Grafted Into Christ
“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 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.
A vinedresser plants and tends his vines for the purpose of seeing them produce grapes. God, as our vinedresser, encourages us to bear spiritual fruit. He wants us to have a character like that of Christ—marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Our Father wants to ensure that believers will be fruitful; for this reason, they are removed from the dead tree of humanity and grafted onto the living vine, Jesus Christ.
After His baptism, Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit,” who led Him to the next step (Luke 4:1). Christ’s life and ministry were the result of the Spirit’s empowerment, and when we become believers, God sends the very same Helper to indwell us. In the language of vineyards, the sap from the vine flows into a grafted branch, giving it life and the capacity to grow the kind of fruit typical of that plant. The branch and the vine become one life. The Living Bible translation says, “Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him” (Col. 2:7).
Some people run away from the Christian life because they think they cannot do it. And they’re right: They cannot, but the Holy Spirit can. When we are one with Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God lives His life through us. That doesn’t mean we are free from responsibility—the Spirit can do His work only as we wisely choose to yield to Him. When we are obediently following the Lord, our joy and peace are not dependent upon circumstances; the One in whom we are rooted is our joy and peace.