authority, Branches, Christ, disciples, Divine Call. Divine Care, finished work on the Cross, Fire, God's Economy, Holy Spirit, Husbandman, life in the Vine, Living Water, power, Practical Sanctification, rabbis, revolutionary Kingdom, students, teachers, upside down Kingdom, Vine
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, ESV
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…. ~ John 15:16, ESV
In the Jewish culture, students (disciples) traditionally choose their own Rabbis (teachers). However, Christ reverses that tradition. He does the choosing. This reversal of Jewish tradition is typical of God’s Economy—His sovereign Plan for mankind. For example, God’s Kingdom is revolutionary primarily because it is an upside down Kingdom in which the first becomes the last, or the last becomes the first; the leader becomes the servant, or the servant becomes the leader; and so forth.
Now although most of today’s college or university students can choose their postsecondary schools, professors and majors, believers in Christ still do not choose Him. They also do not choose their calling(s).
Because of His finished Work on the Cross, Christ gets to choose who gets to abide in Him. In other words, the Vine selects who He wants to be His Branches. The uncomfortable truth for many of today’s believers to swallow is that we are not called to work in Christ’s Vineyard, because of a feeling within us, or because others believe God wants us to be preachers, pastors, Sunday School teachers, and etcetera.
The bottom line is that Father God ordains us so that we can work for Christ in His Vineyard. Then too, even though the Lord is our true Vine, it is the Holy Spirit who is our true Husbandman. As branches, whatever we do or say that glorifies God comes from the Vine—comes from Christ via the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. This Divine Truth is why we have to allow the Life of the Vine (Holy Spirit) to flow through us so that we can produce the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit prunes and cleanses our lives, via Living Water and Fire or His Practical Sanctification Process, this is the reason why He (Life of the Vine) and Christ (the Vine) expect us to bear much fruit.
As moral free agents, we can choose not to follow the purpose Father God has for us—we can refuse to respond to the Vine’s Divine Call and the Husbandman’s Divine Care—but to do so will cause us to forfeit our fruit-bearing position in the Vine—to be deprived of our service privilege. The point here is that the only way we will be able to produce the Fruit of the Holy Spirit is to answer the Vine’s Divine Call and then yield to the Husbandman’s Divine Care. Shalom.
~ from my soon-to-be-published manuscript – Keeping It Real: Daily Renewing the Mind