Devotional Readings, John Bunyan

John 15 – Jesus discussing the need for being fruitful

I wrote the following…but want to add that it seems the purpose of this is no different than the answer to the first Catechism question: to glorify God and enjoy him forever. It’s not that God needs our fruit; but that it fulfills our design:

Gen 1:28  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

It’s this that gives glory to God, to do his will and as a plus, we will enjoy his creation.

Today’s text brings a sense of great responsibility and perhaps concern. The initial verses speak about fruit in our lives in Christ. I’ve been thinking about someday doing a detail word study on that word. Old John Gill offers below three aspects: all the fruits of his Spirit, grace, and righteousness. Studying the passages to speak to each of these aspects would be a good start. I also wonder about carrying the analogy further or too far, and potentially speculating on other aspects of fruit, I.e. Lemons can be sour, is the a valid fruit of discernment? Or our boysenberry’ have sharp thorns, are their valid fruits in Christ that some times present the sharper side of the Bible? the Word of God is said to be sharper than a two edged sword…but how far are individuals to go. Also we know we are all uniques in the body of Christ, we have our differences and that is seen as good for the body. Anyway there is a lot to look into in this area.

The reading is:
https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/kjv/John.15

Joh 15:1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

John 15:2 Gill writes:

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit,…. There are two sorts of branches in Christ the vine; the one sort are such who have only an historical faith in him, believe but for a time, and are removed; they are such who only profess to believe in him, as Simon Magus did; are in him by profession only; they submit to outward ordinances, become church members, and so are reckoned to be in Christ, being in a church state, as the churches of Judea and Thessalonica, and others, are said, in general, to he in Christ; though it is not to be thought that every individual person in these churches were truly and savingly in him. These branches are unfruitful ones; what fruit they seemed to have, withers away, and proves not to be genuine fruit; what fruit they bring forth is to themselves, and not to the glory of God, being none of the fruits of his Spirit and grace: and such branches the husbandman

taketh away; removes them from that sort of being which they had in Christ. By some means or another he discovers them to the saints to be what they are; sometimes he suffers persecution to arise because of the word, and these men are quickly offended, and depart of their own accord; or they fall into erroneous principles, and set up for themselves, and separate from the churches of Christ; or they become guilty of scandalous enormities, and so are removed from their fellowship by excommunication; or if neither of these should be the case, but these tares should grow together with the wheat till the harvest, the angels will be sent forth, who will gather out of the kingdom of God all that offend and do iniquity, and cast them into a furnace of fire, as branches withered, and fit to be burnt.

And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. These are the other sort of branches, who are truly and savingly in Christ; such as are rooted in him; to whom he is the green fir tree, from whom all their fruit is found; who are filled by him with all the fruits of his Spirit, grace, and righteousness. These are purged or pruned, chiefly by afflictions and temptations, which are as needful for their growth and fruitfulness, as the pruning and cutting of the vines are for theirs; and though these are sometimes sharp, and never joyous, but grievous, yet they are attended with the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and so the end of bringing forth more fruit is answered; for it is not enough that a believer exercise grace, and perform good works for the present, but these must remain; or he must be constant herein, and still bring forth fruit, and add one virtue to another, that it may appear he is not barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ, in whom he is implanted. These different acts of the vinedresser “taking away” some branches, and “purging” others, are expressed by the Misnic doctors (p) by פיסולה, and זירודה. The former, the commentators (q) say, signifies to cut off the branches that are withered and perished, and are good for nothing; and the latter signifies the pruning of the vine when it has a superfluity of branches, or these extend themselves too far; when some are left, and others taken off.

(p) Misn. Sheviith, c, 2. sect. 3. (q) Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.

Finally, as you read this reflect on other passage that teach….the conversation between God and Jesus, where he asks to “dung” around the trees and try t get fruit to come; the old concept of the reformed church visible and invisible; God’s role in choosing us; where does hardship and persecution really fit in. John Bunyan did offer a couple of short books on the top: The Barren Fig Tree; and The Straight Gate. he wrote much about true fruit and fruitless profession. You can these here:  http://acacia.pair.com/Acacia.John.Bunyan/

Here is the full Chapter 15:

I Am the True Vine

Joh 15:1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Joh 15:3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Joh 15:9  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Joh 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Joh 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Joh 15:15  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Joh 15:17  These things I command you, that ye love one another.
The Hatred of the World

Joh 15:18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Joh 15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Joh 15:21  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Joh 15:22  If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
Joh 15:23  He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
Joh 15:24  If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
Joh 15:25  But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Joh 15:26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Joh 15:27  And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

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