ve got some vines growing, you’ve got a branch that’s laying down in the mud, and it’s not producing any fruit, what do you? You lift it up, you tie it off, that’s what the gardener would do.”

The Bible says that God also prunes his believers.

“If you want to be fruitful branch, you’ve got to stop producing all these leaves. So the gardener will come and clip off some of the leaves and it will start producing more fruit. That’s what God does, that’s the picture that’s being created here.”

Ultimately, Christ, who is the vine, is the one who bears the fruit in our lives. Our call is to simply abide in the vine.

Jeff Verdoorn is married to his wife Julie and live in Eden Prairie. They have three children. Jeff attends Grace Church Eden Prairie where he has been teaching various bible studies for more than a dozen years. His favorite topics to teach include the End Times, Creation, and Salvation. He also teaches a Worldview and Culture class at Southwest Christian.

Key Scripture: Philippians 4

Featured Songs: I’m Not Who I Was – Brandon Heath; Through All of It – Colton Dixon; Hold Us Together – Matt Maher

The importance of abiding in Christ