Learning to Abide
Life thats Apart from the Vine.
He was thinking of Christians whose Christianity consisted of profession without practice, words without deeds; he was thinking of Christians who were useless branches, all leaves and no fruit.
A Fruitless Life is a Faithless Life
A Fruitless Life is a Feeble Life
It is a curious fact that the symbol of the vine is never used in the Old Testament apart from the idea of degeneration. The point of Isaiah’s picture is that the vineyard has run wild. Jeremiah complains that the nation has turned ‘degenerate and become a wild vine’. It is as if Jesus said: ‘You think that because you belong to the nation of Israel you are a branch of the true vine of God. But the nation is a degenerate vine, as all your prophets saw. It is I who am the true vine. The fact that you are Jews will not save you. The only thing that can save you is to have an intimate living fellowship with me, for I am the vine of God and you must be branches joined to me.’ Jesus was laying it down that not Jewish blood but faith in him was the way to God’s salvation. No external qualification can set us right with God; only the friendship of Jesus Christ can do that.