“The Vine” is part of “A Christ-Centered Identity: Discovering Your God-Given Identity in His Son.” The book is scheduled to be released in February, 2017. You can sign up at www.thegloryofchrist.com/free-book and join the complete book launch.
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.
Many times we only consider Christ as our life from a positional perspective—His life took our place, becoming our substitute and righteousness. That’s only one part of the same coin, though. Not only are we “in Christ” from a positional perspective, but also for a practical reality. Salvation isn’t only about being declared righteous; it’s also about becoming and being righteous.
Today’s verse is one of the best ones that describes the nature and essence of the Christian life. Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. We are to abide in Him. What does that mean? Jesus gave the answer: “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:56). To abide in Jesus is to live entirely on Him—His perfect righteous life and sacrificial death.
As we do so, He will abide in us and we’ll experience His life. Paul wrote that as follows: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). The Christian life is “Christ who lives in me.”
Jesus made that dependence undeniably clear when He said: “For apart from me you can do nothing.” Apart from the Vine—apart from Christ—we cannot do anything good or right. That’s why the author of Hebrews wrote: “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ [through the Vine], to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13:20-21).
Everything that’s pleasing to the Father in our lives is solely “through Jesus Christ.” It’s through the Vine! We must receive all spiritual life, growth, and fruitfulness from Him. That’s why He deserves all the glory. In Romans Paul also confirmed that truth: “For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed” (Rom. 15:18). In the end we’ll truly know that it’s “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27), and that “Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11).
The Devotional Writer