New Living Translation
2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
He cuts away all sin and evil growth of mine where it has soiled, died or wilted that doesn’t produce good fruit then he prunes the parts of me which do all good growth so that they will thrive and prosper further in growth
The pictures of Christ as the true Vine, is a very precious concept to most believers. All Christians are branches of the true Vine, for all are taken out of Adam and placed into Christ. All are in union with Him from the point of rebirth, and as branches we share His life, both on earth and in the eternal ages to come.
However, all branches are commanded to abide in Him, and so our privileged position becomes an important day-by-day responsibility, and we are warned that every branch in Christ that does not bear fruit is taken away, but every fruiting branch is pruned by our heavenly Father, to make it increasingly fruitful.
Some erroneously suggest that the unfruitful branch is a man or woman, pretending to be a Christian, but no unbeliever is ever placed into Christ by the Holy Spirit. Many mistakenly consider this to be a Christian that has lost his salvation, but this flies in the face of the undeniable scriptural truth, that our position in Christ is eternally secure.
Still others contend that it refers to the unfruitful carnal believer, who backslides in his Christian walk and does not manifest the beautiful fruit of the Spirit, which is rooted in lovem while other point the sombre fact of the discipline of physical death, of which Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 11. The suggestion that the Father “lifts up’ the unfruitful branch to encourage fruitfulness, is another thought, that sits comfortably with the duel meaning of the Greek verb “airo’.
Let us acknowledge the privileged position we have in Christ and make it our important day-by-day responsibility and delight to abide in Christ, to walk in spirit and truth, to submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives and to willingly embrace the pruning knife of our heavenly Father – so that we may bear fruit, more fruit – much fruit, to His praise and glory.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit
There are two sorts of branches in Christ the vine; the one sort are such who have only an historical faith in him, believe but for a time, and are removed; they are such who only profess to believe in him, as Simon Magus did; are in him by profession only; they submit to outward ordinances, become church members, and so are reckoned to be in Christ, being in a church state, as the churches of Judea and Thessalonica, and others, are said, in general, to he in Christ; though it is not to be thought that every individual person in these churches were truly and savingly in him. These branches are unfruitful ones; what fruit they seemed to have, withers away, and proves not to be genuine fruit; what fruit they bring forth is to themselves, and not to the glory of God, being none of the fruits of his Spirit and grace: and such branches the husbandman
removes them from that sort of being which they had in Christ. By some means or another he discovers them to the saints to be what they are; sometimes he suffers persecution to arise because of the word, and these men are quickly offended, and depart of their own accord; or they fall into erroneous principles, and set up for themselves, and separate from the churches of Christ; or they become guilty of scandalous enormities, and so are removed from their fellowship by excommunication; or if neither of these should be the case, but these tares should grow together with the wheat till the harvest, the angels will be sent forth, who will gather out of the kingdom of God all that offend and do iniquity, and cast them into a furnace of fire, as branches withered, and fit to be burnt.
And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may
bring forth more fruit.
These are the other sort of branches, who are truly and savingly in Christ; such as are rooted in him; to whom he is the green fir tree, from whom all their fruit is found; who are filled by him with all the fruits of his Spirit, grace, and righteousness. These are purged or pruned, chiefly by afflictions and temptations, which are as needful for their growth and fruitfulness, as the pruning and cutting of the vines are for theirs; and though these are sometimes sharp, and never joyous, but grievous, yet they are attended with the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and so the end of bringing forth more fruit is answered; for it is not enough that a believer exercise grace, and perform good works for the present, but these must remain; or he must be constant herein, and still bring forth fruit, and add one virtue to another, that it may appear he is not barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ, in whom he is implanted. These different acts of the vinedresser “taking away” some branches, and “purging” others, are expressed by the Misnic doctors
John 15:2 Explained – Does God Cut Off Branches With No Fruit?
Many Christians read John 15:2 and ask us ‘does this apply to us and does God cut off branches and throw them away if we don’t produce fruit’?
In John 15:2 we read:
He CUTS OFF every branch IN ME that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes
So there’s a problem here. This verse in John 15:2 identified this person as every branch ‘IN ME’. So, this means the Christian (who is IN CHRIST) is now being cut off and is going to hell.
Side Note: Some translations say ‘take away’.
The majority of us do NOT believe in losing salvation, including most bible commentators and translators. So, they try and explain this verse away by twisting it to have a different meaning.
However, I don’t see how you can get away from this translation meaning a Christian who stops producing fruit is ‘cut off’ and in that context, thrown into hell.
What if the bible translators simply did a poor job of interpreting the Greek word in its true context?
The Greek word here is “airo” and it can be translated as ‘cut off’, ‘removed’, or, I believe more correctly as ‘take up’, and ‘to raise’.
airó: to raise, take up, lift
Original Word: αἴρω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (ah’-ee-ro)
Short Definition: I raise, lift up
Definition: I raise, lift up, take away, remove.
So, in context, what this verse really should say is:
He LIFTS UP every branch IN ME that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes.
This lifting up of branches actually causes them to start to produce fruit again.
It was a common practice for a vinedresser to stretch the vine on an arbor or use some other means of raising it to the air and sun.
Note: it’s NOT OUR FRUIT. It’s the fruit of the Spirit. That’s why verse 4 tells us we CAN’T bear fruit on our own…..because you don’t have the ability to do it. Let me take it further….. not only is it IMPOSSIBLE for a Christian to bear good fruit on our own, but according to Matthew 7:18 it’s also IMPOSSIBLE for you to bear BAD FRUIT!
A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
Wait, how can that be? How can it be impossible for a Christian (good tree) not to produce bad fruit? Simple. It’s because the fruit is not a human work. It’s referring only to what comes from the Spirit. The Spirit can NOT produce even one bad fruit. But you, as a human, even a Christian, produce bad fruit all the time.
Side Note: regarding this word ‘abide’ in these verses in John 15. Abide is NOT a HUMAN EFFORT or a TRY HARDER word. Abide simply means ‘live’. Christians LIVE IN CHRIST (and He lives in us), and it is impossible for us not to ABIDE in Him if we are believers.
So good news! If, by chance, we good trees are not bearing good fruit for a time, we are not going to be cut off, but rather we will be lifted up.
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