“4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me.
5 I am the Mine, you are the branches: he that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
That mustard seed of faith in the Cross of Christ which is planted in each and every Believer when we willingly choose to accept the completed work of Christ Jesus as enough to keep us from a devil’s hell because we have come to the understanding that we are indeed a sinner in need of a Savior, is the same mustard seed of faith which grafts us into the Vine. To be sure, Jesus Christ is the Vine. This understanding of being a sinner doesn’t come from religious condemnation as some would like to believe in order to justify their rejection but is a revelation from God through the conviction of the Holy Spirit when Jesus Christ, Who He is and what He has done on Calvary’s Cross, is lifted up among the people.
This mustard seed of faith in the Cross of Christ brings forth much fruit because God gives the increase…not man. We cannot bear much fruit when the mustard seed is not watered by the Word of God rightly divided. This mustard seed of faith can be swept away with the cares of the world (Mark 4:18-20) if the Truth is not heard. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
This branch, rooted with the mustard seed of faith given upon Salvation, is the branch which abides IN the Vine. The branch rooted with the mustard seed of faith in our ability to overcome, our intellect or will power is not rooted in the Vine but in vain philosophies from the minds of man. This is the leaven which leavens the whole lump; the poison in the pot which corrupts our faith in the Cross of Christ.
“If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6
This branch is eventually cast forth and is withered. This branch does not understand it is no longer in the Vine which brings forth fruit unto God because the world accepts this branch as their own. The devil’s goal is to corrupt one’s faith and direct it to another source and another means for victory over power of sin. Being dominated by sin, with the Grace of God no longer moving and operating in the Believer’s life, they slowly wither. This does not take place all at once but one compromise at a time. Eventually, just as the prodigal son left his father’s house and found himself dining with the swine, so too does the withered Believer.
When the withered are cast forth, where will you be Jonah? What will you do? Some seemingly can’t wait for the withering to be burned. Will you cast the first stone? Or will you point them back to the Vine…the Cross of Christ?
-Donna Clark Warren