The Mystery of the True Vine by Andrew Murray: To abide like a branch on the vine #1.7
Our role as the branch
In the Parable of the Vine spoken of in John 15, God is depicted as the Husbandman, Christ as the vine, and we the branches. And because this parable represents spiritual realities, Andrew Murray urges us to take note of our role as the branch.
Lesson 1: Entire consecration
Andrew Murray points out that the branch is simply a bit of wooden outgrowth for the purpose of bearing fruit. At the same time it is similar to the vine by having its nature, life and spirit. So the lesson we should be learning from this is that our life needs to be entirely given up to Christ to bear fruit. He adds:
Happy is the soul who knows this.
Lesson 2: Perfect conformity
Just as the branch is exactly like the vine in every aspect, so we as believers need to know that we are partakers of Christ’s divine nature, and that our calling is to yield ourselves to Him so that we can grow into his perfect likeness.
Lesson 3: Absolute dependence
The branches of the vine are only there to receive the life sap and strength that the vine provides. In a similar way, we are called to a life of unceasing dependence upon Christ, our Vine, as we can provide nothing of and through ourselves.
Lesson 4: Undoubting confidence
All a branch can do is yield and receive the life-giving sap that the vine provides. Once the Christian understands this spiritual principle, he is able to rest in the faith that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him (Philippians 4: 13).
Lesson 5: Bearing fruit for God
So what do we need to bear fruit for? Murray answers this question by pointing out that fruit is always gathered and taken away. In a similar way, our fruit-bearing is never for our own maintenance, but for one thing only: to carry God’s saving love to men. It is the one object for which we were made Christians.
Lesson 6: There are degrees in abiding
Based upon Scripture, Murray points to the fact that there are many degrees in abiding because there are many degrees of seeking after and serving God. They can range from “not with a perfect heart” (2 Chronicles 25: 2) to “with the whole heart” in Psalm 119: 2. With this in mind, Murray expresses the view that there is unspeakable danger in doing much work but bearing little fruit because of the lack of a vital relationship with Christ.
He reminds us, yet again, that we need to yield ourselves into God’s hands because . . .
He comes to us as a Father who gives what He asks and works what He commands.
© Olea Nel
The Mystery of the True Vine: chapters 3, 4, 5 & 9.