A Word for Today | John 15:4-9
Jesus’ parable of the vine consisted of three parts, the first two speaking of what God and Christ have provided: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser” (Jn. 15:1). This states that Jesus is our source of life and that the Father tends and prunes us for healthy growth. Our calling provides the third part of this parable: “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” (Jn. 15:4).
To abide in Christ means “to keep up a habit of constant close communion with Him, to be always leaning on Him, resting on Him, pouring out our hearts to Him, and using Him as our Fountain of life and strength, as our chief Companion and best Friend.” As Jesus tells it, abiding in Christ means resting in His love: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (Jn. 15:19). It is possible for Christians to “live without being mindful of Christ’s love for them and so break the closeness of their fellowship.” So to abide in Christ, we remember the love that died for our sins and rely on that love to guide and bless us. Jesus has proved His love for us forever on the cross; now we are to abide in His love.
Abiding in Christ is the way that believers persevere in faith so as to gain eternal life: “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned” (Jn. 15:6). Abiding in Christ is the key to spiritual fruitfulness: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (Jn. 15:7-8). Jesus summarizes: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (Jn. 15:9). By these words we are reminded that while Christians stand firm on the teachings of the Bible and pursue a life of turning from sin, the key reality and resource is always our relationship to Jesus. If we will abide in Him, our Savior will give us life, will work His love into our trials, and will enable us to grow healthy and strong. Let us, therefore, abide in Him, living this week in personal communion with the Savior who sealed His love for us in the sacrifice of His cross.
In Christ’s Love,
 J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1999), 3:116-117.
 Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Revised), New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 597.