John 15* Christ the true Vine. (1-8) His love to his disciples. (9-17)foretold. (18-25) The Comforter promised. (26,27)1-8 Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of thehuman and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that isin him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by themoisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine.The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the rootbears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are allsupports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet,meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all trueChristians, though in place and opinion distant from each other,meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, areweak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Fatheris the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, sowatchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, whichtherefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we lookfor grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper,disposition, and life. We must honour God, and do good; this isbearing fruit. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitfulbranches need pruning; for the best have notions, passions, andhumours, that require to be taken away, which Christ haspromised to forward the sanctification of believers, they willbe thankful, for them. The word of Christ is spoken to allbelievers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as itworks grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit webring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more ourLord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide inChrist, must have union with him by faith. It is the greatconcern of all Christ's disciples, constantly to keep updependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christiansfind by experience, that any interruption in the exercise oftheir faith, causes holy affections to decline, theircorruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those whoabide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile inoutward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittestplace for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Letus seek to live more simply on the fulness of Christ, and togrow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joyin Him and in his salvation be full. 9-17 Those whom God loves as a Father, may despise the hatredof all the world. As the Father loved Christ, who was mostworthy, so he loved his disciples, who were unworthy. All thatlove the Saviour should continue in their love to him, and takeall occasions to show it. The joy of the hypocrite is but for amoment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ's love is acontinual feast. They are to show their love to him by keepinghis commandments. If the same power that first shed abroad thelove of Christ's in our hearts, did not keep us in that love, weshould not long abide in it. Christ's love to us should directus to love each other. He speaks as about to give many things incharge, yet names this only; it includes many duties. 18-25 How little do many persons think, that in opposing thedoctrine of Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, they provethemselves ignorant of the one living and true God, whom theyprofess to worship! The name into which Christ's disciples werebaptized, is that which they will live and die by. It is acomfort to the greatest sufferers, if they suffer for Christ'sname's sake. The world's ignorance is the true cause of itshatred to the disciples of Jesus. The clearer and fuller thediscoveries of the grace and truth of Christ, the greater is oursin if we do not love him and believe in him. 26,27. The blessed Spirit will maintain the cause of Christ inthe world, notwithstanding the opposition it meets with.Believers taught and encouraged by his influences, would beartestimony to Christ and his salvation.
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