By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature . . . Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (2Peter 1:4 and John 15:4-5)
This promise of shared life is so “exceedingly great and precious" that we need to consider it to its fullest. Being “partakers of the divine nature" (without becoming divine ourselves) is a difficult concept to grasp. The scriptures clearly invite us to live day by day through Christ sharing His life in us. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal_2:20). Yet, how we are to walk in this truth can seem quite hard to pin down. In His teaching on the vine and the branches, Jesus provided a wonderful physical illustration of this tremendous spiritual reality.
Jesus’ visible example involves actual grapevines, grape branches, and the grapes that can potentially result. For grapes to grow, the proper life style must be obtainable for the growth to maturity. The grape branches do not have this life in themselves. “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself. " In order to bear grapes, the grape branch must share in the life of the vine. “The branch cannot bear fruit . . . unless it abides in the vine. " This can be certainly demonstrated by separating a grape branch from its vine. No grapes can ever be produced on the branches it’s self, if the life of the vine is not flowing through the branches. The life of the vine is essential if the branch is to bare fruit.
The spiritual application concerns Jesus as the vine and us as the branches. “I am the vine, you are the branches. " For the Christ like fruit to be developed in us, the appropriate life must be available to us and be allowed to mature in us. We branches do not have this life in us: “neither can you [bear fruit], unless you abide in Me. " This truth is unfortunately demonstrated daily by Christians who live self-sufficiently, not depending upon the life that is in Jesus, the vine. “Without Me you can do nothing. " Day by day Christian living is only possible by the shared life of Jesus at work through us.
Once again, we are reminded that humility and faith are the practical application for living as God intends. We must humbly depend upon Jesus for true fruitful living, just as grape branches must depend upon their vine for grapes.
Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You that I do not have to produce true life in and of myself. Teach me to live by Your shared life. I want to humbly and dependently abide in You, that You might live in and through me, for Your glory, Amen.
THE possibilities of prayer are gauged by faith in God’s ability to do. Faith is the one prime condition by which God works. Faith is the one prime condition by which man prays. Faith draws on God to its full extent. Faith gives character to prayer. A feeble faith has always brought forth feeble praying. Vigorous faith creates vigorous praying. At the close of a parable, “And he spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men always ought to pray, and not to faint, " in which He stressed the necessity of vigorous praying, Christ asks this pointed question, “When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" If more information is required on prayer and faith please see my blog at byfaith-enterprises.blogspot.com and leave a comment. For prayer or any questions you may have, leave the request in the comment section and I will answer back as soon as I can. Keep praying to the Great I AM.