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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : October 30. Abide in Me

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"Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must abides in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me." John 15:4

As a truth in nature — the meaning of this is very plain. A branch torn off a vine or a tree, and lying on the ground — will not bear fruit. Indeed, it cannot even live — but soon withers. The analogy holds in spiritual life. It would be just as unnatural to expect the professing Christian who has given up praying and has ceased to read his Bible, and withdrawn from loving and trusting Christ — to be really a fruitful Christian. The branch has no life — but what flows into it from the vine or the tree. Just so, the Christian has no spiritual life — but what comes from Christ's life, though faith and prayer and the Holy Word.

We live as Christians — only when Christ lives in us. Said Paul: "I live; yet not I — but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh — I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." All spiritual beauty in us — must be the life of Christ reproduced in us; just as the foliage and the fruit in a tree — are produced by the tree's life flowing into the branches.

A mere Christian profession will not therefore yield the fruits of a true Christian life. One might take a branch that had been torn off and with cords tie it on a green tree — but that would not make it a fruitful branch. It would draw no life from the tree, and would soon be withered and utterly dead. Just so, one may be tied to Christ by the cords of profession, but if there is no real vital attachment of the life to Christ by faith and love — Christ's life cannot flow into it, and it is only a dead, withered branch. We must be truly in Christ and have Christ in us — or there can be no life in us and no fruitfulness. We must also abide in Christ, maintaining our communion and fellowship with Him year after year — or we cannot be fruit-bearing Christians.

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