Friday, November 13, 2009

Abide in Christ: As the Branch in the Vine – Andrew Murray

"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 15:5)

The parable teaches us the nature of that union. The connection between the vine and the branch is a living one. . . . the branch, whether an original or an engrafted one, is such only by the Creator’s own work, in virtue of which the life, the sap, the fatness, and the fruitfulness of the vine communicate themselves to the branch. And just so it is with the believer too. His union with his Lord is no work of human wisdom or human will, but an act of God, by which the close and most complete life-union is effected between the Son of God and the sinner. . . . The same Spirit which dwelt and still dwells in the Son, becomes the life of the believer; in the unity of that one Spirit, and the fellowship of the same life which is in Christ, he is one with Him. As between the vine and branch, it is a life-union that makes them one. . . .

Without the vine the branch can do nothing. To the vine it owes its right of place in the vineyard, its life and its fruitfulness. . . . The believer can each day be pleasing to God only in that which he does through the power of Christ dwelling in him. . . .

Every power of his being, every moment of his life, every thought and feeling, belong to Jesus, that from Him and for Him he may bring forth fruit. . . .

The parable teaches us the object of the union. The branches are for fruit and for fruit alone. . . . It is for fruit, much fruit, that the Father has made us one for Jesus. . . .

How little I have understood how great my need, by also how perfect my claim, to all His fullness! . . . Let me listen and believe, until my whole being cries out, “Jesus is indeed to me the True Vine, bearing me, nourishing me, supplying me, using me, and filling the to the full to make me bring forth fruit abundantly. . .

On my part, abiding is nothing but the acceptance of my position, the consent to be kept there, the surrender of faith to the strong Vine still to hold the feeble branch. Yes, I will, I do abide in Thee, blessed Lord Jesus.
from "Abide in Christ: Thoughts on the Blessed Life of Fellowship with the Son of God" by Andrew Murray

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