I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 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.
Chapter fifteen of John’s Gospel as a whole, deals with Christian relationships. However, this section of the chapter deals specifically with the believer’s relationship with Christ. Here Jesus is using an agricultural illustration of a vine and branches which was appropriate for His audience. In addition, the vine is often used in the Old Testament scriptures to represent Israel. Jesus identifies Himself as the vine and God the Father as the vine-dresser or caretaker of the vine. This is one of the last I AM statements of Jesus where He speaks about His divinity, applying the Old Testament name for God directly to Himself. In addition, we see the First and Second person of the Trinity referenced here in this passage. The vine in this illustration has two types of branches those that bear fruit and those which do not bear fruit. Those branches which bear fruit represent the believing Christian, those who accept Jesus and believe in His divinity. These are those followers who have life in Christ because they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior by faith alone.
Therefore, they bear fruit as evidence of their salvation and the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The second type of branch which bears no fruit, is representative of the apostate or non-believing person. This is one who claims to be Christian, but has no part in Jesus, because they do not accept Him as their Lord and Savior by faith. They do not believe in His divinity and do not accept He is fully God and fully man. And because of that there is no work of the Holy Spirit evident in their lives. The apostate really has no life in Christ and therefore bears no fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in them or in their lives. Thereby proving that salvation has never taken hold and they have never truly accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The imagery of pruning of the branches speaks of the judgment to come, whereby the dead branches are removed because the transforming life of Jesus was never in them. Like the growing branch it’s difficult to tell the real from the false Christian until the time of harvest comes. This is because faith and belief in Christ Jesus our Lord is a matter of the heart. Therefore, our faith is only truly evident by our character changes and the works of love we perform after salvation from the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.