The Upward Look


Are You a Fruitful Branch? June 17

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5. UL 182.1

“I am the true vine,” Christ declared. He used the figure of the vine that as we look upon it, we may call to remembrance His precious lessons. Rightly interpreted, nature is the mirror of divinity. UL 182.2

Christ pointed to the vine and its branches: I give you this lesson that you may understand My relationship to you and your relationship to Me. There was not the least excuse for His hearers to misunderstand His words. The figure He used was as a mirror held up before them, that they might understand His connection with them. UL 182.3

This lesson will be repeated to the ends of the earth. All who receive Christ by faith become one with Him. The branches are not tied to the vine by any mechanical process or artificial fastening. They are united to the vine and have become part of it. They are nourished by the roots of the vine. So those who receive Christ by faith become one with Him in principle and action. They are united to Him, and the life they live is the life of the Son of God. They derive their life from Him who is life.... UL 182.4

The heart must be united with Christ's heart, the will must be submerged in His will, the mind must become one with His mind, the thoughts must be brought into captivity to Him. A man may be baptized, and his name placed on the church rolls, yet the heart may be unchanged. Hereditary and cultivated tendencies may still work evil in the character. UL 182.5

The regenerated man has a vital union with Christ. As the branch derives its sustenance from the parent stock, and because of this bears much fruit, so the true believer is united with Christ, and reveals in his life the fruits of the Spirit. The branch becomes one with the vine. Storm cannot carry it away. Frosts cannot destroy its vital properties. Nothing is able to separate it from the vine. It is a living branch, and it bears the fruit of the vine. So with the believer. By good words and good actions, he reveals the character of Christ. As the branch derives its nourishment from the vine, so all who are truly converted draw spiritual vitality from Christ. “Verily, verily, I say unto you,” He declared, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him” (John 6:53, 56).—Manuscript 78, copied June 17, 1898, “I Am the True Vine.” UL 182.6