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Vines, Branches, and Fruit
broken_skai wrote in lovefor_jesus
Ephesians 2
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Not of works... Why are we so drawn to works? In ancient times the message of faith was preached and accepted. Later denominations showed up and added works to the message. You have to pray X amount of times a day, or confess this, or do that or you won't make it to Heaven. If you read the Old Covenant you will see one thing continually.

The Law came by Moses and God by Moses said if you want a blessing, work for it. While grace says I give it to you freely. The Law demands that your blessings be earned, while grace says you don't have to earn just accept it! And we as human beings have within us something that cries... No, No, No, there is something I must do! There is something I must do!! And God says I'VE DONE IT! It takes some of us almost a lifetime to come to the realization that there is nothing good in the flesh...nothing of the flesh that God wants.

Here is a little illustration to show where many, many Christians are today.

There was a hitchhiker  out on the side of the highway. This man had a humongous backpack that he carried on his back. The weight of this load was crushing. Finally a kind stranger in a pickup truck stopped and allowed the man to hop in the back. As they are moving along, the driver looks through the rear view mirror and notices that the hitchhiker is still carrying that huge backpack on his back and he was clearly struggling. The driver thinks to himself, "Why doesn't this guy just put his bag down?" So he stops the truck, gets out, to ask the hitchhiker why he doesn't just put his bag down. The hitchhiker responded that he just didn't want to hurt the truck.

That just like many, many Christians. They receive salvation, but still try to carry their own load. Jesus says put it down I'll carry it for you! Instead we tell him, No Lord, I enjoy my self-effort! They believed God saved them, and yet they still try to win Heaven with their works.

Jesus said without me ye can do nothing. Before salvation, during salvation, and after salvation. Many think this only applies to before salvation. The Law... Works... only bring forth sin consciousness. The Law keeps the consciousness of sin before you, because the Law says do or die! Grace says no doing is involved! Just say yes and live! Grace is a free gift! God says I love you, I accept you as you are, and the moment you see that grace and understand it brings forth the consciousness of righteousness. In John 15 Jesus said without me ye can do nothing.This is such a simple thing yet such a controversial subject. Because law and works and grace and mercy are opposites. God declares in His word clearly that the Old Testament was Law, but the New Testament is Grace...yet it is all one story. The New within the Old is concealed. The Old within the New is fulfilled. But unless we enter into His rest, we will never be free from bondage, guilt, condemnation, and sin. Please understand this...

John 15
1 I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through he word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 
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.

Whose responsibility is it to bring forth fruit, the branch or the vine? The vine of course. So then, what is the job of the branch? Fruit hanger, and that's it. Many of us are struggling to bear fruit...and Jesus says, You don't bear the fruit, I do. And He simply gives us the privilege of holding it for Him. The fruit is His, the branch is His...He is the vine. All we are is simply hooked into Him, that's all.

Well then, What's My Job??

To hang on.

Don't I do ANYTHING?

No, just hang on.

NO, NO, Lord. There must be something I can do!

No, just hang on.
 Jesus says to hang on. He is the source of the fruit, and all we do is let it hang on us. 

I thought I bore fruit.

It's not your fruit. It's the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the vine. It comes through the branch, that is being supplied by the vine. The branch is just an outlet. How often we try to do His job. The grace of God says HE begins it, and HE ends it! Without Him we are nothing, we can do nothing, can say nothing... He is everything.


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