Again, JOH 15:2 says, “Every branch [believer] in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away [discipline]; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it.” Pruning is necessary for properly redistributing the “energy” for production. The branch that bears fruit must be pruned occasionally so that the spiritual skills will increase and maximize. This is suffering for blessing.
Just as God provides divine discipline and punitive action for the one who bears no fruit, He also provides suffering for blessing for the fruit bearer.
In verses three and four, we see the cleansing of the branches for production. Verse three makes a reference to the cleansing of the branches in salvation.
JOH 15:3* “You are already clean [saved] because of the doctrine [the gospel] which I have spoken to you.”
Nothing in your life before salvation should be a hindrance to your production of divine good, because you have been cleansed from your past. Everything you did before salvation has been wiped out completely.
ISA 43:25“I, even I, am the One who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.”
The things you have done after salvation are dealt with in PHI 3:13, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”
Verse four deals with the cleansing of the branches after salvation, which takes place through the rebound technique.
JOH 15:4“Abide in me [stay in fellowship],and I in you [a mandate for cognition of Bible doctrine]. As the branch can not bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
The fact that “Abide in Me” is a command indicates that this is an experience after salvation (dependent on our volitional decisions) and not a reference to positional sanctification (which is a permanent result of regeneration and is not dependent on our volition). We are never commanded to be in union with Christ. This is a command to remain in fellowship with God through the use of 1JO 1:9 in order that divine good may be produced in our lives. The believer can only produce divine good when filled with God the Holy Spirit. The “branch in Christ” of JOH 15:2 is the believer in positional sanctification; when the branch is commanded to “abide” in Christ, the believer is being commanded to enter into experiential sanctification through the filling of the Holy Spirit. The phrase “I in you” is a mandate for the believer to learn and metabolize Bible doctrine (when we have doctrine, the “mind of Christ,” in our souls, Christ abides in us). Our Lord demands that His thinking be in us. The Vine has provided for us the precedent, the pattern, and the information necessary to produce divine good. As the Lord produced divine good, so we can produce divine good. However, we cannot produce fruit apart from the function of spiritual skills—the filling of the Spirit; perception, metabolization, and application of doctrine; and execution of the predesigned plan of God.
PDFDownload Instructions: Internet Explorer & Opera: Right-click the download link and choose "Save Target As...". Firefox: Right-click the download link and choose "Save Link As...". Safari: Control-click the download link and choose "Download Linked File..."