Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Cleaning and Pruning of the Branch (Part One)

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:2-3

These two verses together are very interesting! What does “take away” of the branches and pruning the branches have to do with being clean? This word “take away” (airo in the greek) occurs 102 in the New Testament. In over 40 places it is rendered “lift up” or “take up.” Through the Bible and even in Greek literature I am told that “airo” never means “cut off.” In the context, the vinedresser lifts every branch that is in the vine off the ground in order for it to bear fruit! This reminds us that as Believer’s our natural environment is not this world, but our home is in the heavenlies, as we learn throughout the book of Ephesians. If we lose this perspective we can never be effective fruit bearers, so we must be “lifted up” away from this earth as we read in Colossians 3:1-4 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

If a branch is down in the dirt, the air and light cannot get to it as very easy. When the heavy rains drive hard on the branch causing them to drag on the ground, they become muddy and full of mildewed, making it of no use in this condition, so the vinedresser lifts it up out of the dirt away from the earth! When the pressures of this world become heavy burdens weighing us down our Vinedresser, our loving Father desires to lift us up, through the Spirit of God, the Word of God and the people of God. He reminds us that this is not our home. In His High Priestly prayer we touchingly hear the Lord Jesus pray, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them because they are not of this world, just as I am not of this world” (John 17:14). If we desire to be fruitful branches and to be effective witnesses we must remember that “our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). 

Tim Hadley Sr.

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