The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

The Command to Abide

 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 

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.

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  (John 15:1-10, NKJV)

I am amazed that any person can really read this passage and still teach the false doctrine of “once-saved-always-saved.”  Jesus did not believe or teach that doctrine and neither should we.

Some say, “Eternal life is eternal; therefore salvation cannot be lost.”  This argument does not take into account that salvation is a Person–the Person of Jesus Christ.

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, andthis life is in his Son. (I John 5:11)

This eternal life is where?–In His Son!  Jesus Christ is eternal life, and will always remain eternal, but that doesn’t mean people always remain in Him.  This is why Jesus taught His disciples that they must abide in (stay connected to) Him!

If a branch does not remain closely connected to the main Vine, it cannot produce fruit. Producing good fruit is absolutely necessary for salvation–for so you will be My disciples (and only disciples of Jesus will be saved, for He is the only Way, Truth and Life.) Jesus made it absolutely clear that if the disciples did not produce fruit through abiding in Him, they would be taken away.  Just as a withered branch is good for nothing but to be burned in a fire, a fruitless branch in Christ will be removed.  Once in Him always in Him? Not according to Jesus.

Jesus also taught that in order to abide in His love, we must keep His commandments!  (Note the conditional “if” in verse 10!)  Even Christ Himself did not take for granted the love of God the Father, but kept His commands and so remained in His love.

Oh dear, this writer is teaching works salvation

No, my friend. This is the Word of God, and we must take its warnings and conditions seriously.

In Romans 11, Paul paints a similar word-picture using an olive tree instead of a vine. The Gentiles (pictured as wild branches) who believed on Christ were grafted into the good olive tree by faith, and the Jews who rejected Him were cut off. But this stern warning was given to those Gentiles already grafted in:

If God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness,  if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.(21-22)

Once grafted in, always grafted in? Not according to Paul. He said there is a condition to remaining grafted in–you must continue in His goodness.  You must abide in Him!

What does abiding look like?–

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (I John 2:6)

How did Jesus walk?  He gave this bold testimony, “I do always those things that please him [the Father].” (Jn. 8:29)  So whoever says he abides in Jesus mustalways, as much as is in his power, do the things that please God.  And God does not ask what is beyond our strength to give, for we are commanded to love Him with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength we possess, but never with more than we possess.  John wrote, “He who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him,” and “whoever abides in Him does not sin.” (I Jn. 3:24; I Jn. 3:6)

In addition to loving God, we must also love our brother in order to abide in Christ (who is the light of the world), for he who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him (I Jn. 2:10).

And now, little children, abide in Him, that whenHe appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.  If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.  (I John 2:28-29)

Do you want to have confidence when you see Jesus coming on the clouds?  Make sure that you are grafted in, and then abide in Him! Remain in Him, do only those things which please the Father, love and serve the Body of Christ, and love your neighbor as yourself (being careful to share the truth with them as you are able).  When they see you zealous for good works, false Christians may cast you out of their fellowship thinking they do God a service, but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed (Isa. 66:5).

God bless you!

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