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 the

human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is

in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the

moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine.

The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root

bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all

supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet,

meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true

Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other,

meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are

weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Father

is the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, so

watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, which

therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look

for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper,

disposition, and life. We must honour God, and do good; this is

bearing fruit. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitful

branches need pruning; for the best have notions, passions, and

humours, that require to be taken away, which Christ has

promised to forward the sanctification of believers, they will

be thankful, for them. The word of Christ is spoken to all

believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it

works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we

bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our

Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in

Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great

concern of all Christ's disciples, constantly to keep up

dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians

find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of

their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their

corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who

abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in

outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest

place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Let

us seek to live more simply on the fulness of Christ, and to

grow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joy

in Him and in his salvation be full.
9-17 Those whom God loves as a Father, may despise the hatred

of all the world. As the Father loved Christ, who was most

worthy, so he loved his disciples, who were unworthy. All that

love the Saviour should continue in their love to him, and take

all occasions to show it. The joy of the hypocrite is but for a

moment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ's love is a

continual feast. They are to show their love to him by keeping

his commandments. If the same power that first shed abroad the

love of Christ's in our hearts, did not keep us in that love, we

should not long abide in it. Christ's love to us should direct

us to love each other. He speaks as about to give many things in

charge, yet names this only; it includes many duties.
18-25 How little do many persons think, that in opposing the

doctrine of Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, they prove

themselves ignorant of the one living and true God, whom they

profess to worship! The name into which Christ's disciples were

baptized, is that which they will live and die by. It is a

comfort to the greatest sufferers, if they suffer for Christ's

name's sake. The world's ignorance is the true cause of its

hatred to the disciples of Jesus. The clearer and fuller the

discoveries of the grace and truth of Christ, the greater is our

sin if we do not love him and believe in him.
26,27. The blessed Spirit will maintain the cause of Christ in

the world, notwithstanding the opposition it meets with.

Believers taught and encouraged by his influences, would bear

testimony to Christ and his salvation.

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