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Nnadozie October 21, 2013 at 11:00 am

Jack well done!lovely article I enjoyed this. Pastor Jack I have a question although its not in relation to this very article. Does satan know he’ll be doomed? I just thought about this now and decided to ask a man of God,who God has reaveled alot to and has passed the blessings to us. id be very glad if you can answer this,this is what i a crhistian want to know. God bless you and your family. I’ll be looking forward to your reply,thank you.

Jack Wellman October 21, 2013 at 11:06 am

Thank you Nnadozie so much for your comment and question. Let me say that I believe that Satan knows that his fate is sealed but like we, the timing is unknown. I remember when the Devil was quoting Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the Wilderness and although he knows Scripture very well, he does take it out of context. Nonetheless, he does know Scripture and since he is highly intelligent he must know that the Book or Revelation prophecies of his eventual doom. The only other option is that he is so full of pride that he is blinded to the reality of his eternal fate and pride has a way of blinding creatures (we are no exception) and so he might actually believe that he has a chance of surviving God’s coming judgment. Either way the Bible is not specific or clear about this so neither can I be. It is only speculation as far as I know.

Grace October 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

This was a very good article and I enjoyed reading it. May the spirit of God continue to abide in us as we abide in Him.

Jack Wellman October 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Thank you Grace…I appreciate your good words. I truly love your last comment and pray that we abide within Him and He in us by His Sprit. Thank you so very much.

Zack K October 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Jack,

once again you provide such an awesome and thorough analysis of the Bible. You make all things clear, and it is so evident to see Christ in you, working His teachings through your ministry. I love your posts because it explains the Bible, and I’m trying to learn it best I can for the glory of God. I wish you all the best, and am eager to reading more. As always keep the faith and cheers.

– Your fan,
Zack

Jack Wellman October 21, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Your more kind to me than I truly deserve Zack. Nonetheless, thank you. I sure can not take credit for I did not learn anything that was not first given to me and so all glory goes to God.

DocReits October 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Great article Jack! I was always bothered as a new believer because I thought “Fruit” meant producing new believers in Christ. It made me feel very guilty when I hadn’t! When I led others to the Lord later I felt depressed and torn when some fell away. I was thinking it was a scorecard like the parable of the “talents”. It was works based and just wrong and now that I look back rather silly. It is the Holy Spirit who saves anyone. All the glory and points go to Him…;-)

It was pointed out to me years later that the fruit Jesus speaks about here is the Fruit of the Spirit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal 5:22-23)

It also made so much more sense to me when Jesus in the same metaphor speaks of removing branches that bear no fruit. Was I to be cast into the fire because I had no new convert notches on my pistol grips? No!

The question is, were these branches, which produced no fruit ever drawing from the Vine to begin with? We can look to Jesus’s words here for confirmation and weight to this line of reasoning:

(Note how Jesus speaks about the broad road leading to hell compared to the narrow road leading to heaven as a preamble to His metaphor on fruit here)

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”(Mt 7:13-20)

Amen! By their fruits will you know them.

We demonstrate that we are saved and connected to the Vine(Jesus) by the Holy Spirit producing fruit in our lives. No love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance…. no life. Thank you Lord for your life in ours!

Blessings,

DocReits

Jack Wellman October 21, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Doc, I think the context is very important that you mentioned Jesus speaking of a narrow road that leads to destruction and that is not lost in your comments. I wish I had thought of that but you have such keen insight that your comments alone add so much to what I write. I agree that if there is no fruit there is no life. That’s spot on brother. I believe that if a person is not witnessing then they may have to question that they have the heart of God or the Spirit of God dwelling in them….you make another excellent point. I did today at Taco Bell between a break at work and I felt such joy handing out Bible tracts AND speaking with some people…young children of a grandma included. If we are not witnessing our hearts are surely not aligned with God’s for He desires that none perish…is that our will too? The church I am under shepherd of is not going with me door to door, in the parks, in the nursing home, in the streets and in fact you can’t even spell Gospel without “Go!”.

DocReits October 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Just an aside Jack,

I am still blown away by your messages coinciding with other Christian media themes at the same time. Here is my devotional today, Oct 21st, 2013, from ICR:

http://www.icr.org/article/7622/

Is the Holy Spirit using you? I think the answer is self evident…;-)

DocReits

Jack Wellman October 21, 2013 at 9:47 pm

That is amazing from a human standpoint but I see what you are saying. What is most amazing is that God can use a broken, empty vessel that like Gideon’s clay pots were broken and filled with light to win a great victory by a very small force….I see the analogy. The broken clay vessels would otherwise be rubbish so we must realize that God receives all glory for all we do. I do think its interesting and I did check out the icr article (which website is theologically rock solid…me? Not sure). Thanks for your encouragement brother. It has been a hard week. Another church discipline issue that is quite messy, I start another 7 week intensive at Moody Seminary, I have to work all week, and the church I pastor at needs much counseling…and so I am that broken vessel that is useless without His filling me up! How interesting that the dates are the same! Isn’t our God an awesome God. Nothing happens by accident in God’s sovereignty. I stand amazed again and His power and timing particularly since this article was written about 6 weeks ago as I write them well ahead of time…but what is time to God!?

Lisa PATMORE November 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Hi Ps Jack, I really embraced a lot of this article as I heard this topic being discussed on a radio program and it led me to ask what is actually abiding in the vine. Outwardly I don’t look like other Christians, I don’t mean this in a judging way but it does sound so and I am sorry for this it may be I don’t really know what a Christian in suppose to look like I can concede this. I have struggled to fit in, in the world or in Church. My walk has been a lonely one but I have always stayed close to God in all seasons (even when I thought I had strayed, its like he has been so good to me, I have been given enough rope but not to hang myself). In my loneliness and in my I personally drew closer to God. Sadly I feel like I am on and off the vine but maybe that’s the pruning you are talking about?

When you speak of fruit how do we know what this fruit should look like?

I believe it is faithfulness, forgiveness, loving others, compassion, standing, blessing others. Its not work based and if we speak obedience it is not obedience based on rules but on love, through Godly submission.

I’m ask for more because I know since I became a Christian I have been through so much as I’m sure others have too but yet even in my darkest times he brought me through, but yet I’m not sure if I have been bearing fruit or not.

I know the Lord has been there even when I have not always obeyed as I should and you know this spoke to me more, he blessed me when I was not deserving and this knowing makes me want to be more for Him but I know I’m not, though inside I want to be. Many times I have failed and yet many times there was God in the midst of it all, this has brought me to my knees.

I feel so sad though as I do not seem to have embraced the whole Christian life fully. I know God is faithful but me I am so up and down. I recently just started attending Church again its hard as I said I am on the outer and so normally I fade away but this time I am trying to abide to not leave just because I am unseen or seen as something else and remind my self that the Lord see’s me.

Sometimes though I wonder how long will I last this time, I’m tired of living with one foot here and one foot there. But do not know how to break out of this cycle, I’m on fire then I’m cold. I committed then I’m non-committed, I read my bible then I don’t, I pray fervently then not at all, I have faith then can move mountains then I hardly believe in anything. Its really wearing thin.

Jack Wellman November 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Lisa, I think your description of the fruit is spot on. I love it. I should have elaborated more on this and so for that oversight on my part, please forgive me. Take heart, this is a hard road to walk and we all have ups and downs but the very fact that you are striving to walk in obedience, and like me I have my moments in the wilderness, you are at least seeking to please God and that is a fruit in itself. One way you can see if you are growing, look back on your Christian life about 2 months ago, 2 years ago and even more. You most likely can see where you have grown. I too don’t always obey where and when I should so you are not failing. We are going through a fight against wicked spirits in high places. Sanctification is a life-long process and struggle but there is evidence of your faith…you are struggling. Those who are not saved and not really abiding or attached to the vine don’t care about such things. I know what you feel…up and down, cold then hot, but take heart my sister in Christ. This is evidence because those who don’t struggle are not even considering their sin but at least you are. I will pray for you my sister. In the meantime, try and read how sure Paul was in Romans 8 compared to his mighty struggle like we go thru in Romans 7. I believe this will encourage you.

Lisa PATMORE November 6, 2014 at 4:54 am

Thank you Ps Jack, I will read Romans 8 and 7, I will keep trying and pushing on even if it is two steps forward one step back. Thank you for your kind words you don’t know how much this encourages me. I need to find a new Church home I know this deep inside I have been attending this church here but I am not growing or connecting. Most of my growth happens at home in my private time with the Lord. I have been there for 4 months and not a single soul have I connected with but it is a very big church. The confirmation came today unexpectedly but I am Ok a little sad as I thought maybe this was finally my time to come out from the wilderness and fellowship again but I know God sees me and that’s all that matters. I believe this Church was just a step to where the Lord will lead me and I did meet a Pastor and his wife there who set me free from some wrong beliefs I had about myself from childhood. So my prayers are that I will know soon where to call a church home. I have done the whole outside thing and I know it is long suffering and very difficult to try and stand alone, I’m ready now I guess I just wait upon the Lord. Again Thank you

Jack Wellman November 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

Your words are very encouraging Lisa. I wished you were closer to our church in Mulvane, Kansas because even though we are a small church, we are very loving and accepting of others. We have such a sweet, sweet spirit there that you would feel embraced immediately when you walked in. I pray God directs you to a church that will feed you the Word.

Lisa PATMORE November 6, 2014 at 5:22 am

Wow I just read my first post then the second about Church and abiding and now I’m going. I need to stop and pray before I make a decision. I’m sorry I did say I was a bit up and down. I will try and explain why I shifted as such so quickly, Ok so I had sent a msg today to the Pastor about how I know I don’t fit in but I was going to not give up, I wanted to tell someone to be accountable and to be bold in this. Well the response was pretty much Ok, it was nice to get to know you and the Lord will bless you where ever you go, Go for Jesus…but that was not what I meant. So I took this as insincere, they don’t want me there and feeling on the outer already it was not hard to jump to this conclusion. Considering I had said I would stand and they are telling me goodbye. So then I started to think well is the Lord closing the door but admittedly I was a little hurt and taken aback by this response. sorry to discuss this on this post not sure what forum would be appropriate. I will pray about this…Thanks Lisa





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