John 15:2 says, “Every branch in Me that does not bring forward fruit He destroys, and every branch that brings forward fruit He prunes, in order that it may bring forward more fruit.“
I saw two things here this morning:
a) No Fruit: Jesus is the true Vine, so those who believe in Him are grafted into to Himself as living branches (Rom. 11:17). Therefore we branches find all our life, support, and sustenance in Jesus. We’re to look nowhere else to find these things, for if we do, we will dry up and become a dead branch (Rom. 11:18). The branches in Jesus who fail to produce fruit are destroyed by God, for He is the vine dresser, or gardener. Fault for the lack of fruit bearing does not fall on Jesus, but on the branches themselves. By producing no fruit, these branches show themselves to be dead, that they were never true branches to start with (1 John 2:18-19). They may have appeared to be living branches on the exterior, but the life giving sustenance of the Vine was not flowing into them. Just as we look for grapes on the branches of the vine, we look for Christianity on Christians. We look for evidence, we look for the fruit of the Spirit. If it’s there, even to the smallest degree with can say the branch is true. If it’s not there, we say, in despair, this one’s dead. If no fruit shows, God takes those branches off the vine and destroys them. This is speaking of final judgment for all those who are not in Christ.
b) Fruit: If fruit does show, God prunes it, for the purpose of making more fruit. This means the only way to produce more fruit is by the pruning of the Father. This is speaking of sanctification, and it shows that santification is always a painful process. Pruning involves a cutting off of certain things in our lives that are keeping us from bearing more fruit. A habit, an addiction, a temper, a lust, a greed, etc. When those are gone, pruned away, we are free to bear more fruit than we did before!
Therefore, if you find yourself in a situation where life seems to be painful, you should not despair, for the Father is at work in you! He is doing what only He can do! He is pruning you so that you can bear more fruit at a future time. This will most likely be very painful because they are things you love too much. But O’ how great it is to become more holy as He is! It is a kind of pleasing pain to me, and I hope it is for you as well.