Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Withered Branch

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:6

A branch that has been attached to the vine can wither and become useless for the vinedresser. The reasons for withering can be a break somewhere in the branch, a disease or insects that has infected the branch. The sap from the vine is not reaching the branch and the branch loses its vitality and begins to wither.Many look at this withered branch as a picture of a false professor who first gives a profession of faith but goes back into the world. In the context of this John 15, the Lord is speaking to His disciples on fruit bearing not on salvation. The Lord had also told them they were clean already and in Him indicating, true believer. 

There are some who believe this withered branch pictures a true believer who commits apostasy and loses their salvation and is lost forever. Again the focus here is on witness and testimony; it is not on our salvation. The loss here is bearing no fruit to the glory of God. Lot is a picture of such a branch. He first pitched his tent toward Sodom, a type of a low hanging branch that ends of on the ground. Next we read of him in the gates of Sodom meaning he had become a prominent member of the community, yet we do not read of him bearing much fruit while there. In Sodom we can see Lot as a barren branch, when he attempted to witness to his sons-in-law they did not take him serious and we read, “to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking” (Genesis 19:14. He had become a barren branch with no fruit and no outward testimony with those close to him! But “the Lord knows those that are His” and in 2 Peter 2:8 we read “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.” 

How do we avoid being barren? Abide in the Vine! The result of abiding are three fold; the promise of answered prayer, abiding love and fullness of joy (John 15:7, 10, 11). This sounds better than being barren! Let us be those who abide in the Vine today!

Tim Hadley Sr.

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