|John 15 |
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser.
2 Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he takes away, and every branch that produces fruit, he purges it, so that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now you are to be clean through the word that I have spoken to you.1 [Those words you hear the Lord speak to you are Spirit and life-giving; those spoken words you hear are engrafted into your heart, cleansing you a little more. From the Word of the Lord within: "Like the Apostles, you too must be cleansed. Only those who want to be clean can hear. I am only reached by those with a penitent heart. The Spirit gives life with every word heard. Hear and live."]
4 Abide [dwell, remain] in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine; neither can you, unless you abide in me.
5 I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man abides in me, and I in him, he produces much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.
6 If a man does not abide in me, he is thrown out like a branch, which withers; these branches are gathered up, cast into the fire, and are burned.
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
8 When you bear (produce or bring forth) much fruit, my Father is honored and glorified, and you show that you are truly my disciples [true followers].2 [The fruit that this verse references is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace (quietness and confident trust forever), patience (including longsuffering, steadfastness, and perseverance), kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, (including meekness and humility), and self-control (mastery of sensual appetites, desires, and passions). Gal 5:22-23. Everyone who does not produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in this life is thrown into the fire, like branches on a tree are pruned and thrown into the fire. This is the test of a true disciple or follower of Jesus: to produce fruit; and when a true follower produces fruit, the Father is honored and glorified! I ask you, "have ever heard of a more worthy goal than to bring honor and glory to your creator?"]
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; therefore abide in my love.
10 If you keep my commands [the commands you hear him speak to you from within your heart], you shall abide in my love;3 even as I have kept my Father's commands [that Jesus heard spoken to him], and abide in his love.
11 I have spoken these things to you so that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.
15 From now on, I do not call you servants, for the servant does not know not what his lord is doing; but I have called you friends because I have made known to you all things that I have heard from my Father.
16 You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and appointed you, that you should go and produce fruit, and that your fruit should remain; so that whatever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 This I command you, that you love one another.
18 If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, and because I have chosen you out of the world, the world therefore hates you.
20 Remember the word that I said to you, 'The servant is not greater than his lord.' If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word [practiced my teachings], they will keep yours also.
21 But they will do all these things to you for my name's sake, because they do not know not him who sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23 He who hates me, also hates my Father.
24 If I had not done among them the works which no other man has done, they would not have had sin; but now they have both seen and hated, both me and my Father.
25 This is to fulfill the word written in their law, which is: 'They hated me without a cause.'
26 But when the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me.
27 And you also shall testify of me, because you have been with me from the beginning."
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1 Now you are to be clean through the word that I have spoken to you. How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed to and watching for Your word.
I have retained your word [spoken commands] in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9,11. (To heed according to your word, is to listen, pay attention, and obey the words heard.) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Eph 5:25-26. (So by listening to his words, and obeying him, you are cleansed and sanctified). Sanctify [make them holy, purify, consecrate] them through your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17. Jesus spoke to his disciples for three years, night and day; and then they were clean because he said: It is the Spirit who gives life... the words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life-giving. John 6:63. Instant salvation is a lie, but he still speaks, he still cleanses; he is in your heart, knocking: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev 3:20. To hear him you must wait and listen quietly, in the humility of a sinner, wishing to be cleansed.
This verse has been universally translated as Now you are clean or You are already clean. However, the disciples had not yet received the sealing of the Holy Spirit, John 20:22, nor the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:1-4. Further the disciples had not even been tried by Satan, which began the night before Jesus' crucifixion, where Peter denied Jesus three times, which clearly conflicts with Peter being clean. So if they were clean, it was only partial and very temporary at best.
The context of this verse is about branches of the vine that have produced fruit, which the Father purges, (prunes back), so that even more fruit can be produced in the future. Following this sequence, the disciples had been cleansed sufficiently to produce some beginning fruit, but now they were about to be cut back substantially to no fruit and being unclean again. This is exactly what happens to each of us in our spiritual journey: it's like two steps forward and one step back, with every step back being a traumatic, painful pruning of the evidence of our progress.
However, Jesus' words in this verse do not indicate a partial cleanliness. So, looking for another explanation, the original Greek for this verse shows the Greek word hdh (2235, 5815) translated as now or already "has a suggested reference to some other time or some expectation;" and the definition for Greek word este (1510), translated as are, is really to be. For this verse to be compatible with the message of cleanliness and purity, it is rendered here as Now you are to be clean.
2 When you bear (produce or bring forth) much fruit, my Father is honored and glorified, and you show that you are truly my disciples [true followers]. You must abide in Christ, that is remain in his light and word, spending time waiting and listening for him in silence. The work of the Holy Spirit is to search your heart, convince you of sin, and kill the sin in you. As he kills the sins in your heart, he replaces them with more of himself. As you obey his spoken words, you are building up Christ within you, which is to produce fruit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace (quietness and confident trust forever), patience (including longsuffering, steadfastness, and perseverance), kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, (including meekness and humility), and self-control (mastery of sensual appetites, desires, and passions). Gal 5:22-23. Everyone who does not produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in this life is thrown into the fire, like branches on a tree are pruned and thrown into the fire. This is the test of a true disciple or follower of Jesus: to produce fruit. A true follower brings glory to God!
And if you appreciate your life, if you appreciate your breath, if you appreciate the gift of your heart beat, if you appreciate your eyes that can see the beauty of the creation — then you probably have a desire to please your creator. Jesus has told us that by producing much fruit we can bring honor glory to the Father. I ask you: have you ever heard of a more worthy goal than to bring honor and glory to your creator?
3 If you keep my commands, you shall abide in my love. The entire Bible is about obedience. To make any spiritual progress you must hear the Lord and obey. To hear the Lord, you must wait on God, humbly, in silent listening for whatever he wishes to teach or command you. Christ is the light that enlightens every man who comes into the world; his spirit is given to every man to benefit all. You must hear to progress: Blessed are those who hear the word of God [within your heart] and keep [practice, obey] it. Luke 11:28. Jesus is speaking about the word of truth heard from within a man, the word that dwells within a man's heart. The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart [so you may hear and obey it]; that is the word of faith which we preach. Rom 10:8, Deu 30:14. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:17. Faith is hearing the word of God spoken within you, believing it to be spoken by God, and obeying the commands you have heard. So we must go to God and sit in humble silence to wait on Him, as we, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey.
And until we can hear the Lord and follow his counsel to become changed, the the inner law on the heart of every man, which includes moral core of the outward law, is our schoolmaster: don't lie, don't murder (or hate), don't steal (or cheat), don't commit adultery (or lust for someone), don't want money or things, forgive others for their unjust offences to you, do for others what you have them do for you; these are outward moral laws that reflect what is on everyone's heart and conscience. And until you can hear the Lord's individual commands to you, these laws are a reminder to us of our problems, and a motivator to repent from our old ways and to seek divine help to be even more different, and thus to become pleasing to God. While the inner law on the heart of every man, which includes moral core of the outward law, is our schoolmaster, we know the states Paul described he once was in: "for I don't do what I intend to do; but what I intend not to do, that I end up doing." Rom 7:15, and "Now then it is no more I who sin, but sin that remains in me. Rom 7:17." Paul passed through both of these states, and everyone must pass through these stages before they arrive at the liberty of the sons of God to enjoy Christian freedom. (Paul's final state was: it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.)
Without obedience, you cannot know Jesus: By this we know that we know him: if we keep [obey] his commands. 1 John 2:3
Without obedience, you cannot love Jesus: If a man loves me, he will keep my words [obey me, practice my teachings]. John 14:23
Without obedience, you are not a friend of Jesus: You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. John 15:14
Without obedience, you cannot have been born again: Whoever is born of God does not commit sin. 1 John 3:9
Silently listening for the Lord's voice is part of the cross because it is a cross to your will; you don't want to sit still in silence and wait on the Lord. It is part of the inward cross of self-denial.
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